In the fall, the salad flavors are full of apples, cranberries, and a variety of nuts. Apple spinach salad is a sweet and savory mixture of spinach, apples, pecans, cranberries, and feta cheese finished with a maple dijon vinaigrette. This salad is also perfect topped with chicken and bacon. I could eat this salad every single day it was so good.
Salads shouldn't be complicated to make. Let's be honest, healthy food needs to be just as easy as junk food or no one will eat it. This fall ran apple pecan salad is just that - SO EASY to make.
What to Put in a Fall Spinach Salad
The base ingredients of this spinach salad are simple. I love having a simple salad recipe on hand. The ingredients for this simple apple spinach salad are:
- Baby Spinach - Now, you can buy the larger leafed spinach and chop it up. I have done this too. But the baby spinach bags are the perfect amount of greens for this apple spinach salad.
- Apples - Honey crisp apples are what I have on hand, so that is what I used in this salad. But any sweet and slightly tart apple will work. I just tend to be sweeter than tart in my apple choices.
- Feta Cheese - A block of feta cheese is ah-mazing in this salad. Granted the crumbled works just as well too.
- Cranberries and Pecans - I am obsessed with this cranberries and pecans salad topping. You easily can just use chopped pecans and dried cranberries too. But who doesn't just love an easy combination of the two in one package!
- Onions - Completely optional but add a great bite to the salad. Red or sweet onions are great in this salad. Green onions could also be a great
- Maple Dijon Vinaigrette - Homemade vinaogrette is also a plus. This is my new favorite dressing to make at home.
Vinaigrette is a simple combination of oil, vinegar or acid, and sweet. The maple dijon vinaigrette is no different. The ingredients for this maple dijon vinaigrette are full of fall flavors too.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - If you don't have apple cider vinegar, white vinegar can work. I would add some apple juice or cider in addition to the vinegar too.
- Olive Oil - Extra virgin olive oil is my go-to for this vinaigrette. Avocado oil can also work as well.
- Maple Syrup - The 100% real maple syrup. Not the pancake artificial syrup. Honey can also be substituted in this recipe for maple syrup.
- Dijon Mustard - Standard dijon mustard is perfect for this. I wouldn't substitute another mustard for this.
- Garlic - Fresh chopped garlic is best. In a pinch, it can also be omitted or garlic powder could be used.
- Salt and Pepper - Nothing is complete without salt and pepper.
How to Make an Apple Spinach Salad
Making this salad is simple. Start by layering the spinach in a large salad bowl. If the leaves are fairly large, chop the salad with a pair of salad choppers. Then layer the chopped apples and crumbled feta cheese over the spinach.
Over the top of the feta cheese layer diced onion if you are using it. Then spoon the pecan and cranberries over the top of the onions. All the salad lovers of the world celebrated this awesome salad.
How to Make Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
In a small bowl or dressing maker bottle, begin to make the vinaigrette. Start by adding the apple cider vinegar followed by the olive oil. Then add the maple syrup and the dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper plus the fresh chopped garlic.
When you are ready to eat serve the salad tossed and dressed. If you are going to eat this throughout the week, do not predress the salad.
Dinner Salad Recipes
Apple Spinach Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
Apple Spinach Salad
- 10 ounces baby spinach
- 1 apple
- 6 ounces feta cheese
- ½ cup cranberries and pecans
- ½ onion
Maple Dijon Dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove
- salt and pepper
- Chop apples and onions for salad.
- In a large salad bowl, dump the baby spinach. Chop if larger than bite size. Layer the apples and feta over the spinach.
- Sprinkle the onion the cranberries and pecans over next over the salad.
Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
- In a dressing bottle, mix vinegar, olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, and chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Mix.