This Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad features crisp apples, dried cranberries, feta cheese, and hearty walnuts to create the perfect Autumn-inspired salad. It is an easy and delicious side dish for any of your favorite meals!
Why This Recipe Works
Fresh & Flavorful: This apple cranberry walnut salad is the perfect fresh addition to any holiday meal! Let’s be honest, the holidays bring a lot of food that isn’t exactly healthy for us. So this salad is great to pair with all of those heavy meals as a way to brighten them up and add some vegetables. The apple salad dressing is bright and tangy, and pairs perfectly with the ingredients in this salad!
Easy to Make: Very little prep work goes into this beautiful apple salad recipe. Cut up the apples to your liking, mix up the dressing and then just toss everything together! Something I really appreciate when making a meal is an easy side salad that tastes delicious and doesn’t take a long time to prepare!
Homemade Vinaigrette: The homemade apple vinaigrette in this recipe really makes it special. Anytime I make a salad these days, I make my own dressing because they are usually easy to make with pantry essentials. Also, I like to know what is going into my dressing instead of having the bottled stuff! The dressing on this apple cranberry walnut salad is tangy with a hint of sweetness. You can also squeeze a slice of lemon on the top for added freshness!
For the Salad
- Salad- I used a combination of arugula and baby spinach, but any spring green mix will do here!
- Red and Green Apple– I like to use both a red and green apple. You can use your favorite apples for this recipe!
- Walnuts– Roughly chopped walnuts are great to get a little bite of walnut instead of a whole walnut!
- Feta Cheese– Feta cheese crumbles add a savory flavor to the salad. You can replace this with any of your favorite cheese.
- Dried Cranberries– Dried cranberries are great for flavor and texture in this salad.
For the Dressing
- Apple Juice- To continue with the autumn-inspired theme, an apple based dressing pairs super well.
- Apple Cider Vinegar– A bit of apple cider vinegar adds a tangy flavor to the dressing. You can use white vinegar in a pinch, but keep in mind that apple cider vinegar has a more apple-like flavor that will pair well here.
- Honey– A little bit of honey adds sweetness and balances the tangy flavor of the apple and vinegar.
- Salt & Black Pepper– Season with a bit of salt & pepper!
- Oil– Olive oil works really well here and adds some healthy fat!
Here’s How to Make It
Step by Step Instructions
- Core and chop apples to your liking. I like them in this slices or in 1 inch chunks. Toss the lettuce, apples, walnuts, feta, bacon, and cranberries together in a large bowl.
- Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Toss with the salad immediately before serving, and enjoy!
- This salad is also delicious with my Lemon Poppyseed Dressing and I highly recommend giving it a try! However, if you don’t want to make homemade dressing then use a Balsamic vinaigrette.
- You can make this salad your own by switching out ingredients as you like. The apples make this salad autumn-inspired, but you can switch out the walnuts for pecans, or cranberries for any other dried fruit!
- If you aren’t crazy about feta cheese, you can add mozzarella, cheddar, or even goats cheese if you prefer!
- Toss the salad you plan to eat with the dressing, then you can store the leftover salad and dressing separately in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can eat is over a couple of days this way! If you toss all of the salad with the dressing and have leftovers, you can still store it in the fridge but not for more than one day.
More Salad Recipe to Try
- Chopped Autumn Salad
- Apple Pecan Bacon Salad
- Chicken Bacon & Avocado Salad
- Broccoli Apple Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
- Cranberry Almond Salad with Sesame Dressing
Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad
- 6 cups salad - (I used a combination of arugula and baby spinach, any spring green mix will do)
- 1 red apple
- 1 green apple
- 1 cup walnuts - roughly chopped, (such as Diamond of California)
- 4-6 bacon strips - cooked and chopped (optional)
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup apple juice
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar - (or white vinegar in a pinch)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup oil
Candied Walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup walnut halves
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Core and chop apples (thin slices or 1 inch chunks). Toss lettuce, apples, walnuts, feta, bacon (if using) and cranberries together in a large bowl.
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients or combine in a jar and shake vigorously. Toss with salad immediately before serving. Enjoy!
- Line a baking sheet with greased parchment or a nonstick baking mat. In a medium nonstick pan over medium heat, melt butter and sugar.
- Once butter is melted, stir in the walnuts, salt, and cinnamon. Continue to stir til walnuts are well coated. Remove from heat and immediately spread walnuts out in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes.