We’re still getting snow here in Buffalo. But you know what….I’m over it! It’s April 10th gosh darn it!! I’m ready for the Spring weather. Bring on the sunshine and the flowers and the fresh air. I put my boots away…but not my snow brush. That would just be CRAZY!! It IS Buffalo you know. And I’m officially closing soup season and swapping it for salad season. I’m kicking it off with one of my favorites, Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad with Maple-Vinaigrette. This fresh spinach salad is loaded with goodies. I love it because there’s so much to crunch on! Piled high with crisp apples, tart cranberries, toasted pecans, flavorful red onions, crumbled feta and a homemade maple-vinaigrette. This salad really has something for everyone!
Here’s all you’ll need: baby spinach, an apple, pecans, feta, red onion, dried cranberries, olive oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
We’ll start with the spinach as our base. Place spinach in a large salad bowl. Spinach is one of my favorite salad greens. It’s a tougher, sturdier leaf that can stand up against all of these delicious add ins! Thinly slice the red onions and toss em in! This salad can easily be doubled to serve a larger crowd, or halved for a romantic dinner for two.
Now thinly slice the apples discarding the core. Then layer on top of the spinach and onion. I’m a sweets girl so fruit in salad is the BEST!!
Then mix in the feta cheese and the dried cranberries. Feta is a nice, salty cheese that really mellows out the red onion flavor. I’m a fan of all the cheeses that crumble!! And feta is no exception! And the cranberries add an unexpected tartness to the mix. Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad is bursting at the seams with unique flavors. But somehow they all work together!
Add the pecans to a pan and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Once the pecans begin to become fragrant, they’re done! Don’t forget to stir them occasionally. We don’t want them to burn. Toasting the pecans really enhances their flavor! With all this crunchiness, there’s no need for croutons. You won’t eve miss em!
Now let’s make our vinaigrette! You won’t believe how easy it is to make your own dressing. Add the oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste to a container with a lid. Cover with lid and shake to blend. And guess what? We’re done! Salad dressing in two seconds flat!
Drizzle the dressing over top and toss to combine. Yum!! So much goodness in one little salad!! Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad makes it feel like Springtime…in my mind at least!! What’s your favorite Springtime Salad? Wanna make this salad even better? Pair with our Honey Squash Dinner Rolls!
Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad with Maple-Vinaigrette
- 6 oz baby spinach
- 1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
- 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 small red onion, sliced
- Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Step 1 Place spinach in a large salad bowl. Top with thinly sliced red onions. Layer with thinly sliced apple.
- Step 2 Add the pecans to a pan and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Step 3 Add the pecans, feta, and dried cranberries to the salad.
- Step 4 In a small container (with a lid) combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and shake to combine.
- Step 5 Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine. Enjoy!
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