Holiday Lettuce Salad

My friend, Gini, whips up this gorgeous salad every Christmas! Her Holiday Lettuce Salad is full of candied almonds, apple, mandarin oranges, and dried cranberries. This terrific dish was served at a bridal shower I recently co-hosted and I got numerous requests for the recipe–it’s that good!!!

Holiday Lettuce Salad | Easy enough for any time of the year, yet impressive enough for special occasions!

Holiday Lettuce Salad

This salad is simple enough to whip up for a Sunday night family dinner, but also notable enough to serve for a special occasion like a bridal shower or holiday. The candied almonds take a few minutes to cook, but they’re really simple after you get the hang of it. Add the sugar to a saute pan and turn on the heat. Then toss in the almonds and stir. It will take a minute or two before the sugar starts to melt, but you don’t want to hurry things along or you might end up with a burnt mess.  You continue to cook and stir, till the sugar is totally melted and the almonds darken to a golden brown. These sugar coated nuts are part of what makes this an irresistible salad.

Holiday Lettuce Salad | Easy enough for any time of the year, yet impressive enough for special occasions!

A Melange of Ingredients and Textures

The almonds add crunch, the cranberries have a chewy bite, the oranges are tender and sweet and the apples are crisp and tart. A simple and sweet dressing brings it all together. If you want to cut your apples ahead of time, go ahead and make the dressing early, too. Toss the cut apples in a bit of the dressing and the vinegar will prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown. Besides the outstanding flavors, the bright colors of green, orange and red make this holiday lettuce salad a picture perfect addition to any table!

Holiday Lettuce Salad

Serves 4-6 servings     adjust servings

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins

A lettuce salad delicious enough for special occasions, but easy enough for every day!


  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 bag of lettuce
  • 1 small granny smith apple, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 11-ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 green onions, sliced (white and light green ends)


  1. Combine almonds with 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a saute pan. Cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and almonds are light brown. Cool on wax paper.
  2. In a small liquid measuring cup, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar with the vinegar, salt and pepper. Drizzle in the oil while whisking continuously. Set aside.
  3. In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, apples, oranges, cranberries and green onions. Toss with dressing before serving.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 482kcal Calories from fat 311
% Daily Value
Total Fat 35g 54%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Transfat 0g
Sodium 296mg 12%
Carbohydrate 44g 15%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 35g
Protein 4g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
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Holiday Lettuce Salad | Easy enough for any time of the year, yet impressive enough for special occasions!


  1. Such a great idea to add the citruses!

  2. Fresh, seasonal and good for you…exactly what I would love for my lunch!

  3. Love it! Crisp tart apples are the best salad add in!

  4. Melange is a good word — I don’t use it enough! And really love this melange of flavors and textures. We’re definitely getting into salad season (had some last night), so your timing is perfect. This looks just terrific — thanks so much.

  5. This looks and sounds like the perfect accompaniment to the heavy feasts we usually stuff ourselves with during the holidays and I bet even the guys would like it with all of those textures and flavours.

  6. Summer is in the air and I absolutely love this salad. It’s so healthy, fresh and I bet it’s also super filling!

  7. the salad is amazing! Healthy and fresh!

  8. I love the fruit and the candied almonds in this salad. Sounds delicious!!

  9. Deelish! Love fruity salads!

  10. Easter in France is like Christimas time! we eat all the time, chocolate, cakes….this salad is perfect for “détox” ! I like everything inside specially orange ! Very nice salad Liz !

  11. Pinning and saving this recipe, Liz! Wondering if I might use fresh mikan – Mandarin oranges =)

  12. So pretty and I would enjoy this all by myself. My picky family would turn their noses up at the fruit and nuts.


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