Components for a mandarin salad layered in a mason jar - dressing, mandarin slices, onions, sprouts, pine nuts, and greens. Additional ingredients surround the jar.

Citrus season is such a joy! When all the other produce is lacking in the winter—the apples are going mealy, the strawberries are barely even pink, and the watermelons are just…water—citrus comes riding in on its bright and flavorful horse to save the day!

This Sunshine Mandarin Orange Salad is a celebration of the glory that is winter citrus. This salad brings sunshine into my heart—even when I’m dealing with another cold and gray Midwestern winter day.

Ingredients for a sunshine mandarin salad in individual bowls.

What is a mason jar salad?

Mason jar salads have all the components of a fresh salad layered in, you guessed it, a mason jar. Meal prep some salads in a jar, and you’ll have easy access to perfectly fresh veggies for lunch all week long. We have a comprehensive post with all the information you need to build a perfect salad in a jar if you want to know more.

But wait, won’t the salad get limp from being in the jar with the dressing?

Not if you pack it in the right order! The key to keeping this Sunshine Mandarin Orange Salad in a Jar fresh and crisp is to keep the wet ingredients (the dressing and mandarin slices!) separated from the greens. The sprouts, red onions, and pine nuts will form a sort of buffer to keep the lettuce and spinach dry. Just don’t tilt the jar until it is time to eat, and you’ll be all set!

A hand pours orange marmalade vinaigrette from a measuring cup into the bottom of a mason jar.

What salad dressing goes well with this Mandarian Orange Salad?

I paired this salad with an off-the-charts delicious Orange Marmalade Vinaigrette. It might sound strange to use Orange Marmalade in a salad dressing, but jams and jellies are a GREAT base for dressing (we do it in our Strawberry Spinach Salad, too). Jam has a great concentrated fruit flavor, plus it adds sweetness and thickening power to the dressing. Nowadays, the jam and jelly aisle is chock-full of natural options—I’d recommend tracking down an orange marmalade that is free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors and colors.

How far in advance can I make this salad?

Thanks to the fruit, you’ll only get about 2-3 days out of this one.

Two jars full of salad components for a citrus salad - dressing, mandarin slices, onions, sprouts, pine nuts, and greens.

Can I use fresh mandarin, tangerine, or clementine wedges in this salad?

I use canned mandarins here because they are easy, affordable, and tasty! But if you have fresh citrus around, you can definitely use those in your salad. I do recommend you segment those wedges for the best salad-eating experience. Here is a great video showing how to segment (also called “supreming”) citrus—it’s a wonderful kitchen skill to master!

What should I serve it with?

This salad is wonderful topped with grilled chicken to turn it into a main dish. As a side salad, it pairs beautifully with any kind of fish. Enjoy!

Components for a mandarin salad layered in a mason jar - dressing, mandarin slices, onions, sprouts, pine nuts, and greens. Additional ingredients surround the jar.

Sunshine Mandarin Orange Salad in a Jar

Yield: 1 24-ounce jar
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Citrus is a perfect way to brighten up a salad, and this Sunshine Mandarin Orange Salad in a Jar is a meal prep that will bring sunshine into your lunchbox!


For the Orange Marmalade Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Salad


  1. To make the dressing, combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid, and then shake to combine.
  2. To make the salad, layer the salad ingredients in the order listed into the jar, packing in as many greens as you need to create a tight pack. Cover the jar, and place it in the fridge for up to a week.
  3. To eat, dump the entire contents of the jar into a bowl, toss, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 24 ounce jar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 844Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1099mgCarbohydrates: 115gFiber: 7gSugar: 95gProtein: 9g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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  1. I think I will try this without the marmalade and using fresh mandarins. The nutritional info says 107 grams of sugar and the sodium seems high too. Is that correct?

    1. Those numbers are calculated automatically, so they are accounting for the entire batch of salad dressing. But since you are only using 3 tablespoons of the dressing, it isn’t actually that high.

      1. I adjusted the recipe to just make as much dressing as you need for a 24 ounce jar, so the numbers should be closer. Not sure why the sodium is calculating so high, as it shouldn’t be – I’ll look into it further!