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Mandarin Orange Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Mandarin Orange Salad with Balsamic Glaze is a tasty and beautiful salad that is super easy to make and features just a few basic ingredients.  It’s a great side dish for any main course!

mandarin orange salad with dried cranberries, walnuts, roasted Brussels sprouts, and balsamic glaze on a white plate

Mandarin Orange Salad

Thanks to the festive and colorful ingredients, this mandarin orange salad makes a perfect choice for pretty much any main dish.  It’s a beautiful salad that will adore any dinner table.  The salad features roasted Brussels sprouts, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, and mandarin oranges.  It is finished with a thick and syrupy balsamic glaze.   Below I provide 3 options for the simple balsamic glaze and its alternatives.  The salad is really easy to make and has just a few ingredients – nothing complicated!

Salad for Fall, Winter, and the Holidays

Mandarin orange salad with balsamic glaze is a perfect Fall and Winter salad, as well as a great side dish for the holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.  This simple salad will add simplicity and bright holiday colors to your festive menu without all the work!  You are already busy during the holidays, and you don’t need to spend too much time on yet another sophisticated side dish or salad for your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu.  This simple mandarin orange salad will add simplicity and bright holiday colors to your festive menu without all the work!

When are mandarin oranges in season?

Mandarin oranges are usually in season from November and into May, which makes them a perfect fruit to use in Fall and Winter salads, as well as in holiday recipes. This colorful citrus will bring brightness and a shine of Summer to your Fall and Winter menus!

mandarin orange salad with dried cranberries, walnuts, roasted Brussels sprouts, and balsamic glaze on a white plate

Salad Ingredients

  • Mandarin oranges
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Walnuts
  • Dried cranberries

Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Honey
  • Olive oil (optional)

How to make Mandarin Orange Salad

  • Mandarin oranges.  I used 3 mandarine oranges, peeled and segmented.  You can also use canned mandarins (1 can or 15 oz).
  • Roast Brussels sprouts (each one sliced in half) in the preheated oven at 375 F in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 20 minutes.
  • Walnuts.  Use whole walnuts, or better yet, candied walnuts.  I used store-bought candied walnuts that were delicious and looked beautiful in this sala.d
  • Assemble the salad by combining together peeled and segmented mandarin oranges, roasted Brussels sprouts, walnuts, and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
  • Prepare the balsamic glaze by cooking down balsamic vinegar together with honey until reduced by about half.  Drizzle over the mandarin orange salad.  Or, look at the alternatives to the balsamic glaze listed below.

How to make balsamic glaze and alternatives

This recipe features a simple balsamic glaze as a salad dressing.  What I prefer to use instead of making the balsamic glaze is a very high-quality aged balsamic vinegar (made in Italy). This type of vinegar is thick and syrupy and already has a consistency of a glaze.  Read on below for more details.  You can make a simple balsamic dressing for this mandarin orange salad in 3 different ways:

  • Homemade Balsamic glaze.    You can make the balsamic glaze as directed in the recipe by cooking down 1 cup of balsamic vinegar together with a ¼ cup of honey or brown sugar until the mixture reduces by about half.  Or, you can use either of the two options below:
  • Use High-Quality Aged Balsamic Vinegar Made in Italy. Aged balsamic vinegar is often sold in special sections of foreign foods at some grocery stores. High-quality Italian-made aged balsamic vinegar is usually somewhat expensive but it does not need cooking down. Just use it as is.  And, you don’t need to use much of it.   This type of balsamic vinegar has a much thicker (almost syrupy texture) and is not as acidic as the regular one.  I use the balsamic vinegar labeled as Aceto Balsamico I.G.P. produced in Italy.  Balsamic vinegar  labeled as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale D.O.P. is also a great choice.
  • Combine Balsamic Vinegar and Olive oil.  If you don’t want to make the balsamic glaze or use the aged balsamic vinegar, here is another simple salad dressing idea.  Combine ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Whisk until emulsified.  Drizzle the mandarin orange salad with this mixture.

