Mandarin Orange Cranberry Kale Salad with Candied Pecans

Kid FriendlyGluten FreeVegetarian

A simple KALE SALAD filled with mandarin oranges, tart cranberries and candied pecans for the perfect bite! I guarantee this salad will win over any kale hater and become a staple at your house! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #glutenfree

A simple KALE SALAD filled with mandarin oranges, tart cranberries and candied pecans for the perfect bite! I guarantee this salad will win over any kale hater and become a staple at your house!

Um… guys. Do you realize that next week it NOVEMBER! When did that happen!?

I’m so confused. I mean I love the weather this time of year but I feel like this year flew by. Time flies when your …. (fill in the blank).

A simple KALE SALAD filled with mandarin oranges, tart cranberries and candied pecans for the perfect bite! I guarantee this salad will win over any kale hater and become a staple at your house! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #glutenfree

I guess the good thing is, that means I get to start pumping out holiday recipes and all things for you to put on your dinner table this time of year.

Cuz … um thanksgiving is less than a month away and Christmas is less than 2 months! Eekk! I better get to it on the Christmas shopping front!

This year we’re going to Ecuador over Christmas to spend time with Mike’s brother and sister in law. They are in Cuenca working as missionaries and we couldn’t be more excited to see what they have been up to and just have fun together, we may even go to the jungle! Plus, Cason cannot wait to spend time with his two cousins! They’re going to tear up the town!

A simple KALE SALAD filled with mandarin oranges, tart cranberries and candied pecans for the perfect bite! I guarantee this salad will win over any kale hater and become a staple at your house! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #glutenfree

Any who, back to the recipe front. This Mandarin Orange Kale Salad is the first of many holiday recipes.

Around the holidays when I was growing up my mom use to make a Spinach Salad with mandarin oranges, cranberries, candied almonds, and this killer dressing that you’d want to drink straight from the bottle. I absolutely adored this salad and actually still make it all the time now.

This Kale Salad is a take on the salad I had growing up. So I KNOW you’re gonna love it!

A simple KALE SALAD filled with mandarin oranges, tart cranberries and candied pecans for the perfect bite! I guarantee this salad will win over any kale hater and become a staple at your house! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #glutenfree

Instead of spinach I added kale, which in my opinion helps this salad keep for longer because kale is a lot sturdier than spinach … which wilts on the dressing pressure. Then I added in some radicchio, partly for color … because we eat with our eyes … but also to add a little bitter bite to the salad.

I swapped out the almonds for pecans, and changed up the cooking process so it’s a little faster to make. The dressing … even though I did LOVE it …. I changed (mainly because it was loaded with sugar). But this dressing is still as good in my opinion, possibly even better. It is sweet, tangy, and spicy.

A simple KALE SALAD filled with mandarin oranges, tart cranberries and candied pecans for the perfect bite! I guarantee this salad will win over any kale hater and become a staple at your house! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #glutenfree

This salad could definitely be made a day ahead, I’d just recommend not adding the pecans till the last minute or they’ll get soggy.

All in all … if you’re not sure about raw kale yet this is definitely a great place to start. I guarantee it will turn even the pickiest of eaters into a lover! There are so many bold bursting flavors going on in this dish that it will be the perfect compliment to any main dish, especially a certain turkey dish that you have on a particular day of the month. Ahem .. ahemm… Gobble gobble.

Give this salad a try and then come back and tell me how much you love it!

Bon Appetit friends!

A simple KALE SALAD filled with mandarin oranges, tart cranberries and candied pecans for the perfect bite! I guarantee this salad will win over any kale hater and become a staple at your house! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #glutenfree

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Mandarin Orange Cranberry Kale Salad with Candied Pecans

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4-6
  • Category: Gluten Free, Salad, Holiday, Kid Friendly

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale, torn into pieces (about 4-5 cups)
  • 1 radicchio, thinly sliced (core removed)
  • 15 oz. can of mandarin orange segments, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions

Candied Pecans:

  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add kale pieces to a large bowl. Add a dash of sea salt. Using your hands massage the kale to break down and soften. About 2-3 minutes. The kale will turn more of a forest green and smell fragrant, thats when you know you’re done.
  2. To that same bowl add, raddichio, mandarin oranges, cranberries, and green onions. Set aside.
  3. Heat a medium skillet to medium high heat. Add pecans, brown sugar, and butter. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring the entire time, until the butter and sugar are melted and coat the pecans. Remove the pan and let cool on a plate or sheet of tin foil.
  4. In the meantime, to make the dressing, add apple cider vinegar, olive oil, stone ground mustard, raw honey, dry basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Using a whisk, mix the dressing together until the oil and vinegar no longer separate.
  5. Top the salad with the candied pecans and serve with dressing.

IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, BE SURE TO SNAP A PIC AND HASHTAG IT #JOYFULHEALTHYEATS. I LOVE SEEING WHAT YOU MAKE!

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A simple KALE SALAD filled with mandarin oranges, tart cranberries and candied pecans for the perfect bite! I guarantee this salad will win over any kale hater and become a staple at your house! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #glutenfree

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Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }
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24 Responses
  1. I love the changes you made. I’ve been using raw kale more often massage with lemon juice — it breaks down a bit but as you said, the salad also lasts longer. This would be so smart for a Thanksgiving buffet!

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