This is the best holiday salad ever, period. Everyone begs me to bring it to the gatherings. Candied pecans, dried cranberries, avocado chunks, orange slices and feta cheese – these goodies MAKE this baby spinach salad. More please!
This salad is the king of all salads. No matter how much of this salad I make (and I’m known to bring humongous bowls of this salad), the salad bowl always ends up completely empty. Not a crumb left. Not one candied pecan. Not one dried cranberry. Not one orange segment. Not one avocado chunk. Not even a spinach leaf. All you’ll have left is the empty bowl with some tiny crumbs of the feta cheese stuck to the sides. People love this salad so much, they specifically request it from me if I ever say “What should I bring”.
When you read the ingredient list for this spinach salad, you just know how good is this salad going to be. With such amazing stuff it it, this salad just can’t taste anything short of EPIC. Candied nuts, cranberries, oranges, avocados and feta are awesome on their own, and when they are combined together this salad becomes a true feast! Festive is the word of the day!
Actually cranberries are the magic ingredient that make things festive :) For another festive starter, check out my cranberry bruschetta recipe – yum! Dried cranberries and nuts are always an awesome addition to salads, another great salad recipe I have with them is kale salad with dried cranberries and pine nuts. Or just browse my whole cranberry recipes collection!
For the candied pecans, you can use store-bought (Trader Joe’s is known to carry them) or homemade! Making your own candied pecans is very simple – just follow my easy candied nuts recipe. Also, you can use any other nuts instead of pecans if you’d like, such as walnuts, almonds or pistachios. Any kind of candied nut is so awesome!
If you want to avoid extra sugar and calories of candied nuts, just use plain nuts. If I’m making this salad for a holiday, I always go for candied pecans because they just taste so amazing and it’s totally worth it! If I’m making it on a regular day and not for a party, then the plain nuts will do :)
You can also easily leave out an ingredient or add or substitute something – salads always give you a lot of room for creativity! A variation of this salad that I often use is adding crumbled blue cheese instead of feta cheese – it’s also so delicious!
Making this amazing spinach salad is super easy. Even if you make candied pecans yourself, everything will take you less than 20 minutes total! Just toss the ingredients in a bowl and serve the deliciousness! Enjoy!
- 1 bag (8 oz) of baby spinach leaves
- 1 can of orange segments, drained
- 1 avocado, chopped
- ½ cup candied pecans (see homemade candied pecans recipe, or you can use store-bought)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- In a cup, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice with a fork to make a dressing.
- In a large bowl, add baby spinach leaves, dried cranberries, orange segments, avocado chunks, feta cheese, candied pecans and dressinge. Mix until combined.