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white bowl with apple pecan salad with cranberries and vinagirette
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Apple Pecan and Spinach Salad

This Apple Pecan Salad with maple vinaigrette is delightfully sweet with savory cubes of cheddar cheese! Fresh spinach, crisp apples, and crunchy roasted pecans are tossed together to create a delicious cranberry pecan salad that is vegetarian and healthy.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 524kcal
Author Rena

Ingredients

Maple Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper to taste

Salad Base

  • 6 cups baby spinach packed
  • 2 apples large; cut into medium cubes and drizzled with lemon juice
  • 4 ounces cheddar aged white or yellow; cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup pecans roasted
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, put all the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk until emulsified then set aside.
  • Add the spinach, apple, cheddar cubes, pecans, and cranberries in a large bowl.
  • Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

Tips
  • Use any kind of fresh greens instead of spinach such as arugula, spring mix, romaine, etc.
  • Make this a vegan salad by omitting the cheese.
  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Prepare the dressing ahead of time and store it in a sealed jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Use pears instead of apples.
  • Instead of cheddar cheese, crumble the salad with goat, feta, or blue cheese.
  • Use agave nectar or honey instead of maple syrup.

Nutrition

Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 548mg | Potassium: 550mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 4576IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 294mg | Iron: 3mg