This Apple Salad is perfect for fall! Fresh, crisp and full of textures and seasonal flavors like tart apples, sweet dried cranberries and crunchy toasted pecans. Mixed with sliced brussels sprouts and mixed greens, all expertly tossed in a homemade apple vinaigrette dressing. Toss this together in no time for an easy side dish or lunch option!
Fall Apple Salad
Ready to dive into fall but still slightly struggling to say goodbye to summer? Bridge the gap with the perfect salad combo! Apple salad is fresh and bright while utilizing those fall veggies and flavors.
Hearty brussels sprouts, mixed greens, tart apples, toasted pecans, salty cheese and sweet dried cranberries and pomegranate seeds are the perfect blend of summer and fall flavors. Topped with a tangy, homemade vinaigrette dressing, it just doesn’t get much better than this!
Why I Love This Salad
- It’s a great side dish, lunch, or dinner option! Keep it as is for a side or add some baked or grilled chicken on top for a full meal. Filling enough for dinner, yet light enough for lunch. It can be made ahead of time (same goes for the dressing) so it’s an easy meal prep option too!
- It’s versatile. You can skip the prep work of the brussels sprouts (or buy pre shredded) and opt for just the mixed greens, spinach, or kale as your base. Swap the cheese for feta, goat cheese, blue cheese or your favorite and even swap the fruit and use oranges or pears to keep things exciting.
RECIPE VARIATION: Swap in pears and blue cheese for a tasty twist on this easy fall salad recipe!
More Salad Recipes
Apple Salad Recipe Ingredients
This Fall Apple Salad is simple to toss together and perfect for the crisp weather ahead! As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need…
For the Fall Salad:
- pecan halves – Roughly chopped and toasted.
- brussels sprouts – Trim the bottoms and remove the outer leaves.
- baby spring mix – Any blend or brand is fine.
- apples – Granny Smith or Honeycrisp are my favorites. Make sure they are thinly sliced.
- crumbled cheese – You can use feta, goat cheese, blue cheese. Really any crumbly cheese is delicious in this salad.
- dried cranberries and pomegranate seeds – These add a touch of sweetness and fall flavor!
For the Apple Vinaigrette:
- high-quality apple juice or apple cider – I like to use one that has minimal sugar.
- apple cider vinegar – For that unique, tart flavor.
- pure maple syrup – You could use honey as well.
- dijon mustard – I love the tangy flavor this adds.
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – To taste.
- extra virgin olive oil – To give our salad dressing a good base.
How To Toast Pecans
Toasted pecans add a ton of flavor to this falls salad! They are quick and easy to make too.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread pecans evenly on a small baking sheet.
- Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so until the pecans are lightly browned and fragrant.
- Remove from the oven and let cool before adding to salad.
How To Make Fall Apple Salad
For the Salad:
- Slice the brussels sprouts into thin pieces using a very sharp knife, mandolin, or food processor (I find this to be the easiest route if you have a food processor with a shredding attachment handy). There should be 6-8 cups of sliced brussels sprouts once finished.
- Toss the brussels sprouts and the spring mix together in a large bowl.
- Arrange the sliced apples in a layer over the greens. Add the crumbled cheese, dried cranberries, and pomegranate seeds on top.
- Sprinkle the salad with the cooled, toasted pecans as the final layer.
For the Apple Vinaigrette
- Whisk together the apple juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt, and ground pepper in a medium bowl.
- Drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. Whisk continuously until the oil is fully incorporated and the dressing is nice and thick.
- Serve the salad with the apple vinaigrette over top or on the side. Store the dressing in the refrigerator if not using it right away. Enjoy.
Trish’s Tip: Skip the whisking and add all the dressing ingredients to a jar with a screw top lid. Shake vigorously for a minute or so and enjoy!
This delicious salad can be stored in an airtight refrigerator for up to 5 days with the dressing stored on the side. If the salad has already been tossed, about 2 days before it gets too soggy.
The vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight container (a mason jar works wonderfully) in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Apple Salad FAQs
How Do I Make Homemade Toasted Pecans?
This is a super simple trick to get flavorful, roasted pecans you can use in a multitude of recipes! Preheat your oven to 350°F and spread the pecans out in an even layer on a small baking sheet. Toast for 7-10 minutes, checking every couple minutes to stir them around. They are ready when they are a light golden brown and are slightly fragrant.
What’s The Easiest Way To Slice The Brussel Sprouts?
If you have one, definitely use a food processor with a shredding attachment. When you’re working with a large quantity it saves so much time and muscle aches! You can, however, use a mandolin or sharp knife if a food processor isn’t available.
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
- For a slight variation, try using romaine lettuce and pears!
- I used Simply Apple Juice but apple cider is amazing in the dressing! But that’s up to your preference, you can make the dressing as sweet as you’d like!
- Spinach is a great green substitute as well!
- For some added protein, try adding baked or grilled chicken.
More Fall Side Dishes
How To Make Apple Salad
Fall Apple Salad
For the Salad
- ½ cup pecan halves roughly chopped, toasted (see notes)
- 2 pounds brussels sprouts trimmed and outer leaves removed
- 8 cups baby spring mix use your favorite blend
- 2 apples thinly sliced (Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, etc.)
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese feta, goat cheese, blue cheese, any crumbly cheese will work
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
For the Apple Vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup apple juice I used Simply Apple Juice but apple cider is also delicious
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
- ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place Brussels sprouts in a food processor with a slicing or shredding attachment and slice the brussel sprouts until broken up into thin pieces. You can also use a sharp knife to do this or a mandoline (be careful!). You should end up with about 6 to 8 cups of sliced brussels sprouts.
- In a large bowl or deep platter, toss the brussels sprouts with the spring mix.
- Artfully arrange the sliced apples, and then top with crumbled cheese, dried cranberries and pomegranate seeds. Finish the salad with a sprinkling of the cooled, toasted pecans.
Prepare the Apple Vinaigrette
- In a glass measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together apple juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
- Slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil as you continue to whisk. Continue whisking until the dressing is thick and the oil is fully incorporated. (Alternatively, add oil to a container with a lid. Place the lid on securely and shake jar or container until the ingredients are incorporated. Store vinaigrette in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Serve the salad with the vinaigrette drizzled over the top with extra on the side.