Kid (and mom) Friendly Salad

I’m not the biggest salad lover ever. There, I said it. I’m a grown adult woman, and I don’t love salads.

However, I love the nutrient-rich foods that salads usually contain. Dark leafy greens especially are so good for our bodies! Learning to love fresh salads is important to me.

As I find salad recipes that I’ll eat without grimacing, I also want to include my kindergarten age daughter in the preparation of these meals filled with raw, fresh ingredients. For my picky eating child, being given opportunities to be hands on in the prep of a meal is key to her actually trying any of it. 

This Mandarin Orange Salad is a kid-friendly winner. My picky girl had a great time tearing up lettuce leaves, measuring ingredients, shaking the homemade salad dressing, and tossing the salad. I pretended to not be outright shocked when she gobbled a whole big bowl… lettuce and all!

Let Us Talk About Lettuce

I know some people like the almost white parts of a head of iceberg lettuce, but get to know some dark greens too! Iceberg is good for you, but not nearly as good for you as other greens. In this Mandarin Orange Salad, I combine chopped iceberg and my favorite red leaf lettuce. You can use any two lettuces that you prefer. Romaine is a delicious and healthy choice.

When doing food prep with my little girl, I handle the chopping and anything involving heat. She’s in charge of tearing lettuce and mixing things together.

Okay, I know, I know… the crunchy chow mein noodles wouldn’t be classified as “healthy.” But for me, as a non-salad lover, they play an important role in my overall enjoyment of the salad.

Simple Dressing

This Mandarin Orange Salad is tossed with a simple homemade vinaigrette. It’s light and tangy and just a little sweet. Shaking the dressing in a jar is a fun part for kiddos to play in the meal prep! Just be sure the lid is well secured. 🙂 

So pretty! 

You can prep the individual ingredients and the dressing in advance, but you’ll want to put it all together and toss it right before serving. This salad doesn’t keep and should be eaten right away.

For a super quick weeknight meal, prepare the lettuces and mix up the dressing the night before. This way you can dump everything into a big bowl, toss the salad, and serve it for dinner within just a couple of minutes.

Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe

I have to tell you, this recipe isn’t something I dreamed up myself. A former coworker was kind enough to give me the list of ingredients after the brought this delicious salad to a work lunch. I begged for the recipe because it’s so good! I made a few little tweaks and adjustments, and now you can enjoy this yummy salad in your own home. 


Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe

An easy to make hearty salad that the whole family will love!

  • Author: Carissa Shaw for Mom Needs Chocolate
  • Prep Time: 00:20
  • Total Time: 00:20
  • Yield: 6 Servings


1 bunch romaine or red leaf lettuce
1 head ice berg lettuce
4 green onions, chopped
½ cup slivered almonds
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup chow mein noodles
½ teaspoon poppy seeds
1-2 cups chopped grilled or rotisserie chicken (optional)
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup white vinegar
½ cup canola oil


  1. Chop or tear the lettuces into bite size pieces. Wash and dry well.
  2. Pour the lettuces into a large bowl and toss. Top the salad with the chopped green onions, slivered almonds, mandarin oranges, chow mein noodles, poppy seeds, and chicken (optional).
  3. Add the dressing ingredients to a medium jar. Cover tightly with a lid and then shake well.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad then toss to combine all ingredients.

Serve immediately.

13 Comments on Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe

  1. Kate Andrews
    March 20, 2018 at 9:42 pm (5 months ago)

    I am always looking for great salad recipes and this one looks delicious. And that little girl is the cutest!

  2. Adriana
    March 20, 2018 at 9:59 pm (5 months ago)

    I love salads and always looking for different ways to make new salads. I have to try this one

  3. Tara Pittman
    March 20, 2018 at 10:00 pm (5 months ago)

    This salad sounds so tasty. I need to make this for Easter dinner.

  4. daria
    March 21, 2018 at 4:32 am (5 months ago)

    This salad has all the ingredients that I love. Perfect recipe for spring.

  5. Daisy
    March 21, 2018 at 9:21 am (5 months ago)

    Wow this looks absolutely delicious!!! I love eating salads so I can’t wait to make this one! I really love the idea of using the Manderins.

  6. Kathy
    March 21, 2018 at 9:07 pm (5 months ago)

    This salad looks so good. I haven’t had a great salad like this in a long time. I need to save this so that I can make it soon.

  7. Tina Hogan Grant
    March 21, 2018 at 9:12 pm (5 months ago)

    Oh, I love Key lime. These are right up my alley. I will certainly try these when I invite friends over for tea.

  8. Wendy Polisi
    March 22, 2018 at 4:51 pm (5 months ago)

    Mandarin oranges are one of my favorite salad additions. Their texture, size, and flavor are just perfect.

  9. Marissa Zurfluh
    March 22, 2018 at 4:55 pm (5 months ago)

    Mmmm this sounds delicious. With those oranges in it, my kids would love it like I do, ha!

  10. Ruthie Ridley
    March 22, 2018 at 7:47 pm (5 months ago)

    I love this!!! Gets me excited for summer time and eating salads ALL the time!

  11. Coralie
    March 26, 2018 at 11:27 am (5 months ago)

    We love mandarin oranges. I need to make this with our dinner tonight. My kids would love helping me.

  12. Codrut Turcanu
    April 3, 2018 at 8:22 am (5 months ago)

    hey Carissa, is your girl wanting to make a chef when she grows up? ..
    or maybe have her own food type blog? 🙂

    keep up the great job the two of you anyway!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *