This unbelievably flavor-packed Apple Pecan Salad should be on the top of your must-make list. Sweet apples, crunchy pecans, with a zing from blue cheese, balanced with carrots and paired with mixed greens, hello fabulous. Top it all off with a sweet and tangy Maple Cider Vinaigrette, go on, make it and enjoy.
Whether you are looking for a delicious lunch or dinner salad, this one is a fabulous choice. A well-rounded bed of greens that is full of fabulous ingredients will always be a crowd-pleaser.
The greens take little very little time to assemble the ingredients. You can use a mandoline or food processor to shred the carrots. Save more time and buy pre-shredded carrots. It is really a matter of just chopping your veggies. This is really a no-brainer delicious, easy recipe!
The Best Apples to Use
For this particular salad, we use an Envy Apple. They are not easy to find so other apples will work. Gala and Braeburn are two that work well with greens. Love apples, this is the apple guide for you from the University of Illinois,
Mixed greens with apples is a great way to add fruit to our daily diet.
I also find younger kids will eat their veggies when apples are involved.
I will say, not all kids love gorgonzola, so feel free to swap out to another cheese or no cheese, for my Vegan friends.
Can I add a protein to my Apple Pecan Salad?
Yes, feel free to add in a protein. Grilled chicken or beef would be perfect with this salad! These are two of my favorite grilled chicken marinades, Dijon lime marinade, and Basil Vinaigrette.
What other cheese can be used with mixed greens?
For those who don't love blue cheese as I do, I still love you, feel free to use feta, goat cheese, or gouda.
Can I use other nuts besides pecans?
Absolutely. Walnuts, pistachios, even sunflower seeds are delicious in the salad.
Peanut Allergy? Don't use nuts. Add croutons for a crunchy factor.
How can you prevent apple slices from turning brown?
You want to ensure the apples don't brown. That just looks ugly. Sprinkle lemon juice on the apple slices right after slicing. I don't have an issue with browning. With that said, you have to use the apple slices within an hour or two. Slice those apples close to the time you are ready to enjoy your salad with apples.
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- Mandoline: I use mine all the time. Great slicing and cutting.
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Let's talk about the healthy ingredients in Maple Cider Vinaigrette:
- I absolutely love maple cider vinaigrette! It is a healthier dressing that works with so many recipes. Feel free to use it as a marinade for chicken or pork too.
- The apple cider vinegar I use and highly recommend is the raw-unfiltered apple cider vinegar. A little more expensive than a grocery store brand but the health benefits are worth it.
- I use pure Maple syrup! By pure, I mean the real deal 100% pure maple sweetener. It is a natural sweetener.
Want some salad addition ideas?
- hard-boiled eggs - adds more protein and make this more of a dinner salad.
- avocadoes - always a plus for salads.
- leftover proteins - leftover steak and chicken are delicious on top of this salad.
- dried fruits - gives extra flavor and a hint of sweetness.
What can I make with the mixed greens:
- Creamless Butternut Squash Soup: Soup and a salad, a perfect pairing.
- Dairy-Free Corn Chowder: a fabulous chowder with this salad is a great dinner.
- French Dip Sandwiches: A delicious duo.
How to Assemble Apple Pecan Salad:
- Shred carrots. Dice the other veggies celery, red onions, and celery. Have crumbled blue cheese ready.
- Slice the apples and sprinkle with lemon juice.
- Ensure your lettuce is clean and dry. Place in a bowl and put apples, veggies, and cheese on top.
How to Make Maple Cider Vinaigrette:
- In a medium bowl, add minced garlic, pure apple cider vinegar, apple cider, juice of a lemon, pure maple syrup, Dijon mustard, black pepper, and salt.
- Add in olive oil, whisk while you combine the dressing.
- Store the salad dressing in the fridge for up to a week in a well-sealed container.
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Apple Pecan Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette
Apple Pecan Salad ingredients
- 8 cups salad greens
- 2 Apples, sliced thin Note 1
- 1 cup shredded carrots Note 2
- 1 cup diced celery
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
How to Make Maple Cider Vinaigrette
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 2 Tablespoons pure Maple Syrup Note 3
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup homemade apple cider store-bought apple cider can be used
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon salt Note 3
To Assemble to Apple Pecan Salad
- In a large bowl, add salad greens. Top with sliced apples, shredded carrots, celery, chopped pecans, red onions, and Gorgonzola cheese. Top with Maple Cider Vinaigrette.
To Make Maple Cider Vinaigrette
- In a medium bowl, whisk to combine minced garlic, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, apple cider. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with ground black pepper, and salt. Check and readjust seasoning, if needed. Top the apple pecan salad with the dressing.
- I am not a registered dietician, I do my best to provide the most accurate nutritional values. Any nutritional data I provide is an approximation. Actual dietary information can vary based on ingredients and portion sizes