Apple Walnut Salad

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This refreshing Apple Walnut Salad is the perfect combination of crisp lettuce, sweet apples, crunchy walnuts, salty feta cheese, and a lightly sweetened Balsamic Vinaigrette. It has all the colors, flavors, and textures you crave!

Apple walnut salad in a white serving bowl with wooden serving utensils.

Whether you need a fresh lunch idea or a new favorite salad for fall, this Apple Walnut Salad checks all the boxes. It’s a light side dish option opposite a heartier main, or add some leftover chicken to make it a true entrée salad.

Make the salad your own with unique additions like golden raisins or dried cranberries, toasted hazelnuts or almonds, or crunchy celery. I love Balsamic Vinaigrette on this salad, but sweet Poppy Seed Dressing would be delicious, too.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for apple walnut salad.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Honey: Or substitute an equal amount of pure maple syrup. 
  • Walnuts: Toast walnuts in a medium skillet over medium heat, heat walnuts until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 5 minutes.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To make the balsamic vinaigrette, or in a jar with a tight-fitting lid or a bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey. Whisk or shake to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
A small bottle filled with balsamic vinaigrette.
  1. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, apples, red onion and walnuts.
Ingredients for apple walnut salad in a large clear bowl before being mixed.
  1. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to combine.
Someone drizzling dressing over a bowl of apple walnut salad.
  1. Sprinkle with feta and serve immediately.
Apple walnut salad in a white serving bowl with wooden serving utensils.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes at least 8 cups of salad, enough for 4 generous servings, 2 cups each.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (for best results, store extra salad undressed).
  • Lettuce: Trade all or some of the lettuce for kale. But, be sure to massage the kale with the dressing before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  • More nuts: Trade the walnuts for toasted pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, or even pine nuts.
  • Dried fruit: Add golden raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dried apricots on this salad.
  • Summer salad: Trade strawberries for the apples for a summery take on this salad.
Two small bowls of apple walnut salad.

Recipe FAQs

How do you keep apples from turning brown?

Apples turn brown because they are rich in iron. When you cut apples, you expose the iron to oxygen which causes the apple to “rust.” It is harmless but can be unappealing. To keep your apples looking their best:
1. Slice the fruit directly into water. The water will prevent the iron from being exposed to oxygen, so no “rusting” will happen.
2. Dip the apple slices in lemon water. Any fruit that contains citric acid will do the trick: lemon juice, orange juice, or apple juice. However, you’ll probably taste a little bit of whatever fruit you use.
3. Rubber-band the cut slices back together. This sounds crazy, but it works. If the slices aren’t exposed to oxygen, they won’t “rust.” So as long as you cut an entire apple, and band the whole thing back together, you’ll be good to go.

How do you toast walnuts?

In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat walnuts until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 5 minutes.

How to do cut apples?

To cut apples like a pro:
1. Peel apples if desired. On a cutting board, set an apple upright and slice in half.
2. Place each apple half cut-side down and cut in half again (you will now have 4 quarters of an apple).
3. Set each apple quarter on a flat angle side and slice out the core. Cut each cored apple quarter into slices (or chop or dice as desired).Apple slices on a cutting board.

More delicious salads

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Someone scooping apple walnut salad out of a serving bowl.

Apple Walnut Salad

This refreshing Apple Walnut Salad is the perfect combination of crisp lettuce, sweet apples, crunchy walnuts, salty feta cheese, and a lightly sweetened Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings (2 cups each)
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 347
5 from 5 votes

Ingredients 

For the balsamic vinaigrette:

For the salad:

Instructions 

  • To make the balsamic vinaigrette, or in a jar with a tight-fitting lid or a bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey. Whisk or shake to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, combine lettuce, apples, red onion and walnuts. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Sprinkle with feta and serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Honey: Or substitute an equal amount of pure maple syrup. 
  2. Walnuts: Toast walnuts in a medium skillet over medium heat, heat walnuts until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 5 minutes.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes at least 8 cups of salad, enough for 4 generous servings, 2 cups each.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (for best results, store extra salad undressed).

Nutrition

Serving: 2cupsCalories: 347kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 6gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 200mgPotassium: 288mgFiber: 3gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 4280IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 111mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. I love this salad! A tip that might also work for “rusting” apples. I dip them in a lemon/lime soda like sprite and the citris taste isn’t so strong.5 stars