This easy recipe for a healthy and flavorful Spinach Apple Cranberry Salad combines sweet and savory ingredients and is proof that simple can be delicious.
Whether it's for a small family dinner or a large feast, you can impress your guests with this easy and light spinach salad. Perfect as a starter or a side dish to your Thanksgiving (or any) dinner, this simple Spinach, Apple and Cranberry Salad dressed with an apple cider vinaigrette comes together quickly.
This salad demonstrates that all it takes are a few basic pantry ingredients and a couple of fresh seasonal ingredients to make flavourful salads that aren't boring.
How to Make it
This healthy fresh spinach salad recipe puts together ingredients that complement each other by adding sweet and savoury elements of different textures and colours.
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this simple spinach salad. For ingredient amounts, please see the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Baby spinach. Using baby spinach ensures tender leaves.
- Green or red apples. Apples add freshness, sweetness and crunch.
- Red onion, just a bit adds a nice sharpness.
- Dried cranberries. I prefer to use sweetened cranberries but you can use unsweetened. The cranberries add vibrant colour and makes the salad look festive. If you don't like cranberries, pomegranate seeds would also be delicious in this autumn salad.
- Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Pecans or walnuts would also work. Toasting the seeds and nuts makes them crunchier and helps bring out their flavour. Make sure to let them cool to room temperature before adding them to the salad.
- Goat cheese or Feta cheese, to add tanginess and creaminess.
How to Make an Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Dressing the salad with an easy homemade vinaigrette will ensure a fresher, healthier and tastier salad.
- Extra-virgin olive oil. For a tastier dressing, use a good quality olive oil.
- Apple cider vinegar. If not available, balsamic vinegar is also delicious in this dressing.
- Maple syrup or honey.
- Salt and pepper.
- If you wish, you could add a touch of Dijon mustard and half a small clove of garlic (minced).
Add all of the ingredients to a jar, seal it and give it a good shake.
As you can see, you can make a company-worthy healthy and delicious salad with only a few basic ingredients.
If you're looking for more spinach salad recipes, this Spinach and Clementine Salad pairs baby spinach with juicy clementines and crunchy almonds and is perfect for the holiday season.
If you're looking for a spinach salad that is more summery, both this Strawberry Spinach Salad and Blueberry Spinach Salad are especially delicious when fresh local strawberries and blueberries are in season.
And if you need more salad inspiration, the combination of flavours, colours and textures in this Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Citrus Tahini Dressing and in this Pomegranate, Pear and Pecan Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette makes both of these stunning salads absolutely delicious!
More Delicious Fall Recipes
- Creamy Leek and Potato Soup
- Easy Spanakopita
- One Pan Roast Chicken
- Easy Roast Turkey with Gravy
- Pear and Blueberry Crumble
Spinach Apple Cranberry Salad
Spinach Apple Cranberry Salad
- 6 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
- 1 large apple, cored and thinly sliced or 2 small apples
- ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
- ⅓ cup goat cheese, crumbled
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the washed and dried spinach to a salad bowl and top with sliced apples, sliced red onion, cranberries, pepitas and goat cheese.
- Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a small mason jar and give it a good shake. If not using immediately store it in the refrigerator.
- Add about half of the dressing and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately with more salad dressing on the side.
- To toast pepitas (pumpkin seeds), add them to a dry skillet over medium heat, stir occasionally for 4 to 5 minutes. They will start to pop as they toast. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Remove the pan from heat, pour the seeds into a bowl to let them cool. Don't allow them to cool in the hot pan because the residual heat may burn them.