Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing


Those fall colors though! I love salads like this that are beautifully colorful and taste amazing! This Mandarin Pomegranate and Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing is great way to use up the produce in season right now and it’s just bursting with so much juicy freshness in every bite. It is a perfect side dish to your favorite autumn meals and it would definitely be the hit of any get together (it’s like that strawberry spinach salad that’s always the first to go). If you are making it for a bigger group I’d definitely double it, which is the amount I was going to share but I realized I always make salads too big for day to day meals so sometimes it makes more sense to keep them scaled down.

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy

I recently spotted the first good pomegranates of the season a few weeks ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Even though I already miss all of the fresh summer berries I’m so glad there’s still apples, pears, pomegranates and oranges to look forward to this time of year.


It wasn’t until later in life that I tried pomegranates for the first time and at first I thought they were such a pain to seed (if that’s the correct term?). My brother has a pomegranate tree in his backyard and he showed me the most efficient way to get all those juicy little arils out but it still seemed somewhat complicated (something about slicing then scoring then tapping them out) so I still just do it the old fashioned way buy cutting in half then kind of tearing the halves to sort of expose them more then I pick them out in clumps. Whatever works best for you right? I’ll have to have my brother show me again though because his way was faster than mine.

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy

Even if it took 30 minutes to get those arils out it would be worth it for this salad (luckily it doesn’t take that long though :). This is definitely a salad I’ll make again and again, especially as we near the holidays.

I love the pairing of mandarin oranges, pomegranates and the two types of nuts in this salad. Then I love the balance the creamy poppy seed dressing and avocados offer to that light zip. It really is such a good salad, you just need to see for yourself! And feel free to add in some feta if you can’t resist adding a little cheese.

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking ClassyMandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy


Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Yield: 4 servings



  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 3 mandarin oranges (10 oz), peeled and segmented
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils*
  • 1 medium avocado , diced
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds , toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise (tested with Hellman's light)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 Tbsp milk , if needed


  1. For the dressing
  2. In a small mixing bowl whisk together vinegar, sugar and salt until sugar and salt have dissolved. Add mayonnaise, honey and poppy seeds and whisk until combined. Mix in milk to thin if desired. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. For the salad:
  4. In a salad bowl layer spinach, mandarine oranges, pomegranate arils, avocado, almonds and walnuts. Pour desired amount of dressing over top (or alternately just dress each serving). Serve immediately.
  5. *If you want to make this in the summer it's also good with a small pkg. of fresh raspberries in place of the pomegranate arils.
  6. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Mandarine Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy



  • Ginger: This salad looks amazing! My local supermarket sells the pomegranate arils in a jar, so I won’t have to even get them out! Going to have to try this salad soon! Thanks for posting this recipe! October 27, 2016 at 7:54am Reply

    • Jaclyn: That is perfect! Hope you like it Ginger! October 29, 2016 at 4:32pm Reply

  • Stehanie @ Velez Delights: It looks amazing and sounds delicious!!! :) October 27, 2016 at 9:40am Reply

  • Paige: This salad looks amazing! And perfect for all the winter produce coming up!

    Paige October 27, 2016 at 1:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Paige! October 29, 2016 at 4:31pm Reply

  • Nabeah: This salad looks absolutely beautiful! The colors are stunning. Can’t wait to try it out! October 27, 2016 at 7:48pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Hope you like it Nabeah! October 29, 2016 at 4:30pm Reply

  • Sara @ Last Night’s Feast: Yum! This looks delish! October 29, 2016 at 10:36am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Sara! October 29, 2016 at 4:29pm Reply

  • Jennifer Larson: Made this for my family, it was fantastic! We all loved it, so great!! Thank you for always posting such delicious recipes! November 2, 2016 at 3:00pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad your family enjoyed this salad Jennifer! Thanks for your comment :)! November 3, 2016 at 10:50am Reply

  • Patty: Jaclyn,
    Not sure how I started getting your email recipes… but glad I did! Made this salad last night! Delicious, wonderful blend of flavors and textures! Last week made your balsamic chicken and veggie sheet pan dinner. Also Great! Thank you so much! November 6, 2016 at 9:24am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you love them Patty! November 7, 2016 at 1:09pm Reply

  • Bonnie: Would I be able to use canned mandarine segments. Looking for to trying. Thankyou. November 8, 2016 at 2:24am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Fresh will be best but if you’d rather use canned/bottled I’d use the ones in juice or light syrup so the salad isn’t too sweet. November 8, 2016 at 10:00am Reply

  • fabiana vidal: Hello, can I use rice vinegar instead of white wine vinegar?
    Thanks. November 10, 2016 at 10:47am Reply

  • Coco: I’m a big fan of your recipes and have made quite a few. This one has easily been my favorite so far. I normally HATE salads but this was so delicious. Thanks for posting!! November 22, 2016 at 12:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Coco! Thanks for you’re review! November 22, 2016 at 7:42pm Reply

  • Alex: I did it today! It’s amazing! <3 February 20, 2017 at 2:19pm Reply

  • dale: I like the combination of flavours but the dressing was not acidic enough and increased the white wine vinegar to 6 Tbsp and the walnuts (I find) are to bitter for this salad. I also made the adjustment (walnuts) to roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds mix.
    I found it added a nice nutty flavour. March 20, 2017 at 3:38pm Reply

  • TheFoodieJourney: Looks so fresh and yum!
    Will be sharing it in my “Inspiration Sunday” post this week ! January 11, 2018 at 8:07pm Reply

  • Amal: I make it 😍👍🏻😋 April 13, 2018 at 9:47am Reply

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