Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad

Published December 1, 2018. Updated December 8, 2018

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A festive flavorful Spinach Salad! With these pretty red and green colors this is the perfect salad to serve for a Christmas party. It has the perfect blend of sweet, savory, toasted flavor and crunchy goodness. You’ll love every last bite of it!

Spinach salad on a vintage red and white plate layered with dried cranberries, sliced almonds and a sesame seed dressing.

Easy Spinach Salad with Cranberries and Almonds

This salad is a breeze to make and the only chopping required is for the shallot, gotta love that!

Fresh spinach is layered with chewy dried cranberries, crisp sliced almonds, and a sweet and simple toasted sesame seed vinaigrette.

Close up image of spinach salad in a white salad bowl.

Ingredients in This Salad

  • Baby spinach
  • Sliced almonds
  • Dried cranberries
  • White wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar
  • White sugar
  • Honey 
  • Olive oil
  • Shallot
  • Sesame seeds

Buy Pre-Toasted Sesame Seeds to Save Time

For this recipe you can use either store bought toasted sesame seeds or you can toast up some white sesame seeds yourself.

I toasted my own but I’m sure I didn’t get them golden enough. I tried to toast the almonds and sesame seeds at the same time and the almonds browned quicker surprisingly, so lesson learned.

Next time I’ll toast the almonds in the oven on the cookie sheet then the sesame seeds just in a skillet.

Sweet sesame seed vinaigrette in a mason jar.

Either way it was still completely delicious, plus with how easy it was to make I’m sure this will making plenty of appearances on my dinner table!

I also didn’t add poppy seeds this time around, next time I’ll add them and see which way I like it better. I’m sure it would even be good with just poppy seeds and no sesame seeds.

That’s the beauty of making a salad, they’re so versatile and there’s always room to switch things up.

Overhead image of spinach salad in a large salad bowl with wooden serving spoons.

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4.87 from 36 votes

Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad

A festive flavorful Spinach Salad! With these pretty red and green colors this is the perfect salad to serve for a Christmas party. It has the perfect blend of sweet, savory, toasted flavor and crunchy goodness. You'll love every last bite of it!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep15 minutes
Cook3 minutes
Ready in: 18 minutes



Sesame Seed Dressing


  • For the dressing: In a bowl or jar whisk together white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Stir in olive oil, honey, shallot, sesame seeds and optional poppy seeds until mixture is well blended.
  • For the salad: Add spinach, almonds and cranberries to a salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss. Serve immediately after adding dressing.


Recipe adapted from Allrecipes
Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 344 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 47mg2%
Potassium 466mg13%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 5315IU106%
Vitamin C 15.9mg19%
Calcium 143mg14%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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  • Jane C.

    Hubby and I had this salad for lunch today along with a lentil soup. It was very good and easy to make. I poured the dressing over each individual bowl – not the whole big bowl. I have some dressing left over. Does the dressing need to be refrigerated?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Yes keep dressing refrigerated. I’m happy to know you enjoyed it!

  • Pamela McKinnerney

    This was such a TASTY salad. We served it for a baby shower and it was all gone! Not one shred of spinach was left. So so good!!

  • Mary Ann Burstein

    This salad was absolutely delicious. Perfect for a dinner party because It was quick and easy to make but tasted “classy.”

  • Marta Rod

    It looks very appealing at first sight. But there’s too much sugar and honey (23% sugar). It’s unnecessary, since the cranberries already give a sweet touch. Such amounts of sugar turn a healthy salad into an unhealthy one. Besides, it hides the real taste of the other ingredients. Let’s make it simpler and healthier!

  • Wade

    The toasted sesame seeds really make for a phenomenal and unique dressing! I swapped brown sugar for white (bc I somehow ran out of regular sugar in my pantry) and added a touch of tahini to give it an added sesame flavor/creaminess and perfect 3:1 oil to vinegar ratio, and this salad turned out perfectly.

    This salad recipe epitomizes freshness while adding an exact balance of sweet, tart, and salty, plus giving an undertone of nuttiness as an added bonus.

  • LS

    Made with Christmas dinner last night. Very good. Next time will leave sugar out of dressing as it was much too sweet. Just the honey would have been more than enough. Appreciate the recipe!

  • Kerry

    I made this for our Christmas Eve dinner last night. It was perfect! Everyone loved it and commented on how good the dressing was! This is definitely a “make again” recipe and not just for Christmas!