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Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad with Goat Cheese

Close up of apple cranberry walnut salad in a bowl with gold serving spoons

This delicious green salad is filled with flavor from apples, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and maple spice roasted walnuts. It’s easy to make in under 30 minutes for an easy weeknight side dish win.

Ingredients

Scale

Maple Spice Roasted Walnuts

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

  • 5 oz mixed greens, such as spring mix
  • 1 medium Honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 oz log of goat cheese, crumbled with your hands

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil.
  2. Prep the maple spiced roasted walnuts by mixing all the ingredients together to coat the walnuts in oil, maple syrup, and spices.
  3. Spread out the walnuts evenly on the baking sheet.
  4. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Walnuts will be done when the maple syrup has caramelized and thickened significantly, and nuts are a deep golden, orange brown.
  5. Transfer the walnuts to a plate, and put it in the fridge to cool while you prep the rest of the salad.
  6. Make the vinaigrette by adding all the ingredients to a small jar. Cover and shake the jar vigorously to emulsify the dressing.
  7. Assemble the salad in a large salad bowl: start with a base of greens, then arrange the sliced apples, red onion, cranberries, goat cheese, and the cooled walnuts.
  8. Toss the salad in the vinaigrette whenever you’re ready to serve it.

Notes

Tip: Toss the apple slices in 1-2 tbsp lemon juice to prevent browning.

Ingredient substitution ideas and dietary restriction swaps

  • Make it a grain salad by adding cooked quinoa, farro, or wild rice.
  • Make it nut free: swap the walnuts for pumpkin seeds.
  • Make it dairy free: eliminate the goat cheese, and add diced avocado or dairy free cheese.
  • Make it vegan: Make the dairy swap recommendation and switch out maple syrup for the honey in the vinaigrette.
  • Swap apples for pears for a similar flavored salad.

Serving suggestions

This salad is an excellent side dish for plenty of meals, including salmon, other proteins, pastas, and tofu

Salad storage

This salad is best eaten right away after you toss it all in the salad dressing. If you want to prepare it ahead of time, you can do so a day in advance and store it covered in the fridge without dressing. Make sure you toss the apple slices in lemon juice to prevent browning if you make it ahead of time.

Keywords: apple cranberry walnut salad, spice roasted walnuts, honeycrisp apple recipe, apple cider vinaigrette