Crunchy Apple Salad – A couple is cooking

This easy apple salad recipe is a treat with crunchy fruit, veggies, cheese sprinkles, and a tangy maple vinaigrette.

apple salad

Do you have an apple? Here’s an easy way to turn it into a beautiful side dish: this stunning one apple salad recipe! If we could eat one salad the rest of the time, this is it. Crunchy apple slices pair with pomegranate seeds, creamy goat cheese and crunchy cinnamon-spiced pecans. Toss them over fresh veggies with a tangy maple apple cider vinegar dressing, and it’s real Salad Perfection. Here’s our best ever apple salad recipe, perfect for weeknights, dinner parties, Thanksgiving and more.

Ingredients in this apple salad recipe

This apple salad recipe is all about minimal ingredients with maximum impact. It’s fancy enough to be entertaining, but simple enough to pair with an easy weeknight dinner. The flavors make it a great fall salad or winter salad (perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas), but it works any time of year. What you need for this delicious green salad:

apple salad

The best varieties of apples for a salad

Which apple varieties are suitable for an apple salad? A crunchy, sour apple diversity is best here. You want an apple that’s nice and crunchy when you bite into it, and a bit of acidity in the flavor profile makes for the best pop. Here are our top apple varieties for a salad:

  • pink woman: our favorite apple, hands down! The taste is intensely sweet and sour and has a beautiful bright red colour
  • Granny Smith: it has a great sour taste! We recommend mixing this with another red apple like Pink Lady or Honeycrisp
  • honey crisp: a little sweeter and juicier than Pink Lady, but still a great option
  • Jonathon or Jonagold: these are apples you can pick in an orchard; They also have a nice sweet tart taste

There are many other great apple varieties out there: let us know your favorites in the comments below.

Apple salad recipe

Candied pecans add great flavor

What distinguishes this apple salad? All of the elements contribute, but the candied pecans really add a kick of sweet, cinnamon goodness. Here are a few notes on candied pecans and a few substitutions:

  • Candied pecans only take 35 minutes to make and make a large batch that’s easy to store. It is absolutely worth the time to make a batch that will work for salads for weeks or months.
  • Store at room temperature for 2 weeks or frozen for 3 months. These nuts remain perfectly crunchy and delicious throughout the storage period.
  • Alternatively, try store-bought candied pecans or make toasted pecans. Don’t you want to do it yourself? You can find them at the store or just make toasted pecans! Roasting nuts on the stove brings out their unique flavor.
  • Or try candied walnuts or any other nut you like. Candied walnuts are another great choice! Or try the salad with pistachios, almonds or hazelnuts: just as delicious!
apple salad

Apple Salad Variations: Dressing, Mix-Ins and more

There are many ways to vary this apple salad recipe: as noted above with the nuts. But you can try different dressing options and other mix-ins. Here are a few ideas for alternative dressings and mixes:

apple salad

More salad recipes

This Apple Salad is one of our favorite green salad recipes that’s perfect for both the holidays and a lazy weeknight. But there are so many more riffs in this concept! Here are a few more of our favorite delicious salads:

Looking for more with apples? Head over to our top apple recipes.

This Crunchy Apple Salad Recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For vegans and non-dairy dishes, omit the cheese (and for vegans, use toasted nuts).


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This easy apple salad recipe is a treat with crunchy fruit, veggies, cheese sprinkles, and a tangy maple vinaigrette.

For the salad

For the maple vinaigrette dressing (6 tablespoons)

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

  1. If using, prepare the candied pecans ahead of time (or use store-bought).
  2. Make dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together maple syrup, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper. Whisk in the olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a creamy dressing. (If desired, make ahead and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks; bring to room temperature before serving).
  3. Cut the apple into thin slices.
  4. Place the vegetables on a large platter or individual plates. Garnish with apple slices, candied pecans, goat cheese or feta crumbles and pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries. Garnish with about 6 tablespoons of the dressing (or more to taste) and serve immediately. (To prepare, keep all components separate with fresh ingredients and dressing in the fridge. Toss apples with lemon juice to prevent browning. Bring dressing to room temperature and combine all ingredients just before serving.)

  • Category: salad
  • Method: No chef
  • Kitchen: salad
  • Diet: vegetarian

Keywords: Apple salad, apple salad recipe

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