Slices of mandarin oranges on a bed of kale with fennel in Mandarin Orange Kale Salad.

Mandarin Orange Kale Salad

Mandarin Orange Kale Salad with Mandarin Vinaigrette is the lightness we crave in the depths of winter. Each bite bursts with juicy mandarins, crunchy kale, fennel and almonds dressed in a citrus dressing — you will love how this simple and refreshing salad brings balance to the table!

Slices of mandarin oranges on a bed of kale with fennel in Mandarin Orange Kale Salad.
Mandarin Orange Kale Salad

Mandarin Orange Kale Salad with Mandarin Vinaigrette is the lightness we crave in the depths of winter. Each bite bursts with juicy mandarins, crunchy kale, fennel and almonds dressed in a citrus dressing — you will love how this simple and refreshing salad brings balance to the table! This post is brought to you by Wonderful Halos.

Over head shot of mandarin orange kale salad with salad tongs on the side.

There’s a running joke in our house, and it all started on Thanksgiving.

As we dug into the turkey and stuffing, potatoes and gravy, I looked around the table and noticed that my daughter and I were the only ones who had cranberry sauce on our plates.

This wasn’t a big surprise — the boys of the family aren’t big fans of cranberry sauce with their Thanksgiving plates, but they’ll happily gobble it up when I reinvent the leftovers into muffins and granola and salad dressing.

slices of Halos Mandarin Oranges on a white plate with kale in the background

I can’t help but try to convince them (yet again) that they need a little balance to all the heaviness on the plate, so I found myself saying, “You really should try some cranberry sauce — it adds so much brightness! It’s like heavy, heavy, heavy LIGHT!”

And maybe it was the way I said it, or the crazy hand motions as I pointed to the elements on the plate, or maybe you had to have been there, but my husband and son started mimicking me, and from that moment on, they’ll tease, “Oh, you would like this salad! It’s like heavy, heavy, heavy LIGHT!” Or “You know when you’re wearing all these sweaters and you take one off, it’s like heavy, heavy, heavy LIGHT!”

But isn’t it true? We need something light to balance all the heavy, and that couldn’t be more true right now, in the winter, as we plow through all the comfort food. I crave something refreshing to balance the creamy sauces, the braised stews, the pie dough, the casseroles. And even if my family makes fun of me, I know they agree.

overhead shot of kale salad with mandarin oranges, fennel, marcona olives and orange vinaigrette on the side

So I braced myself as I brought this Mandarin Orange Kale Salad to the table last night. My son’s eyes lit up as he saw his beloved Wonderful Halos sliced into the salad (my son loves Halos as a snack since they are sweet, seedless and easy to peel), and I was especially excited to see my husband’s reaction as he pierced his fork into the juicy mandarins, kale and fennel. “It’s really good!” he nodded. “Refreshing, right?” I smiled.

You can imagine what they said next.

Serving of mandarin orange kale salad on a light blue salad plate

How do you lighten up and add a fresh twist to your meal? Try adding this sweet snack into your favorite dishes! Wonderful Halos mandarins are bursting with flavor, adding a unique twist to even the simplest recipes.

Juicy mandarin orange slices top kale salad in white bowl

Disclosure: This post is brought to you in partnership with Wonderful Halos. Thank you for supporting brands that matter to me; sponsored posts such as this help behind the scenes at Kitchen Confidante. All opinions in this post are, as always, my own.

MANDARIN ORANGE KALE SALAD

Mandarin Orange Kale Salad with Mandarin Vinaigrette is the lightness we crave in the depths of winter. Each bite bursts with juicy mandarins, crunchy kale, fennel and almonds dressed in a citrus dressing — you will love how this simple and refreshing salad brings balance to the table!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 409 kcal

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed mandarin juice about 1 mandarin orange
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 3 cups chopped lacinato kale
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 4 Wonderful Halos mandarin oranges peeled, halved and sliced into 1/4 inch half moons
  • 1/3 cup almonds if you have Marcona, splurge and use them here, otherwise, any almond is perfect
  • 1/4 cup fennel fronds

Instructions

Make the dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mandarin orange juice, honey and mustard.
  2. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil and continue whisking until the dressing is fully emulsified.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the salad:

  1. In a bowl, toss together the kale, fennel and red onion.
  2. Dress with about 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss well.
  3. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl, and top with mandarins, almonds and fennel fronds.
  4. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.
Nutrition Facts
MANDARIN ORANGE KALE SALAD
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 409 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 52%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Sodium 46mg 2%
Potassium 511mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 14g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 44.4%
Vitamin C 61.2%
Calcium 16.7%
Iron 12.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Comments

  1. Julia

    We go through bags of halos this time of year! I have to save some for a salad like this. It looks like the perfect winter citrus salad.

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      It’s amazing to me how quickly the Halos disappear at my house! Definitely save some for this salad, it’s worth it :)

    • Liren Baker

      That’s my favorite part! The sweet, the savory, the crunch and the juiciness of this salad make it so good!

  2. Laura | Tutti Dolci

    Love this bright and sunny salad! It’s starting to feel like spring and I’m craving all the fresh meals – this salad is the perfect place to start!

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Exactly! The spring tease was such a nice treat, and this is the salad to take us through it!

  3. sabrina

    really interesting set of ingredients! Nice balance of flavors too, thank you for this recipe, have nothing like it in my recipe box!

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      I hope you try it, Sabrina, I am sure it will be a recipe you will want to keep in your box :)

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