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Mandarin Chicken Salad in a white bowls with extra garnishes around it.

Mandarin Chicken Salad

  • Author: Kari Peters
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


The fresh citrus flavor in this Mandarin Chicken Salad with Creamy Ginger Dressing is over the top delicious. The sweet-savory flavors combined with the creamy element from the dressing makes a dinner salad everyone loves! This salad is all fresh ingredients and vibrant flavor, but it couldn’t be easier to make.



Salad Ingredients:

8 cups washed baby spinach, 8-10 ounces

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, oven roasted or grilled

10 small mandarin oranges, peeled and separated into sections, 3 cups or 1 1/2 pounds

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, or slivered red onion

2 cups finely chopped purple cabbage

Optional: 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, and thinly sliced

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Creamy Ginger Dressing:

1/2 cup avocado oil, sesame oil (not toasted) or neutral tasting oil of your choice

3 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice or mandarin juice, from 1-2

2 tablespoons tahini, toasted not raw

1/2 cup chopped celery, 2.5 ounces

1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, or rice vinegar


Start by cooking the chicken if you’re not using leftover roast or rotisserie chicken. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and roast the chicken thighs until no longer pink in the center, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly then chop into bite sized pieces.

Next make the dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients except the avocado oil into a blender. Blend until smooth.

Then add the oil in a drizzle at low speeds until completely combined and emulsified. Set the dressing aside/refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Place the baby spinach in a large serving bowl. Add the chopped chicken, Mandarin oranges, green onions, purple cabbage, and optional bell pepper to the bowl.

Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and cilantro. Serve with the dressing on the side, or toss as much as you’d like together with the salad.

Keep each salad item separate if you know you’ll have leftovers to store!


The recipe for the Creamy Ginger Dressing makes about 2 cups. You will probably have a bit leftover and it can be frozen and used as a future stir fry sauce or dressing for 1-2 servings of salad.

To keep this Whole30, use coconut aminos and fresh lime juice instead of rice vinegar. You may need to add salt to taste because coconut aminos isn’t as salty as soy sauce.

The red bell pepper is optional because they’re sometimes not available or really expensive. This salad is super tasty without them when it’s not practical.

For an fun variation try my ‘Peanut Sauce’ from my Summer Roll Bowls for a dressing or your favorite bottled option.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: Asian Chicken Salad, Asian Chicken Spinach Salad, Ginger Dressing Recipe, Asian Mandarin Orange Salad, Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad