Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

October 26, 2016

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad is a festive colorful fruit filled salad that’s perfect for holidays and parties! Spinach is layered oranges, pomegranate arils, avocado and topped with a creamy poppy seed dressing.

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad

Those pretty fall/winter 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

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.

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy

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.

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy

Whatever works best for you right? I’ll have to have my brother show me again though because his way was faster than mine.

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.

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy

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 Classy

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Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

A festive colorful fruit filled salad that's perfect for holidays and parties! Spinach is layered oranges, pomegranate arils, avocado and topped with a creamy poppy seed dressing.

Servings: 4
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

Salad

  • 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

Dressing

  • 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

Instructions

  1. For the dressing: In a small mixing bowl whisk together vinegar, sugar and salt until sugar and salt have dissolved. 

  2. 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: In a salad bowl layer spinach, mandarine oranges, pomegranate arils, avocado, almonds and walnuts. 
  4. Pour desired amount of dressing over top (or alternately just dress each serving). Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • *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.
Nutrition Facts
Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 334 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Sodium 316mg14%
Potassium 655mg19%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 3570IU71%
Vitamin C 58.5mg71%
Calcium 134mg13%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Orange Salad, Spinach Salad
Author: Jaclyn