This easy recipe for Mandarin Spinach Pasta Salad is full of simple ingredients but explodes with flavor! You are going to love this simple dressing that tops this mandarin pasta salad!
This recipe is sponsored by Explore Cuisine.
Mandarin Spinach Pasta Salad
I certainly have come a long way in my eating. I used to be opposed to fruit in my salad or greens and now I love it. I used to not think that I could add anything besides your typical salad ingredients to my greens. Well, I am pulling out all the stops today! I am breaking all the rules!
That’s right, I am adding pasta to a salad! YES! It is so delicious! This dish is almost hearty enough it could serve as a main course. For me, I love the combination of ingredients and the dressing.
The dressing is where it is at! I love the dressing. Hint: You can use the dressing on other foods too! Toss it with some noodles or tofu! YUMMMO!
Gluten-Free Pasta in a Salad
When it comes to pasta, I get pretty excited. Pasta is certainly my comfort food. As I am getting deeper and deeper into this gluten-free journey, I am finding new products.
I’ve been loving Explore Cuisine products for a very long time. I usually write at least one recipe a month using them. For this particular recipe, I used Organic Green Lentil Penne from Explore Cuisine.
This gluten-free pasta has a great texture and a whooping 13 grams of protein per serving. Just cook the pasta according to package, drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.
You might be used to seeing bowtie pasta in salad recipes but I like to use penne or fusilli! The penne works great in this mandarin pasta spinach salad!
What’s in the dressing?
The dressing is probably my favorite part, I know I already mentioned that. In this dressing, we have coconut aminos, sriracha, and some sunflower seed spread.(affiliate ad links) If you love peanut butter you can totally use it in place of the sunseed spread. (affiliate ad links)
Will this mandarin orange pasta salad keep overnight?
That is a fantastic question. I have sometimes made this as a lunch prep option. When I do, I put the dressing in a separate container. Typically, I just make this recipe and it gets eaten the same day!
I believe in you, I think you’ll eat it pretty quickly! It is pretty tasty!
Substitutions for Ingredients
Don’t like some of the ingredients? That’s okay, you are welcome to make your own substitutions. Specifically, I get a lot of questions about craisins (dried cranberries).
If you aren’t a craisin lover you can sub in dried apricots or dried cherries! Those are delicious in this salad!
Add Red Onion
Love red onion? That would work in this salad too! If you are adding in red onion but don’t want the onion to be too strong. You can dice your red onion, then soak it in cold water. Set aside and wait 5 minutes. Drain the onions and toss them into the large bowl of salad. This takes the “bite” away from the red onion!
Salad with mandarin oranges and meat
Meat eater? No problem at all! We are previous meat eaters, so we will have an idea of what meats might complement some of our recipes. In this case, we would suggest adding chicken breast to this orange salad.
Adding fresh herbs for your spinach pasta salad
If you love fresh herbs like I do, you can certainly add them into this spinach pasta salad with mandarin oranges! You are welcome to add in some fresh herbs for extra flavor!
We love the smell and the taste of herbs. It elevates all recipes, including this one! Love parsley? Parsley would be a great addition to this salad!
I would even venture to guess that if you are a cilantro lover, that the addition of cilantro would be tasty.
As you can see most fresh herbs would taste amazing in this recipe! Just take your favorite and add it in!
You can use canned or fresh mandarins. Canned works for anytime of the year but if clementines are in season, use those!
More salad recipes you might enjoy:
- Broccoli Cranberry Salad
- Easy Asian Pasta Salad
- Chipotle Macaroni Salad
- Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Bean Salad
Are you getting hungry for some spinach pasta salad with mandarin oranges? Me too! Check out this recipe!
Mandarin Spinach Pasta Salad
- Find a large bowl. Gently add the kale to the bowl. Top with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and oranges. Set aside.
- Prepare pasta per the directions on the box. Drain with cool water, to completely cool the pasta.
- Add the pasta to your to the bowl, toss ingredients together.
- Whisk together the sunseed spread, coconut aminos and sriracha. Top on the salad.
All though this website attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, the information should only be considered an estimate. Varying factors such as different product types, different brands, etc. can change nutritional information. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information as a double check.
I told you that recipe was delicious! I’d love to talk! Drop me a comment below telling me if you have ever tried pasta in your greens! Pasta and Salad, does it go together?
Here is an image to PIN for later!