The Only Craisin Salad Recipe You Need Is Right Here

photos of a craisin salad recipe

Craisin Salad With Spinach And Toasted Almonds

Last Sunday our extended family got together for a potluck-type Easter dinner. I decided to bring the Fleming’s Steakhouse Potatoes from my earlier Easter dinner post and one of my favorite salads — a Craisin Salad.

Before I started preparing my dishes, I did what I usually do, hopped on the website to get the recipe. Imagine my surprise when I did a search for the craisin salad recipe and it didn’t come up! I could have sworn I had posted about this dried cranberry salad before, but I guess it was just wishful thinking.

Today I am rectifying this situation because it’s a really delicious recipe, but more importantly because I have come to rely on this website as my “recipe book” and I must make it as complete as possible! :-)

The Best Craisin Salad Recipe

ingredients for a craisin salad recipe


For the salad:

  • 2 bunches of fresh spinach
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 pears (or apples), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
ingredients for craisin salad recipe dressing

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup olive or canola oil (canola has a lighter taste)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
rinsing spinach in water in a sink


I prefer to give the spinach a cold water bath before making this salad. It helps to get all the dirt out (spinach is notorious for having lots of dirt and grit in it) and also helps crisp the leaves. I bought spinach to make this salad last Saturday and left it out on the counter overnight. In the morning it was all sad and wilty! After a 20 minute bath in cold water it was better than when I bought it!

dressing for a craisin salad recipe

While the spinach is in the “bathtub,” make the dressing. Add the oil, dry mustard, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a medium-sized bowl and whisk together.

mixing craisins with a little bit of the salad dressing

Put the craisins in a small bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of the dressing. This will help soften them up a bit before you add them to the salad. This is a good time to toast the almonds as well. Don’t worry about the spinach, it is getting happier and happier as it soaks!

toasting almonds in a pan for a craisin salad recipe

Toss the slivered almonds into a dry skillet over low heat. Stir occasionally until they are nicely browned and toasty. (Watch them carefully! I burned my first batch and ALMOST burned the second!) Let cool.

drying spinach in a pillowcase

After soaking the spinach in cold water for 15 – 20 minutes, I shake most of the water out of it with my hands and then throw the spinach in a clean pillow case, tie it shut, and throw it in the clothes dryer on “air dry” (NO HEAT!) for about 60 seconds. Works like a charm! (A salad spinner would also work, but you will probably have to split it up into a couple spin batches.)

spinach in a big bowl

At this point you can take the stems off spinach (or leave them on, personal preference) and place the clean, dry spinach in a bowl that is large enough to toss in. This recipe makes a LOT of salad!

thinly slicing red onions on a mandolin

Add cheese, onion, pear, almonds, & craisins. I like to slice the red onion and pears very thinly on my mandoline slicer, but you can also dice them. Again, personal preference.

finished craisin salad recipe in a bowl

Pour on half the dressing and toss everything together. Continue adding dressing to taste, then serve immediately. (Don’t toss with the dressing until just before serving, or it will get soggy.) So happy to have this family favorite in my online “recipe book,” and I hope your family enjoys it as well! :-)

Do you have a favorite cranberry salad or craisin salad?

A bowl of craisin salad with almonds.

Craisin Salad With Toasted Almonds

Jill Nystul
This Craisin Salad is one of my favorites. It’s a really delicious recipe with sweetness and crunch from fresh fruit and toasted almonds, and a bit of salty flavor from shaved parmesan.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 451 kcal



  • 2 bunches fresh spinach
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 pears thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds toasted
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shaved
  • 1 cup craisins


  • 1/2 to 1 cup canola oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Wash and dry your spinach.
  • Add the oil, dry mustard, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a medium-sized bowl and whisk together.
  • Put the craisins in a small bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of the dressing to soften.
  • Toss the slivered almonds into a dry skillet over low heat. Stir occasionally until they are nicely browned.
  • Place the clean, dry spinach in a large salad bowl, then add the cheese, onions, pears or apples, almonds, and craisins.
  • Just before serving, add the dressing and toss.


Serving: 4gCalories: 451kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 8gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 627mgPotassium: 830mgFiber: 7gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 10715IUVitamin C: 36mgCalcium: 224mgIron: 4mg

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

  • Yup, make my own version of this all the time. I add grilled chicken breast and chopped avocado to make it a complete meal. Sometimes instead of almonds I use sunflower seeds, and sometimes add chopped dates and mandarin oranges to the craisins. I guess you can customize to taste. Major yumminess!

  • Yum, yum, yum!
    I like the color the Craisins add. In Japan, meals typically have ingredients that are 5 different colors, not only does it allow the eyes to feast but different colored foods add different nutritional values to the meal. Salads are a perfect way to do this. Adding black olives or black beans would get this salad there. Green, red, yellow, white, black.
    Once you start cooking this way food just doesn’t look finished unless there are 5.

    • CTY,
      I found your information on how the 5 colours in preparing meals is done in Japan and the rationale was new to me but makes sense.
      I’m going to start incorporating this in the meals I prepare.

  • It’s so funny that you posted this recipe. I actually had this salad at the same restaurant several years ago, and because I thought it was so delicious at the time, I asked them how they made it. I’ve been making it periodically since then for myself and for potlucks. However, they have, apparently, modified the recipe because at the time they didn’t have pears in the salad. I can’t wait to try it, now, with the new addition.

    • Correction: actually, now that I think about it, I had this salad at Carver’s in Draper – not Fleming’s. That’s probably why my salad didn’t have pears. But, it was still so yummy!

  • I had never heard of craisins either ( I live in Sweden), I thought it was some kind of raisins. Luckily, I googled them and found out it´s just dried cranberries !

  • Never heard of Craisins before. looks like raisins with cranberries ?? any alternatives?

    I am in South Africa, so I guess we are lagging behind


  • I do a similar salad using mandarin oranges instead of pears. Any nice viniagrette dressing will work. And I use toasted pecans instead of almonds….I’ll have to try this version!

  • The salad sound delicious! Since I’m avoiding sugar I’d use stevia in the dressing. I read a great tip the other day that I’ll share here. To keep the salad from getting soggy from sitting in the dressing that pools at the bottom of the bowl, put a saucer upside down in the bottom. The dressing will be on the bottom while the saucer helps keep the salad itself up out of it. Neat idea, huh? It wouldn’t have to be a saucer – any gently domed item would work.

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