Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad with Chicken and Lemon Honey Ginger Dressing

January 9, 2015

This Mandarin Orange Salad is a must try recipe! It’s layered with tender spinach, protein-rich chicken, colorful Asian veggies, sweet mandarin oranges, crisp sliced almonds and deliciously seasoned wonton strips.

Mandarine Orange Spinach Salad with Chicken and Lemon Honey Ginger Dressing

The Best Mandarin Orange Salad!

This is the best Asian mandarin orange salad you’ll ever have! So much goodness and flavor in one salad.

Salads used to seem so boring me, I never used to opt for a salad as my main meal but I’ve learned that all it takes are some exciting flavors going on I seriously love them! This spinach salad combines basic ingredients, but together they create some bold and irresistible flavors.

Here you’ll find Asian flare combined with a California twist. It’s packed with vibrant, nutritious veggies and plenty of protein from the chicken and toasted almonds.

And can I tell you how obsessed I am with these wonton strips? Completely, utterly obsessed!

You may look at it and go, uh, cinnamon + wonton strips on an Asian salad? Huh? No. Don’t question. Just taste for yourself :).

I had them on a salad once at a restaurant that they paired with fried orange chicken and ever since I’ve been in love. And you guys, don’t even get me started on this ginger dressing (can you tell I really REALLY love this salad?)!

I want to eat this dressing on everything! One of my new favorites for sure!

My mom was over for lunch and she dubbed this one of the best salads she’s ever eaten and I’d definitely have to agree. Later she added “it is to die for!” and “this dressing should have a patent.” Love that last one. So, you don’t have to take my word for it, my mom can be a tough critic and she couldn’t stop raving about this salad!

Make this spinach salad with mandarin oranges one as soon as you get home! Seriously. And have friends over to share because it makes one BIG salad.

mandarin orange salad ingredients in large wooden bowl

Mandarin Orange Salad Ingredients

For the spinach salad, you’ll need:

  • Grilled chicken breasts
  • Sliced almonds
  • Baby spinach
  • Snow peas
  • Matchstick carrots
  • Red bell pepper
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Cilantro
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

For the homemade wonton strips, you’ll need:

  • Wonton wrappers
  • Cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil

And for the lemon ginger dressing, you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Lemon zest and juice
  • Honey
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt

lemon ginger salad dressing in jar

How to Make Mandarin Orange Salad

  • Add lemon ginger dressing ingredients to a blender and blend to combine. Store in airtight container while making rest of salad.
  • To make the wonton strips, slice the wonton wrappers into strips and then fry in oil until crisp. Sprinkle immediately with cinnamon.
  • Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle lemon ginger salad dressing on top and enjoy!

Can I Add Different Veggies to This Salad?

Definitely! If you don’t have one of the veggies on hand or can’t get it at your local grocery store, feel free to swap it out for something else. This spinach salad with mandarin oranges is incredibly versatile!

Can I Prep This Salad in Advance?

I recommend prepping the individual ingredients ahead of time and then combining them when you’re ready to enjoy the mandarin orange salad. Otherwise I’m afraid the spinach would get soggy.

pouring lemon ginger dressing onto mandarin orange salad

Tips for the Best Mandarin Orange Salad

  • Let the lemon ginger salad dressing rest in the fridge while you prep the rest of the ingredients. This will give the flavors time to come together.
  • You can use fresh or canned mandarin oranges for this salad. If using canned, make sure you’re using oranges packed in juice and drain them well.
  • Just eyeball the amount of cinnamon you sprinkle onto the wonton strips.

mandarin orange salad with chicken in white bowl

More Salad Recipes You’ll Love:

Mandarin Orange Salad with Chicken and Lemon Ginger Dressing

4.72 from 7 votes

A must try salad recipe! It's layered with tender spinach, protein rich chicken, colorful asian veggies, sweet mandarin oranges, crisp sliced almonds and deliciously seasoned wonton strips.

Servings: 4
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp peeled and grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard (Emeril's is the only way to go)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt , to taste

Wonton strips

  • 12 wonton wrappers , sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips
  • Vegetable oil , for frying
  • Cinnamon

Salad

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast , grilled and sliced
  • 1 cup sliced almonds , toasted
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • 2 cups snow peas , sliced into halves
  • 1 1/2 cups matchstick carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper , seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 (15 oz) cans mandarin oranges (no sugar added), drained well*
  • 1/2 cup cilantro , stems removed
  • Black and white sesame seeds , for garnish (optional)

Instructions

For the dressing:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until well emulsified and ginger and garlic are finely minced. Pour into an airtight container and all to rest in refrigerator while preparing salad (shake or stir before adding to salad).

For the wonton strips:

  1. Heat about 3/4 to 1-inch of oil in a skillet to 360 degrees (maintain this temperature, reduce heat as needed). Add just enough wonton strips without overcrowding. Fry just until halfway cooked, then using metal tongs (grabbing as many as you can at once) rotate to opposite side and cook until just lightly golden. Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Immediately sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and salt before they dry.

For the salad:

  1. Add all salad ingredients to a large salad bowl and toss. Drizzle with dressing and gently toss. Top each serving with desired amount of wonton strips and optional sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • *You can use fresh or canned mandarin oranges for this salad. If using canned, make sure you're using oranges packed in juice and drain them well. 
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Mandarin Orange Salad
Author: Jaclyn
close up of mandarin orange salad with chicken in bowl