Joanna Gaines' Crunchy-Sweet Asian Salad is Easy to Love

There’s a lot to love about this simple salad from Joanna Gaines’ new cookbook, Magnolia Table, Volume 2. It pairs fresh, spring lettuce with pantry staples for a quick, light starter or easy lunch. “The toasted almonds—tossed with honey and then coated with sesame seeds—are the real stars here,” says Gaines. “They’re delicious enough on their own that I like to make an extra half-batch to snack on.”

Related: One-Skillet Chicken Florentine from Joanna Gaines' New Cookbook

To elevate this to main-dish status, just add cooked chicken or shrimp, or seared beef.

Related: 30 Best Summer Salad Recipes

[From Magnolia Table, Volume 2 by Joanna Gaines. Copyright © 2020 by Joanna Gaines. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.]

Joanna Gaines' Crunchy-Sweet Asian Salad Recipe


  • ½ cup rice vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp water

  • ½ tsp kosher salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar; shake to combine.


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, toss almonds and olive oil. Add honey and coarse salt; toss to combine. Spread almonds evenly on sheet pan. Roast 12 minutes or until toasted, stirring every 2–3 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with sesame seeds; stir to coat. Let stand 10 minutes. Break up any clumps of almonds.

  3. Drain mandarins, reserving liquid. Spread mandarins on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Add reserved liquid to dressing in jar; shake well.

  4. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, mandarins, almonds and chow mein noodles. Drizzle with ¼ cup dressing; toss to coat. Serve with remaining dressing on the side. (Refrigerate leftover dressing in an airtight container up to 5 days.)