mandarin orange salad with dried cranberries, walnuts, roasted Brussels sprouts, and balsamic glaze in a cast-iron pan

Recipe notes

  • Candied walnuts. I used store-bought candied walnuts in this recipe. You can use either regular walnuts or candied ones.
  • Mandarin oranges.  I used 3 mandarine oranges, peeled and segmented.  You can also use canned mandarins (1 can or 15 oz).
  • Dried cranberries. You can briefly soak dried cranberries in hot water to plump them up.
  • Balsamic vinegar. I highly recommend purchasing a high-quality, aged balsamic vinegar made in Italy labeled as Aceto Balsamico I.G.P.  Another good choice is labeled Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale D.O.P. This type of aged balsamic vinegar has a thick, syrupy, glaze-like texture perfect for drizzling over salads. If you purchase this kind of balsamic vinegar, you will never look back, and you would use such vinegar as a salad dressing, without any other ingredients – it’s that good!

Other mandarin orange salads you might like

More festive holiday salads you might enjoy

If you’re looking to add a new salad or a side dish to your Fall and Winter menu, give this mandarin orange salad recipe a try.  Mandarins will bring a taste of Summer to a cold wintery night.  There are only 4 ingredients, and the salad dressing is a simple balsamic glaze. Here are a few other delicious and beautiful salad recipes for the holidays:

mandarin orange salad with dried cranberries, walnuts, roasted Brussels sprouts, and balsamic glaze on a white plate

Mandarin Orange Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Mandarin Orange Salad with Balsamic Glaze is a tasty and beautiful salad that is super easy to make and features just a few basic ingredients.  It’s a great side dish for any main course!

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 40 mins

Course Salad, Side Dish

Cuisine American

Servings 6 people

Calories per serving 316 kcal

Author: Julia

Ingredients

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste

Other Salad Ingredients

  • 3 mandarin oranges peeled and segmented (or use 1 can or 15 oz)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup walnuts you can also use candied walnuts

Balsamic Glaze

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey or brown sugar

Instructions 

How to Roast Brussels Sprouts

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Trim ends of Brussels sprouts and remove yellow leaves.  Slice all Brussels sprouts in half. 

  • In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine. 

  • Place Brussels sprouts onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cut side down, and roast in the oven at 375 F for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be nicely and partially charred but not blackened.

Balsamic Glaze

  • Combine 1 cup of balsamic vinegar + ¼ cup of honey or brown sugar in a medium pan and cook it down, regularly stirring. The mixture should reduce by about half. Consistency should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon but should not be overly thick.

  • Below, under recipe notes, see 2 other simple alternatives to the balsamic glaze.

Assembly

  • In a large bowl, toss together mandarine oranges, dried cranberries, walnuts, and roasted Brussels sprouts.

  • Drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

Notes

  • Alternatives to the Balsamic glaze.    While you can make the balsamic glaze as directed in the recipe above by cooking down the balsamic vinegar together with a small amount of honey or brown sugar until the mixture reduces by about half.   Here are 2 other simple alternatives to the balsamic glaze:
  • Alternative # 1.  Use High-Quality Aged Balsamic Vinegar Made in Italy. Aged balsamic vinegar is often sold in specialized stores or sections of foreign foods at some grocery stores. High-quality Italian-made aged balsamic vinegar is usually expensive but it does not need cooking down. Just use it as is. And, you don’t need to use much.   This type of balsamic vinegar has a much thicker (almost syrupy texture) and is not as acidic as the regular one.  I use the balsamic vinegar labeled as Aceto Balsamico I.G.P. produced in Italy.  Balsamic vinegar  labeled as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale D.O.P. is also a great choice.  
  • Alternative # 2.  Combine Balsamic Vinegar and Olive oil.  Combine ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Whisk until emulsified.  Drizzle the salad with this mixture. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Information

Mandarin Orange Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

Saturated Fat

Polyunsaturated Fat

Monounsaturated Fat

Potassium

Carbohydrates

Vitamin A

Vitamin C

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Keyword mandarin orange salad

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