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Apple Spinach Salad

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This classic apple spinach salad is easy to make with fresh ingredients, tossed with a quick apple cider vinaigrette, and easy to customize with your favorite add-ins!

Apple Spinach Salad Recipe

Crisp fall days call for crisp fall salads like this one! ♡

I’ve been making some version of this apple spinach salad for over a decade now and it’s about as simple as it gets, yet somehow stands the test of time and still always tastes so comforting and delicious. It’s made with a base of tender baby spinach, crisp sliced apples, toasted crumbled walnuts, tangy goat cheese (or feta or gorgonzola), tart dried cranberries, sliced red onion, and a quick apple cider vinaigrette. Perfect served as a side salad, or it can also double easily as an entrée (especially if you toss in some grilled chicken or chewy farro to make it a bit more hearty).

Feel free, of course, to use whatever variety of tart or sweet fresh apples that you love best. And by all means, go ahead and swap in whatever kind of nuts, cheese, or dried fruit that you have on hand too. This recipe is endlessly flexible, so make it your own and enjoy, enjoy!

Apple Spinach Salad Ingredients

Apple Spinach Salad Ingredients

Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few quick notes about the ingredients you will need to make this spinach apple salad recipe…

  • Spinach: I love using fresh baby spinach for this salad, but any of your favorite salad greens will work.
  • Apple: Feel free to use whatever variety of crisp apple that you love best! I typically use a combination of sweet Pink Lady and tart Granny Smith apples, which are some of our favorites this time of year.
  • Red onion: I also like to add in some very thinly sliced red onion to give the salad a bit of bite. However, feel free to briefly rinse the sliced onion in cold water before adding it to the salad, if you would like to mellow out its flavor a bit.
  • Walnuts: I typically make this salad with toasted walnuts or pecans. But just about any variety of nuts or seeds that you prefer will play well in this salad, preferably toasted (if they are not already) to bring out their best flavor.
  • Dried cranberries: A sprinkling of these always adds great color and a hint of extra sweetness.
  • Goat cheese: I love the flavor of tangy goat cheese in this recipe, but feel free to swap in crumbled feta, gorgonzola, or a shredded sharp cheddar if you prefer.
  • Apple cider vinaigrette: Quick and easy to make with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon, garlic, salt and pepper. I highly recommend making a double batch, while you’re at it, to use on another salad later in the week!

Bowl of apple cider vinaigrette

Possible Recipe Variations

As I mentioned above, this recipe is endlessly customizable. So please feel free to swap in whatever ingredients you love best and make it your own! For example, you could also…

  • Add farro: We sometimes cook a quick batch of chewy farro to toss into this salad to make it a bit more hearty.
  • Add a protein: Grilled or baked chicken, shrimp or crispy tofu would all be delicious additions to this salad.
  • Add sweet potato: Roasted diced sweet potato also pairs beautifully with this salad and is in season this time of year.
  • Use different fruit: This salad would also be wonderful made with fresh pears, mandarins, or pomegranate arils in place of (or combined with) the fresh apples.

Tossing Apple Spinach Salad in a mixing bowl

More Favorite Salad Recipes

Looking for more salad recipe inspiration? Check out our full collection of salad recipes here on Gimme Some Oven, or here are a few of my personal faves…

Apple Spinach Salad in Bowl with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

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Apple Spinach Salad Recipe

Apple Spinach Salad

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x

Description

This classic apple spinach salad is easy to make with fresh ingredients, tossed with a quick apple cider vinaigrette, and easy to customize with your favorite add-ins.


Ingredients

Scale

Apple Spinach Salad Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 2 small apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • half of a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Apple Cider Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • a generous pinch of salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the vinaigrette. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl and whisk vigorously (or shake them together in a mason jar) to combine.
  2. Toss the salad. Add spinach, apples, red onion, walnuts, dried cranberries, and half of the goat cheese to a large bowl.  Drizzle with the vinaigrette, and toss to combine.
  3. Serve. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining goat cheese, and enjoy!

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Recipe rating

142 comments on “Apple Spinach Salad”

  1. This salad is absolutely delicious! I added sautéed shrimp.

  2. This is my first time leaving a review on a recipe blog- I absolutely had to because this salad is bomb!! A really great combo of flavors and simple ingredients. I’ll definitely be making this salad a lot more, thank you!

  3. I added a bit of fresh dill to the dressing and all I gotta say is mmmmmm! If you like dill you should definitely put a couple sprigs in it!! Gives it a certain kick!!

  4. Great recipe. Everyone loved it!

  5. SO tasty and easy! This is a keeper!!!

  6. This salad is delicious. I used apple cider vinegar because I was out of champagne vinegar. It was a tad bit tangy, so I will make sure I have the champagne vinegar next time. Used goat cheese, the blue cheese and feta would be just as delicious. I will make this many times. Served with grilled chicken thighs. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  7. Was great! Only didn’t have Dijon mustard so substituted wasabi and dint have feta so I used Asiago. This was amazing! Can’t wait to do again w feta and Dijon

  8. very good but I like it better with bacon fat instead of olive oil.

    • I just made this salad for the first time for a brunch! Wow wow wow! We loved it and now it’ll be on our regular rotation. We’re imagining it with a poached egg and lardons! Thank you!

  9. Making it in single-serve jars for a social distanced dinner. Can’t wait to see how pretty the layers look in the jars!

