Green Apple Spinach Salad Recipe with Blue Cheese www.GarrisonStreetEats.com 3

Green Apple Spinach Salad Recipe with Blue Cheese

Looking for a green salad recipe with bold flavors you will actually enjoy eating? Try my healthy green apple salad with blue cheese. This easy salad uses fresh greens, tart granny smith apples, red onions, dried cranberries and bold blue cheese for the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. So if you are tired of bland salads with iceberg lettuce that you don’t enjoy, treat your taste buds to this apple cranberry salad with crunchy pecans. It’s perfect for a quick lunch, holiday meal, or fall salad. Either way, you will love this apple salad recipe! Full recipe card below.

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What is Green Apple Salad?

This is one of my all time favorite salads! Typically you see apple salad recipes that focus on seasonal fall ingredients to make a cranberry apple walnut salad. But this simple recipe can be made anytime of the year! This sweet and savory restaurant quality salad is full of bold flavors, crunchy pecans, and healthy fresh spinach, topped with a light vinaigrette dressing.

Why I Love This Recipe

This is the best fall or summer salad full of sweet and tangy flavors. It is on the lighter side which makes it a great option if you are watching calories or want a no cook lunch for warmer weather days. You can stock up on fresh apples and spinach at the farmer’s market and make tasty salads all week!

Green Apple Spinach Salad Ingredients

This simple yet flavorful salad is an easy lunch time option and only takes ten minutes to make and you will actually enjoy eating it! Let me walk you through what I used in my recipe and where substitutions and even additions can be made.

Green Apple Spinach Salad Recipe with Blue Cheese www.GarrisonStreetEats.com

Spinach – I know spinach may not be for everyone, but when it comes to salad, it adds a lot of nutritional value! And if you pair it with the right ingredients, I promise you won’t even notice it. While I do think this healthy green salad is best with fresh spinach, you could make it with your favorite salad greens if spinach is not your thing. Mixed greens would be the best substitution but you could also use romaine lettuce.

Green Apples – One of the main components in this salad is the tart green apples. These offset the earthiness of the pecans and the strong flavor of the blue cheese. If you need to substitute these, I would use sweet apples like a pink lady or honeycrisp apples. Plain red apples like red delicious are too mild and won’t have enough flavor. But for best results, stick to the crisp granny smith apples.

Red Onion – I chose to use a red onion here since it is raw and doesn’t get cooked. Red onions are the best onion to use in raw applications and have a slightly spicy flavor to them. You could also use a white or yellow onion if that’s all you have but it will have the best flavor with a red onion. While I love green onions, they are not the best choice for this dish.

Blue Cheese – The other main component in this salad is the blue cheese. This potent, creamy, and tangy cheese can add a ton of flavor to a dish and this salad is no exception. This pungent cheese plays off the acidity of the apples in the best way. If you don’t like blue cheese, the closest good alternative is gorgonzola cheese. And if that is still much, I would use a creamy goat cheese or a creamy feta cheese. Both have a stronger flavor profile and a tangy taste.

Green Apple Spinach Salad Recipe with Blue Cheese www.GarrisonStreetEats.com 2

Dried Cranberries – To add a little sweetness to this salad I also add dried cranberries, aka, Craisins. They not only add flavor but a little bit of texture and make it a great option for a special occasion like Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is my go to holiday dinner salad.

Pecans – To add a little bit of crunch to this salad I add pecans. They are an optional ingredient especially if you have a nut allergy, but if you can include them, they add a wonderful crunch and earthy flavor to the salad. I buy my pecans in bulk at Costco and keep them in the freezer until I need them. Frequently you will see apple cranberry walnut salad recipes, but pecans are a little bit sweeter and are cheaper to buy than walnuts. But if you are looking for a good alternative, crunchy walnuts are the next best thing.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing – Raspberry vinaigrette is an excellent compliment to the blue cheese and pecans and a healthier option than many cream based salad dressings. If you cannot find raspberry vinaigrette, the best substitute would be a sweet vinaigrette or a balsamic vinaigrette.

Optional Ingredients – You could easily add grilled chicken to this salad to make it a complete meal. You can use rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked chicken strips that come in a bag at your local grocery store. Just add them to the top for a filling and healthy lunch or dinner.

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Green Apple Spinach Salad Recipe with Blue Cheese www.GarrisonStreetEats.com 3

Green Apple Spinach Salad Recipe with Blue Cheese


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  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Looking for a green salad recipe with bold flavors you will actually enjoy eating? Try my healthy green apple salad with blue cheese. This easy salad uses fresh greens, tart granny smith apples, red onions, dried cranberries and bold blue cheese for the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. So if you are tired of bland salads with iceberg lettuce that you don’t enjoy, treat your taste buds to this apple cranberry salad with crunchy pecans. It’s perfect for a quick lunch, holiday meal, or fall salad. Either way, you will love this apple salad recipe!


Ingredients

Units Scale

4 cups Spinach Leaves

1/2 Red Onion

1 Green Apple sliced

1/4 cup Pecans

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

1/8 cup Blue Cheese Crumbles

Raspberry Vinaigrette


Instructions

  1. Wash and slice one granny smith apple. If you are making ahead of time, coat the apple slices in a little lemon juice or lime juice to prevent them from turning brown.
  2. Slice red onion into strips.
  3. Wash and dry spinach. You want to make sure it’s completely dry before assembling the salad or it may be soggy.
  4. Toss spinach, red onion, apple slices, pecans, dried cranberries, and blue cheese in a large salad bowl.
  5. Add as little or as much dressing as you like right before serving.
  6. Store undressed salad in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Green Apple Spinach Salad Recipe with Blue Cheese www.GarrisonStreetEats.com 5

Make Ahead Instructions and Storage

If you want to make this salad ahead of time I recommend cutting up your onion and apples and adding the remaining ingredients except for the dressing. Store individual salads in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days with no dressing. Add dressing just before serving. If you are making ahead of time, coat the apple slices in lemon or lime juice to prevent them from turning brown.

When to Make Green Apple Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese

This super easy recipe makes a great lunchtime salad for summer or fall with a good mix of sweet and savory. But it also makes a nice side dish for family dinners or even a healthy dinner option when you are watching your waistline. This is also my go to holiday salad for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner to add a lighter option to the menu. But if I am being honest, this salad is in my regular rotation to trick myself into eating more healthy greens. The best part is it’s so good you don’t even feel like it’s a salad and it only takes ten minutes to put together. Trust me, you will have a new love for spinach salad!

Looking for more delicious salads? Try my copycat Panera strawberry salad, cobb salad, green goddess salad dressing, or pesto pasta salad.

Green Apple Spinach Salad Recipe with Blue Cheese www.GarrisonStreetEats.com 10

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