Celebrate all the flavors of Fall with this Autumn Apple Salad drizzled with a homemade Maple Dijon Vinaigrette.  Pecans, cranberries, apples, feta and baby spinach are layered on top of fresh spinach. The dressing has hints of maple syrup, tangy vinegar, and smooth Dijon Mustard.

Large white bowl of apple salad served with wooden serving spoons.

All About this Autumn Apple Salad..

  • This salad is loaded up with all the best fall flavors! Plus we’re using two kinds of apples. Granny Smith and Fuji. To give a sweet and tart flavor.
  • The dressing is made of ingredients you most likely have in your pantry: extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, dijon and salt and pepper in there. This has become one of my all time favorite salad dressings and I make this to drizzle on most of my salads now.
  • This apple salad is the perfect dish to bring to any potluck or party. There’s so many comments below of readers who have made this to bring to a holiday dinner only to have this be the first dish completely finished off. It always gets rave reviews, and everyone will be asking for the recipe.

Ingredients Needed:

Ingredients needed to make an autumn salad with apples laid on the counter.

Notes on some ingredients:

  • Apples: using two kinds of apples (Granny Smith and Fuji) gives more color to the salad it also gives a nice balanced sweet and tart flavoring.
  • Maple Syrup: use a Grade A maple syrup in this recipe.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: the base of the dressing. Using Extra Virgin adds a nice flavoring without being overpowering.
  • Pecans: use halved pecans, these add a nice crunch and texture to the salad. Can be substituted with walnuts or left out if needed.

How to make (step-by-step)

Step by step how to make a maple vinaigrette for salad, showing ingredients in a jar and then mixed together ready to serve.
  • Step 1: Add all ingredients for the maple vinaigrette into a small jar.
  • Step 2: shake or whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth and well combined. The mustard and oil will mix together.
  • Step 3: Layer the spinach with all the salad toppings (bacon, apples, feta, and cranberries).
  • Step 4: Drizzle with the salad dressing, toss and serve.
Step by step how to make an apple salad showing a large white bowl with the ingredients layered and then the salad dressed and tossed.

Expert Tips:

  • The best way to make the dressing is to use a small jar. This way you can close the lid, give a little shake, and mix it up completely.
  • Dress the salad just before serving to prevent the spinach from getting soggy.
  • If you want to serve this as a main dish add a sliced chicken breast for a great dinner idea.
Maple Vinaigrette being drizzled over the top of an apple salad.

FAQ’s:

What is the best apple for salad?

We want to use a nice crunchy apple that isn’t going to brown too quickly when sliced. This recipe calls for Granny Smith and Fuji to get a variety in the flavoring (sweet and tart) other options include: Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Jazz and Envy apples.

How do I keep apples from browning?

If you need to slice and prepare the apples hours before serving use a water bath made of 1 cup of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. After you slice the apples soak them in the lemon water for 3-5 minutes then remove and rinse them.

Close up view of salad layered with fresh apples, cranberries, pecans and feta.

More Salad Recipes:

Large white bowl of apple salad served with wooden serving spoons.

Autumn Apple Salad with a Maple Vinaigrette

This easy to make Autumn Apple Salad is loaded up with crispy bacon, crunchy pecan halves, crumbled feta, and sweet dried cranberries. All drizzled with a homemade Maple Dijon Vinaigrette. This salad comes together in less than 15 minutes and is a perfect side dish or light lunch.
5 from 13 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baby spinach, raw
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pecans, halved
  • 2 tbsp feta cheese
  • ½ granny smith apple , sliced
  • ½ fuji apple , sliced
  • 2 slices bacon , cooked and chopped

Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • tsp dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Make Dressing: Add all the ingredients for the maple dijon vinaigrette to a small mason jar. Shake to mix.
  • Layer Salad: Add the spinach to a medium size bowl or plate.
  • Top with dried cranberries, halved pecans, feta cheese, sliced apples, and cooked bacon.
  • Dress and Toss: Drizzle the salad dressing over the top of the salad, toss and serve.

Video

Notes

  • Apples: using two kinds of apples (Granny Smith and Fuji) gives more color to the salad it also gives a nice balanced sweet and tart flavoring.
  • Maple Syrup: use a Grade A maple syrup in this recipe.
  • Pecans: use halved pecans. Can be substituted with walnuts or left out if needed.
  • Make Ahead Instructions: If you need to slice and prepare the apples hours before serving use a water bath made of 1 cup of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. After you slice the apples soak them in the lemon water for 3-5 minutes then remove and rinse them.
  • Storage: when preparing the salad ahead of time store the dressing separate from the salad to prevent the spinach from getting soggy. Dress the salad just before serving. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 478kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 20g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 405mg, Potassium: 409mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 2952IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 144mg, Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @HouseofYumm on Instagram and hashtag #houseofyumm!

Recipe first published September 14, 2016. Updated September 10, 2021 with new images, information and video. Recipe remains unchanged.

Photography done by the talented @KJandCompany.co

Autumn Apple Salad in a large salad bowl being drizzled with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette.