Mandarin Orange Kale Salad

With bitter greens, sweet, tart fruit, pistachios and dates, this mandarin orange kale salad is colorful and beautiful way to start a big fall/winter meal.

Mandarin Orange Kale Salad

Whenever I make this mandarin orange kale salad, I always feel like I’m going to get in trouble.

No, there’s nothing that I am technically doing that should be forbidden. The ingredients are actually the issue, specifically the mandarins.

When I take one of these special oranges for myself, that’s one less for my six-year-old.  

Mandarin Orange Kale Salad

It is nearly impossible for me to keep our fridge stocked with enough of them. The other day he devoured 3 in one sitting.

That’s not an exaggeration, and it’s pretty typical.

Of course, I am absolutely thrilled with that amount of citrus and vitamin C consumption.

However, every now and then I would like to get my hands on these juicy orange delights.

I guess I need to do a better job instilling those basic sharing skills.

Mandarin Orange Kale Salad

For now, I am stuck sneaking my citrus.

The good thing is that as we approach the tail end of fall and the beginning of winter, now is the time for oranges, grapefruit and their cousins.

We are moments away from a bigger selection.

And I love citrus in salads. It’s even better when they involve kale.

The bitter flavor of those deep greens and sweet, sour oranges balance each other out.

How to Make A Mandarin Orange Kale Salad

This salad is very quick and easy because there is no cooking required in the prep.

It’s basically only chopping and slicing.

First, I place chopped kale into a large bowl. For Lacinato kale, I pull the stem from the leaves and finely chop them.

Then I add sliced scallions to the bowl followed by mandarins, separated into segments, chopped pitted dates and pistachios.

Alternates to Mandarins

Mandarins are my first pick because they are so easy to peel.

Other citrus with softer skin, so they are also a breeze to peel include:

  • Clementines
  • Satsumas
  • Tangerines
Mandarin Orange Kale Salad

For the vinaigrette, I whisk together white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Then I drizzle that over the salad taking care to massage it into the greens.

With those hearty kale leaves, this is the kind of salad I would serve for a big meal. It will stay fresh and crisp longer, and I am a big fan of those bright moments of citrus.


Mandarin Orange Kale Salad

Mandarin Orange Kale Salad

With bitter greens, sweet, tart fruit, pistachios and dates, this mandarin orange kale salad is colorful and beautiful way to start a big fall / winter meal.

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time:
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


For salad

1 bunch Lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented

1/3 cup roughly chopped pitted dates

1/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios

For vinaigrette

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


In a large bowl, combine the kale, scallions, mandarin oranges, dates and pistachios.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Drizzle the vinaigrette in the salad massaging it into the kale.

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