Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad for Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is true across the nook! Whether you’re internet hosting a big household dinner or contributing a facet dish to a potluck, I’ve the right Thanksgiving salad for you. This apple pecan salad screams Thanksgiving. It has crunch, taste, and sufficient colourful pizazz that it’ll be the spotlight of any Thanksgiving desk!

I used to not be a lot of a salad individual as a result of actually, they had been boring as all get out. But this apple pecan salad is a complete completely different beast. Bring this to your Thanksgiving dinner, and I assure you’re going to have individuals begging you for the recipe by the tip of the evening. The better part is, it’s tremendous easy to make. Let’s get cooking!

Overhead of cranberry apple pecan salad in a white serving bowl, with wooden serving spoons and fresh ingredients around it.

What’s on this apple pecan salad?

We are all about fall with this one, which is why it’s a excellent Thanksgiving salad! You’ll want:

Baby spinach and chopped lettuce. These are the salad greens we use for this salad, however should you’d wish to swap in some child kale or different leafy greens, be happy!
Apple. Any apple will do the trick!
Red onion.
Gorgonzola cheese. If you aren’t a fan, we’ll speak extra about this in a sec.
Pecan halves. Toasted pecans add a nutty crunch that may be a good distinction to the creamy gorgonzola.
Dried cranberries.
Our home made honey mustard dressing.

Do I’ve to make use of gorgonzola cheese?

Gorgonzola cheese has a singular taste that may be tough to copy. If it’s been aged a very long time, it may be sharp with a nutty taste, whereas if it’s solely been aged a short while, it tends to be clean and gentle. It’s a crumbly, gentle cheese, so it’s simple to interrupt aside and sprinkle in your apple pecan salad.

However, should you aren’t a fan of gorgonzola, you possibly can substitute it with one other crumbly cheese. Blue cheese might be closest in taste since gorgonzola is a part of the blue cheese household. If you like a milder or extra tangy taste, you might attempt feta cheese, which additionally crumbles nicely.

A glass jar with homemade honey mustard vinaigrette stands in front of a full salad bowl ready for dressing.

Birdseye view of dishing up cranberry apple pecan salad for thanksgiving from a large serving bowl.

How do I toast my pecan halves?

Toasting pecan halves is straightforward, and you are able to do it within the oven or your frying pan. To toast them within the oven, preheat the oven to 325°F. Arrange your pecans in a single layer on a parchment-covered baking sheet, after which bake your pecans for seven to 10 minutes to get them toasty.

If your oven is full, you possibly can pan-fry your pecans in a dry skillet that’s been heated over medium warmth. Make positive your pecans aren’t touching one another and permit them to roast for three to 5 minutes, stirring continuously to stop burning.

You’ll know your pecans are completed once they odor toasty and extra nutty, and are simply beginning to brown. Don’t allow them to get too darkish, or they’ll style burnt as a substitute of tasty.

What if I don’t like or have pecans?

Pecans are a clean, buttery nut that tastes scrumptious in quite a lot of recipes. Honestly, the salad will style greatest with roasted pecans. However, if you might want to substitute them out, it would nonetheless style scrumptious!

If you’d want, hazelnuts are very comparable in taste to pecans. Of course, walnuts are one other in style salad topping. Macadamias and cashews are each candy, clean, and buttery, in order that they’d style nice in your Thanksgiving salad instead of pecans. Basically, no matter nut you employ, you’ll nonetheless find yourself with an awesome fall salad.

Top view of tossed and dressed salad on a plate alongside the full serving bowl.

I’m allergic to nuts. What can I take advantage of as a substitute?

If you will have a nut allergy—otherwise you simply don’t like them—you possibly can nonetheless make this apple pecan salad with out shedding the crunch that pecans present. An glorious substitute for nuts in salads are seeds. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds will add a seasonal crunch to your salad, and should you toast them within the oven or on the stovetop, you’ll get a little bit of that nutty taste as nicely!

How can I make this apple pecan salad extra filling?

As it’s written, this apple pecan salad makes an awesome facet dish for eight individuals, or a primary dish for 4. If you’d wish to make it extra filling, add some grilled hen or, for a vegetarian-friendly salad, some drained and rinsed canned chickpeas.

Close view of a plate piled high with salad alongside the serving bowl.

Can this salad be made forward of time?

You can positively make this salad forward of time, with one catch. To protect the contemporary crunch, it’s best to make the dressing forward of time and maintain it in a separate container till you’re able to serve your salad. This will stop the leafy greens from getting soggy.

Slicing your apple forward of time could trigger browning, so should you select to do that, you may wish to soak it in a water and lemon juice resolution. Pre-sliced apples and pre-mixed salad are good for a few day within the fridge, whereas the salad dressing may be made as much as three or 4 days upfront.

Wholefully Protip

You might additionally put together it as a mason jar salad, like we did with our apple walnut salad in a jar.

What are another wonderful Thanksgiving facet dishes I can check out?

Of course, should you attempt it and you continue to aren’t a fan of salads, don’t fret—I promise I received’t maintain it in opposition to you—as a result of I’ve a ton extra Thanksgiving facet dishes you’re sure to like!


Overhead of cranberry apple pecan salad in a white serving bowl, with wooden serving spoons and fresh ingredients around it.

Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

4 dinner servings or 8 facet servings

Prep Time:

Total Time:

This filling Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette is full of layers of taste, texture, and colour. Serve it as a facet dish, or take pleasure in it as a primary.


2 cups child spinach

4 cups chopped lettuce

1 giant apple, cored and thinly sliced

1 small crimson onion, thinly sliced

4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola

1 cup pecan halves, toasted

1 cup low-sugar dried cranberries

For the dressing:

1/2 cup further virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper, to style


Layer all of the salad components, minus the dressing components, in a big bowl.
Whisk the dressing components collectively. Drizzle over the salad and serve, with any further dressing supplied on the facet.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1 facet serving

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 414Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 260mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 3gSugar: 37gProtein: 5g

At Wholefully, we consider that good diet is about rather more than simply the numbers on the diet details panel. Please use the above data as solely a small a part of what helps you determine what meals are nourishing for you.

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