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Sugared Almonds and Mandarin Orange, Green Salad

“This sugared almond and mandarin orange green salad has been a family favorite for years. Sweet mandarin orange slices and crisp, sugary almonds with the addition of crunchy, salty celery make this a kid and husband pleaser. A simple sweet and sour vinaigrette puts this green salad over the top!”

green slad
It’s been a long time since I made this tasty salad and I’m not sure why I ever stopped. It has always been a crowd pleaser and is so simply put together. Way back when, when I wondered if my kids would ever eat a fresh green salad, I came upon this recipe. It is a popular one and I’m sure you’ve had a version of it. Maybe I knew the kids would love anything with mandarin oranges straight from the can. I remember dumping orange slices onto their high chair trays and watching them carefully pick up each slice, one by one, and plop them into their mouths.  Mandarin oranges were a special treat for them and for me too, because it meant I didn’t have to peel an orange!
green salad mandarin oranges sugared almonds

My kids were great eaters and I really didn’t have many problems with their habits. Zoe was always cautious about not eating anything peppery and Alex had to watch his lactose intake, but other than that I was a lucky mom with kids that were easy to please. We did have one rule which required two bites of everything, because it was magic that made one’s tastes change. If one didn’t taste, the magic wouldn’t happen. My kids actually believed this and I think they were always testing me on when the magic would work. I can truly remember them saying their tastes did change when all of a sudden they discovered that something they didn’t like, became something they did. They also loved Caesar salads at an early age. I think it was the croutons that caught their eye, but as they got older Manservant quickly convinced Alex that the anchovies were the best part. Really.

But today we are talking about something as simple as sweet oranges out of a can. Combined with green celery and a few green onions and yeah…the magic of sugared almonds, this salad is sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

green salad mandarin oranges

yield: 4-6 servingsAuthor: Abbe Odenwalderprint recipe

Sugared Almonds and Mandarin Orange Green Salad

“This sugared almond and mandarin orange green salad has been a family favorite for years. Dressed with a sweet and sour vinaigrette this green salad is a kid and husband pleaser!”
prep time: 25 MINScook time: total time: 25 mins


  • 1/2 c sliced almonds
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/2 head Romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 head Butter Lettuce
  • 1 c sliced, chopped celery
  • 4 green onions, chopped fine
  • 1 11oz can Mandarin oranges, drained
Sweet and Sour Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 t salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 T chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T red wine or apple cider vinegar


  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, cook almonds and sugar, stirring constantly until almonds are coated and sugar has dissolved. This burns easily so stir constantly. It may take about 10 minutes, depending on the heat of your burner. Cool. (This may also be made ahead and stored for future use.)
  2. Combine lettuce, celery and onions in a large bowl. (If you want to make ahead, I always cover the top of the bowl with a paper towel and store in the fridge until I’m ready to use.)
  3. Combine all dressing ingredients together and chill until ready to toss salad.
  4. When ready to serve add almonds and oranges and toss with the dressing. (This is also great with feta cheese, or slices of chicken if you choose to make this a main course.)
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More great salads:
Farro and Kale Salad           Hearts of Palm, Avo and Oranges                    Macho Salad


Please Pin and Share:

This tasty butter lettuce salad pleases everyone. The kids love the oranges and the adults love the sugared almonds. Add in some celery and a delicious dressing and you have one family favorite. #salads

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  • Reply
    Gingi Freeman
    January 15, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    This looks soooo yummy! Thanks for sharing! <3 –

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    January 15, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Ooh, yes! This combination sounds lovely! I know I'd need to make some extra almonds for snacking 🙂

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 16, 2017 at 2:27 am

      Good suggestion Liz! Double the amount of almonds so you have extra for snacking! Love it!

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    January 16, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Beautiful salad Abbe, those mandarin slices are a family favorite here too, this dish has it all with the sweet, salty and wonderful crunch. Hope your having a wonderful 2017!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 16, 2017 at 2:26 am

      Mandarins always seems to make anything feel special! You to Cheri!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    January 16, 2017 at 2:04 am

    Neat salad. I crave citrus at this time of the year, and this is a nice way to get it. But do I need a highchair to eat this? 🙂

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 16, 2017 at 2:25 am

      Very funny, Mr. Riffs. I still have two in the attic, in case you want to borrow one. I'm sure they probably aren't up to code any more!

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    January 16, 2017 at 9:13 am

    I love to use spiced or candied nuts in my salads too. This winter salad looks so fresh and delicious.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    January 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    You're right this is the kind of salad everyone loves (well, most everyone). It's beautiful too!

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    January 16, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    The color of that lettuce is gorgeous. Butter lettuce is always my choice when it's available. Pinning this one. Great sounding salad.

  • Reply
    Amy (Savory Moments)
    January 16, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    What a lovely winter salad. It looks delicious and the nuts are a perfect touch!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Sounds really like somthing I would love Abbe!I so much like candied nuts in my salads! Pinning!

  • Reply
    Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    January 17, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    That fresh lettuce looks so gorgeous. Such a healthy delicious and filler salad. Love the addition of sugared nuts here.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Delicious looking salad Abbe, and I am loving the sugared almonds…I always like a touch of sweet in salads…
    Have a great week 🙂

  • Reply
    Anna and Liz Recipes
    January 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    THis salad looks beautiful and healthy! Thanks for the sharing Abbe!

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats Celebrities
    January 19, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I friggin' adore butter lettuce! It's silky smooth and just crisp and wonderful! The best leafy green there is!!!

  • Reply
    Sippity Sup
    January 20, 2017 at 1:24 am

    My mom used to make a similar salad. I don't think her almonds were candied though. But I am sure she used mandarin slices from a can. I haven't tasted them in years, but as a kid they were a top 10 food for sure. GREG

  • Reply
    January 20, 2017 at 2:49 am

    I love winter for all of the wonderful citrus. It all seems to work great in salads and I do love this salad. Those sugared almonds are a great addition!

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