  10. Oh my, this was absolutely delicious!!! My farm box delivery had fresh spinach and purple onion so this recipe was a perfect way to showcase them. I included the honey, used apple cider vinegar, feta cheese and Pink Lady apples (semi-sweet and crunchy). Since I used blood orange flavored olive oil, I omitted the lemon juice. It really hit the mark taste-wise, a perfect meal at the end of a hot So. California summer day! I can’t wait to make it again.

  11. Awesome!!! I live in pecan country to that’s what I use. Not everyone like “stinky” cheese (but I do!) so I serve it on the side.

  12. This salad was delicious and easy to put together! The toasted walnuts melted the goat cheese and wilted the baby spinach a bit, which helped bring all of the flavors together! The vinaigrette was tasty and complemented the flavors well, but I think I will go a little easier on the Dijon mustard the next time. I will be making this again and love the suggestions and comments others have made. Thank you!

  13. Love it,so delicious .I am saving this, and probably doing few times a week.

  14. Make this salad!!!! It’s sooo yummy! And good for you!!!

  15. I just love the way the author provides suitable substitutions! He really sounds like the real deal to me.
    Love it! We have lots of apples from our farm and eat spinach salads frequently but very excited to try his advice on this one! Thanks

  16. I had to use what I had on hand. Pomegranate Aprils, , toasted walnuts , chopped hard boiled egg, crisp bacon and valpreso (sheep’s feta), Granny Smith apple, red onion and the vinaigrette with balsamic instead of Champaign vinegar. Lots of flavor. I recommend dressing the ingredients and sitting, refrigerated for a half hour before tossing with baby spinach, to soften the sharpness of the red onion. I served a filet mignon and chewy bread alongside. We loved the salad the most!

  17. Just the correct amount of everything! Super delicious and easy.

  18. This is a wonderful recipe and so quick to make. The dressing is delicious!

  19. The combination of the ingredients go so well together. I used most of the ingredients but instead of champagne vinaigrette I used a dab of chunky blue cheese dressing. It was delicious

  20. Is this good for gerd

  21. Great Salad. My picky family loved it!?

  22. This is a very delicious salad. Do you have the nutritional values,

  23. Excellent recipe. So delicious!

  24. Absolutely delicious. I added three drops of agave for sweetener. Used a mandoline for the apples and onion. Used Gorgonzola picante.

  25. That was a delicious salad that my whole family enjoyed! I added quinoa and called it a meal??

  26. How many calories?

  27. So delicious!! I made the dressing without lemon juice as I didn’t have any on hand… still super yummy! Salad was amazing with goat cheese. Also – I didn’t have craisins so I used fresh blueberries instead. It was fantastic.

  28. This is a great recipe. I make it frequently and am always asked for the recipe. So yummy.

  29. How long can i keep the dressing for in the fridge? I have a lot left over

  30. Best recipe ever make it at least once a week

  31. This was so easy and so delicious! Husband raved.

  32. This was so easy and so delicious! Husband raved.

  33. Love this spinach apple salad… and your balsamic vinaigrette :) thanks for feeding us so well! L

  34. Will be trying for the first time! The ingredients sound wonderful. Can’t wait for dinner ?

  35. excellent salad and excellent dressing, loved it!

  36. Delicious and well liked by our guests.

  37. This is an excellent salad. After I made the dressing I thought I would only try a small sample for I had planned to use only half of the spinach and then use the dressing later on something else. This salad is so good made exactly to recipe it became our dinner for the night.

  38. Delicious salad! We did pecans and I did an ambrosia apple with a Granny Smith. So so good!

  39. Love, love this salad? Absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing

  40. Very good recipe. Made it for a group of friends at a bbq. It was very easy to put it together on site and everyone gobbled it up. It’s a keeper.

  41. My husband and I really love this salad! I wanted to make note of a mistake in the recipe ingredients list. It says to make a batch of apple cider vinaigrette. The recipe below is actually champagne vinaigrette. Other than that, it’s wonderful recipe!

  42. I have made this three times, including just now. The wife is allergic to onions and walnuts, so I leave out the onions and substitute the walnuts for sliced almonds. I also use one honeycrisp apple, and about three Mandarin oranges. It works for us. But this is a very easy to make and very delicious salad that could be a meal in itself.

  43. Delish salad. Roasted pecans and walnuts and used a golden apple and crumbled feta. Everybody took third helpings..

  44. Instead of two apples, I made it with one honey crispy apple and one Bartlett pear. Sooo yummy!

  45. Made I loved it!!!!!

  46. very quick and easy great flavor

  47. Loved it. My new favorite.

  48. I love Imaginative salads. This is a change from my usual hot bacon dressing spinach salad. But it look good so I will give it a
    Try. I too am now cooking ina limited kitchen. With none of my implements and stores at hand. Thank you for your recipe.

  49. Made it for company last night. Everyone loved this salad. For the vinaigrette, put together as listed, used apple cider vinegar, it’s a pantry staple for me (was not familiar with champagne vinegar, but may look out for it), good quality olive oil, needed a splash of maple syrup to balance out the acidity . Salad – mix of spinach, arugula, spring mix, red onion, craisins, no cheese. Will make this again!

  50. Made if for my book group and it was a big hit! Used toasted pecans and dried cherries. Yum! The dressing was a bit too tangy even after the addition of honey. I will have to figure out how to modify it.