This Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad is one of our favorite fall salads! It’s a delicious blend of sweet and savory flavors, and perfect for the holiday season.
Loaded with sweet apples, fresh cranberries, crispy bacon, crunchy pecans, goat cheese, green onions, and a light vinaigrette, this fall salad makes a beautiful and delicious addition to any holiday meal.
Whether you’re hosting a get together or just in charge of bringing the salad, this Cranberry Salad is guaranteed to become your go-to recipe. It’s easy to make and always a hit!
I partnered with Pick ‘n Save to bring you this recipe. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Lemon Tree Dwelling possible!
I don’t know exactly why, but I’m really good at letting the holidays creep up on me. I did it with Halloween, and then with Thanksgiving….and now I’m 99% sure I’m doing it with Christmas, too.
I guess it’s an avoidance tactic, right? Because the holidays are stressful….and there’s so much to do to get ready for them. So instead of facing it head on, and actually getting things ready, I choose to just not think about it.
Good plan, huh?
To be fair, I have given it some thought.
I do have a few Christmas decorations up. And I have done a tiny bit of shopping. And I’m clearly already thinking about food…(when am I not!?)…with this Cranberry Salad.
Now, I know you’re probably wondering who actually cares about salad at Christmastime…but if you ask me, it’s an essential part of the meal.
And between the gorgeous colors and the delicious flavors of this recipe, it really is the perfect addition to any holiday table!
My favorite part of it? The cranberries. I look forward to fresh cranberries all year, so as soon as I saw fresh cranberries at Pick ‘n Save, you better believe I grabbed a few bags. And with their amazing selection of apples? This salad was a no-brainer.
Made with mixed greens, honeycrisp apples, fresh cranberries, crispy bacon, pecans, goat cheese, and green onions, this salad has it all. A little savory, a little sweet, and a perfectly delicious homemade vinaigrette to top it off.
This salad will quickly become a favorite, not just for the holidays, but for lunch or dinner anytime. (You’re welcome!)
How do you use fresh cranberries in a salad?
The key to using fresh cranberries in a salad is to cook them slightly first. Not only does this soften them, but it helps to reduce their tartness. To cook fresh cranberries, simply combine 1 c. cranberries, 1/4 c. water and 1/3 c. sugar in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-high heat until cranberries begin to pop. Remove from heat and cool, then add to your salad.
What kind of apples do you use?
You can use any type of apple in a salad, but they key is to balance the flavors. For this salad I chose to use honeycrisp apples, which are sweet, to balance out the flavor of the cranberries.
What kind of cheese can you use instead of goat cheese?
Any other soft, crumbly cheese would be a good substitution for goat cheese. My top choices would be feta or blue cheese, but you could also use parmesan, swiss, or even cheddar in this salad.
How do you make homemade vinaigrette?
- In a small container with a lid, combine 1/2 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. white balsamic vinegar, 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey, 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 1/8 tsp. salt.
- Shake vigorously until ingredients are well blended.
- Pour over salad as desired.
What are some other variations of this salad?
- Substitute walnuts for the pecans
- Add chopped pears
- Add shaved brussels sprouts
- Use honey mustard dressing in place of the vinaigrette
- Substitute fresh cranberries with craisins
You might also enjoy these salad recipes:
- Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Winter Fruit Salad
- Apple Walnut Salad
- Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola Salad
- Cherry Almond Arugula Salad
- Apple Brie Salad
- Cranberry Orange Harvest Salad
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- 1 c. fresh cranberries
- 1/3 c. granulated sugar
- 1/4 c. water
- 8 oz. mixed salad greens
- 1 honeycrisp apple, chopped
- 6 oz. bacon, cooked
- 1/2 c. pecan halves
- 3.5 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 1/4 c. white balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Prepare cranberries by combining fresh cranberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-high heat until cranberries begin to pop. Remove from heat and cool.
- Prepare dressing by combining ingredients in a small container and shaking well. Set aside.
- Spread salad greens in a large salad bowl.
- Top with prepared cranberries, chopped apples, crumbled bacon, pecans, goat cheese, and sliced green onions.
- Add dressing and toss to coat.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 251 Total Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 18mg Sodium: 317mg Carbohydrates: 14g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 11g Protein: 7g