Apple Walnut SaladI have an easy weeknight salad for you all today! This apple walnut salad is the perfect combo of sweet and savory. Made with crisp fall apples and the most delicious tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Bonus…it’s made with few staple ingredients. So you can easily whip it up for simple weeknight side or bring a bowl to your next holiday gathering. So this apple and walnut salad is definition of easy! Made with sweet crisp apples that are tossed with crunchy walnuts and salty feta. I went with Gala apples for their mild and sweet flavor. Feta adds the right amount of saltiness. Feel free to substitute goat cheese or even blue cheese. For the base, I used red leaf lettuce. It’s insanely beautiful and the colors remind me of fall. As far as the balsamic vinaigrette, it’s only four ingredients: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey. It’s creamy, SO full of flavor, and pairs amazing with this apple walnut salad.
What Kind of Apples are Best for Salads?To be honest, just about any variety of apples are going to work in this salad but certain varieties are more crunchy and don’t brown too quickly. I personally love Gala apples for their crisp sweet taste but Honeycrisp, Fuji, Pink Lady, Piñata, Jazz, Envy, and Empire are all great for adding to salads.
How Do You Easily Cut Apples?My go-to-method for cutting apples is incredibly easy, quick, and does NOT involve an apple corer. All you need is a sharp knife, cutting board, and of course the apples.
- Place the apple in an upright position on a cutting board.
- Starting on one side of the apple, slice down as close to the core as possible. Continue to slice through all the sides of the apple until only the core remains. Discard the core.
- Place the flat side of each large slice face down and then cut into thin slices.
Ingredients for Apple Walnut Salad Recipe
- Lettuce – I love red leaf lettuce in this salad. It’s soft, yet slightly crunchy. But green leaf lettuce, spinach or romaine are all good substitutes.
- Apples – you can use your favorite type of apples. I love Gala apples for their crunch and mild flavor. Make sure to slice them right before serving so they don’t brown.
- Red Onions – shallots is a good substitute. They’re a little milder in taste but still work.
- Walnuts – don’t like walnuts? Try pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.
- Feta – buy feta in a block and crumble it yourself. It’s so much tastier. Also goat cheese is a great swap for feta.
- Balsamic Vinaigrette – olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey.
How to Make Apple Walnut Feta SaladThis apple feta salad is best when served immediately. The balsamic vinaigrette can be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Step 1: Prepare the vinaigrette – in a small bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey. Whisk until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also do this in a mason jar. Step 2: Assemble the salad – make sure all of your salad ingredients are ready to be assembled (chopped, sliced, etc). In a large bowl, layer the lettuce, apples, red onions, walnuts, and feta. Drizzle with desired amount of vinaigrette and serve immediately.
More Fall Salads with Apples:
- Chopped Autumn Salad – amazing salad to take to work or school.
- Apple Crunch Salad – another easy + simple salad.
- Avocado and Apple Brussels Sprout Salad – I love the addition of Brussels sprouts in this salad.
- Kale, Butternut Squash, and Apple Salad – add this salad to your next holiday table. It’s so festive looking.
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Autumn inspired apple walnut salad that comes together super quickly. It’s tossed in the most delicious tangy balsamic vinaigrette!
- 8 cups chopped red leaf lettuce, about 1 large head
- 1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced (I used Gala apple)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
- 3/4 cup walnut halves, toasted + roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. honey or maple syrup
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Prepare the vinaigrette: in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and honey. Whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Assemble the salad: in a large bowl combine the lettuce, apples, red onions, walnuts, and feta. Drizzle with desired amount of vinaigrette and serve immediately. You’ll have leftover vinaigrette, which can be refrigerated in an airtight container for at least one week, if not more.
- Lettuce: Red leaf, green leaf, romaine, or spinach are all good greens to use in this salad.
- Apples: I used Gala apple for this salad but pretty much any crunchy variety of apples work.
- Walnuts: don’t like walnuts? Try pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.
- Make Ahead: prepare the vinaigrette and assemble the salad without the apples. Refrigerate separately and right before serving, add the apples and vinaigrette. Once the salad has been drizzled with the vinaigrette it does not hold up well in the fridge.
Keywords: apple salad, fall apple salad, easy Thanksgiving salad
Originally published October 2016, updated September 2019 with new photos, rewritten post, and additional information. No change to the recipe.