Apple Cranberry Salad is the perfect salad for the fall! It is made with crisp apples, and dried cranberries combined with spring mix lettuce and topped off with a touch of parmesan cheese. A zesty apple cider vinaigrette rounds out the salad. The combination of flavors is fantastic! Make it tonight for dinner! It will be a family favorite.
If you are looking for a fall salad, this one is for you! I make it year-round, but this salad appears on our dinner table when apples are in season.
The first time I had a salad similar to this was at a good friend's wedding. My husband, who tends to be a picky eater, surprisingly loved it. So the following week, I tried to make the salad based on my best guess of what was in it and created a dressing that would round it out.
This recipe is what I came up with, and it is one of my husband's all-time favorites besides Caesar Salads.
I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do.
Why you need to make Apple Cranberry salad!
- The flavors and textures are amazing!
- The salad is colorful!
- It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.
- The salad pairs well with chicken, beef, or pork.
- Eat it for dinner or lunch.
- It is the perfect salad to make in the fall when apples are in season and fresh.
Ingredients for Apple Cranberry Salad
- Apples-use a crisp, sweet apple such as Gala, Jonagold, Honey Crisp, or Fuji apples. Do not use canned apples because they would be mushy.
- Dried Cranberries-Use any dried cranberries. Cranberries made with less added sugar are best.
- Parmesean Cheese-Grate the parmesan cheese yourself. It tastes better! However, pre-grated parmesan cheese will work if you are in a hurry.
- Spring Mix Greens-Use spring mix greens or use mixed greens that contain half spinach.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- Apple Cider Vinegar-I would recommend Bragg raw unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar because of the sumptuous flavor.
- Olive oil-use light olive oil because it will not impact the taste of the vinaigrette.
- Dijon mustard works best in this salad.
- Honey-any honey will do.
- Salt and Pepper-Coarse grind are best!
Apple Salad Substitutions
- Substitute firm (not hard) sweet pears for apples.
- You can substitute feta cheese in place of Parmesan Cheese.
- Substitute spinach or baby kale for the spring mix lettuce blend. Romaine or Iceberg would not be a good choice for this salad because they are too crunchy.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette Substitutions
- Apple Cider Vinegar-I would recommend Bragg raw unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar because of the great flavor. However, other brands of apple cider vinegar will work.
- Olive oil- Canola oil or any other mild-tasting oil can be substituted for the olive oil in the dressing.
- Dijon mustard-You can use any brown mustard, however, do not use yellow mustard because it is not similar to Dijon mustard and will significantly change the taste of the vinaigrette.
- Honey-any honey will do.
- Salt and Pepper-Fine grind salt and pepper can be used but cut the amounts in half.
Tips for the salad and vinaigrette
- Use a box grater to grate the parmesan cheese to have a coarser shred.
- I recommend rewashing the lettuce before you use it. Be sure to remove excess water. The best way to do this is to use a salad spinner . Removing the excess water allows the vinaigrette to adhere to the lettuce. If too much water is on the lettuce, the vinaigrette will not stick to the lettuce.
- Prepare the salad ingredients, and the vinaigrette can be made earlier in the day. Refrigerate and then toss the vinaigrette with the salad right before serving.
- Use 1-2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss it with the salad ingredients. If additional vinaigrette is needed, add 1 tablespoon at a time.
How to make the Apple Cranberry Salad
Prepare the salad ingredients
Grate the Parmesan cheese using the large grate on a box grater.
Cut the apple into quarters and remove the core. Slice apple quarters into thirds and then slice them into chunks.
Place all ingredients in a salad bowl.
Make the Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar. Put a secure lid on top and shake until it is well mixed.
Before serving the salad, add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss. It is best to start with 1-2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, and if you feel it needs more, add 1 tablespoon at a time and toss after each addition. Do not add too much vinaigrette; otherwise, the lettuce will be limp.
Unfortunately, this salad is not as tasty as a leftover. If you do not use all the dressing, you can store it in the refrigerator and use it within seven days.
Serving Suggestions for Apple Cranberry Salad
Apple cranberry salad can be served with just about any meat. It goes exceptionally well with entrees that are made with chicken or pork. I love it with Fast Roast Chicken. However, it would also be great with pork chops or pork tenderloin.
I hope you try this recipe! Please give it a rating and comment below. I love to hear from you!Print
Crisp apples, sweet dried cranberries, and parmesan cheese make a tasty combination for this fall salad. The delicious apple cider vinaigrette is a perfect match to round out the salad.
- 4 cups Spring Mix lettuce (washed and spun dry with salad spinner )
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup apple, diced (I like to use Gala, Jonagold, Fuji or Honey Crisp apples)
- ½ cup cup grated parmesan cheese
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil (light virgin olive oil)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1-2 teaspoon honey
- ½ tsp kosher salt (coarse grain)
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- Grate the parmesan cheese on a box grater and add it to the salad
- Remove the core from apples, slice them and cut them into chunks. Add to the salad greens.
- Combine salad greens and cranberries.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette Instructions
- Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a jar. Put lid on the jar and shake until well combined.
- Use fresh apples. Frozen or canned apple slices would not work well
- Canola oil or any other mild-flavored oil can be substituted for olive oil.
- Use a box grater to grate the Parmesan cheese because it will result in coarser grated cheese which works best with the salad.
- Use a coarse grain salt. If you use fine grain, decrease the amount you use to ¼ teaspoon.
- I like to use Bragg ® Organic Raw-Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Use 1-2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss with the salad ingredients. If additional vinaigrette is needed, add it 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 85
- Sugar: 9 g
- Sodium: 180.3 mg
- Fat: 2.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 11.5 g
- Protein: 4.3 g
- Cholesterol: 7.2 mg
The nutrition label above is for the salad without dressing. The Nutrition label below is for the dressing.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavored to be as accurate as possible.