Apple walnut salad recipe- a delicious mix of sweet apples, crispy walnuts, fresh strawberries, light yet super flavorful balsamic vinaigrette all served in a super fresh crispy lettuce bed. As tasty as a salad can get 🙂
This autumn special apple walnut salad is super quick to make, vegan, gluten free and makes for a wonderful light meal or a side salad in a fall inspired spread. You are in for a treat with this color popping salad with different textures.
Come fall, crispy juicy apples are all I can think of. Though available year around, we enjoy them only during season. Seasonal fall apples are nothing like the ones you get at the other times, I am sure you will agree too.
Everytime I make salad with apple, I try to vary the ingredients to make it more interesting. Last year I shared a simple apple cucumber salad and today apple walnut salad it is.
It is our all time favorite and I make it very often during this time of the year. Sweet apples pair up so well with fresh strawberries, crunchy walnuts and the light flavorful balsamic vinaigrette ties everything together.
It is a real treat for such a recipe which you can vary in so many ways. Be sure to check out the variations I have listed for few ideas.
You can serve this apple walnut salad as light meal itself. It is perfect if you are looking for fresh lunch ideas or a fresh salad meal ideas.
This Apple Walnut Salad Is
So delicious with seasonal sweet apples
Varied flavors and textures
topped with crunchy healthy walnuts
tossed in a mild balsamic vinaigrette
vegan and gluten free
You need very few staple ingredients for this easy weeknight salad recipe. To make this apple salad with walnuts you will need
Apples– Crisp sweet seasonal apples are best for salad. I have used a mix of green and red Kashmir apples. You can also use granny smith or red delicious or gala apple too.
Tip– taste the apple to make sure they are sweeter.
Strawberries- Adding a handful of sliced fresh strawberries add a good contrast to the texture of crispy apples. Instead of strawberries you can also use raspberries or cranberries.
Dried cranberries are also a good addition here. Dried cranberries add a tart note to this apple crunchy walnut salad.
Salad Dressing– The dressing for this salad is a wonderful flavorful balsamic vinaigrette along with a pinch of salt and pepper. The dressing is a mix of
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- maple syrup
- lemon juice
- few basil leaves
- ground pepper
Walnuts- I like to crunchy toasted walnuts in this salad. If raw walnuts are your thing you can definitely use them. Toasted walnuts have a mellow flavor and less bitter.
Greens– I love this serve this salad apple over a bed of crispy fresh lettuce leaves. You can use spring mix salad or mixed salad greens if you prefer varied textures and colors. Here I have just used some romaine lettuce. You can also mixed lettuce like red, green leaves also.
Variations & Add-ins
Onions- You can add thinly sliced red onion for a sharp flavor. For a milder flavor use thinly sliced white onions.
Cheese- This apple walnut salad is a vegan recipe as such. However to make it hearty and richer you can use crumbled feta cheese or gorgonzola cheese.
Both gorgonzola and feta cheese have salty taste with crumbly texture and it is so good in this salad. You can also use goat cheese or blue cheese. For a different texture you can try few dollops of plain Greek yogurt just before serving.
Seeds- To pack in more punch and nutrition you can toss few seeds like toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or flaz seeds.
Orange juice- You can add 1/4 cup freshly pressed orange juice instead of lemon juice for milder flavor.
How To Toast Walnuts Easily?
I love adding toasted walnuts in salads, crumble them over ice creams and also use them while making cakes & cookies. I always toast a big batch and store in airtight containers. Here are two ways to toast walnuts easily.
Oven- To toast walnuts in oven preheat oven at 180 C or 350 F. Spread the walnuts as single layer in a large baking sheet and toast for 7-10 minutes. After 5 minutes stir the nuts once for uniform roasting.
Stovetop- Use a heavy cast iron pan or skillet and roast the nuts over medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
If you are roasting a large batch, let cool thoroughly and store in airtight containers.
How To Prevent Cut Apple From Browning
Apples are rich in iron and they oxidize pretty much as soon as they are cut. While that is not going to affect the taste or nutrition, they are not visually appealing right?
Here is how you prevent them from browning.
- Try not to peel the apples, I do not know how but this somehow works for me. Apples sliced with peel retain their color a bit longer
- Toss the sliced apples in lemon juice and refrigerate until use.
How To Make Balsamic Vinaigrette For Salad?
This homemade salad dressing is so delicious, flavorful and can be used for many salad recipes. I usually have a small jar of this handy and use in my salads like mango salad, watermelon feta salad, fruit salad recipes. The quantity of ingredients can be varied per taste.
The below quantities will make about 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette and for this recipe you will need about 1/2 cup or 1/3 cup. You can refrigerate the dressing and use as required.
To a large bowl add
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple or honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons dijon mustard and whisk very well until emulsified.
Store in a airtight jar and use as required. To make dressing just enough for this recipe please refer recipe card.
What Is The Best Apple For Salad?
For this apple walnut salad use fresh seasonal apples that are sweet and crunchy.
I have used Kashmir apples here, if you prefer crispier ones you can try fuji apples. Red delicious, royal gala are good this salad recipe too.
This apple walnut is a great meal on its own when you are looking for a light lunch or brunch. It is also one of those delicious side dish recipes for your continental spread.
Serve with a light soup and some fresh bread slices for a wonderful lunch.
Step By Step Method
Mix all the ingredients mentioned under dressing in a small bowl and whisk. Keep aside.
Rinse the salad greens and dry thoroughly using a salad spinner.
Rinse, wipe and slice the apple into wedges. You can also cube them. Also hull the strawberries and halve them.
In a large bowl combine lettuce, apples, chopped walnuts and berries.
Stir in the dressing and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place few lettuce leaves in a salad bowl and place the prepared salad.
Top with more walnuts, basil leaves and serve immediately.
While serving you can also serve a side of 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup to drizzle just before eating.
I hope you will try this fall apple walnut salad recipe and enjoy as much as we did.
Apple Walnut Salad Recipe
- salad spinner
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
For the salad
- 3 cups salad greens red leaf lettuce or romaine lettuce
- 2 apples chopped into wedges or thinly sliced
- 6 strawberries halved
- 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- few basil leaves
- Mix all the ingredients mentioned under dressing in a small bowl and whisk. Keep aside.
- Rinse the salad greens and dry thoroughly using a salad spinner.
- Rinse, wipe and slice the apple into wedges. You can also cube them.
- Also hull the strawberries and halve them.
- In a large bowl combine lettuce, apples, chopped walnuts and berries. Stir in the dressing and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place few lettuce leaves in a salad bowl and place the prepared salad.
- Top with more walnuts, basil leaves and serve immediately.
- While serving you can also serve a side of 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup to drizzle just before eating.