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This simple apple cranberry salad recipe is made with pecans, mixed greens, gorgonzola, and a homemade maple dijon dressing. It’s ready in just 20 minutes – perfect for your holiday menus and beyond!

Apple cranberry salad on a large serving plate.

Looking for the perfect fall salad to serve at your next gathering? You’ll want to add this cranberry apple salad to your menu! It’s so incredibly easy to throw together and is filled with fall flavours and colours.

The only “steps” involved are combining the 5 dressing ingredients together, slicing the apples, and then adding the remainder of the ingredients to a large serving bowl or plate. Seriously so simple, and guaranteed to impress your guests 🙂

Want more dietitian-designed fall salad recipes? My roasted pear salad, this pomegranate halloumi salad, and this kale apple walnut salad are all perfect for serving at your next dinner party, too!

Recipe ingredients in small bowls.

About the ingredients + possible substitutions

  1. Apples: My personal favourite apple to use (for pretty much everything!) is honeycrisp. They’re SO sweet, juicy, and crunchy. That said, you may use your favourite apple variety here.
  2. Dried cranberries: Dried cranberries add a lovely sweetness and chewy texture to fall salads. Plus, they feel festive and seasonal. I try my best to find dried cranberries that haven’t been sweetened, but I know they are tough to come by – you can use sweetened ones if that’s all you can find!
  3. Pecans: I love pecans with fall salads, but you are welcome to use walnuts instead. For a nut-free version, leave the nuts out and swap with pumpkin seeds.
  4. Gorgonzola: I LOVE this salad with gorgonzola, but you may use another type of blue cheese that you can easily crumble. Alternatively, you could use goat cheese or feta if preferred. For a dairy-free/vegan option, swap with a dairy-free alternative.
  5. Mixed baby greens: I used a spring mix as the base of this recipe, but you may use any combination of baby greens like arugula, baby spinach, baby kale, etc.
  6. Olive oil: Used as the base of the salad dressing. Olive oil provides a source of heart-healthy fats that helps to make a salad more filling and satisfying, while also helping your body to absorb any fat-soluble nutrients in the salad itself.
  7. Maple syrup: Adds a touch of sweetness to balance out the more acidic flavours and provides that distinct “maple” flavour in the salad dressing!
  8. Dijon mustard: Mustard helps to emulsify and thicken a salad dressing. I personally used a smooth/creamy dijon (versus grainy) that is milder in taste (not too spicy) – you don’t want the flavour to be too overpowering here.
  9. White wine vinegar: Used to provide acidity to this salad dressing. I find white wine vinegar has a slightly milder flavour, but you could likely swap it with apple cider vinegar as well.
  10. Garlic powder: I like the way garlic powder integrates smoothly into salad dressing, but you could use freshly minced garlic cloves as well.

Other ways to modify this salad slightly? If you want to add more bulk, feel free to add some cooked farro or quinoa to this salad. If you want to add more protein, this salad tastes amazing with some grilled chicken or hard-boiled eggs!

Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Apple cranberry salad on a large serving plate.

What to serve with this apple cranberry salad

This salad is sure to be a hit at a holiday dinner, like for Thanksgiving or Christmas – perfect to add to your holiday spread! That said, it’s truly great or for any dinner/lunch you enjoy in the fall or winter 😉

As mentioned above, it tastes great with chicken, but you can serve it alongside other proteins like steak or turkey, or fish like baked salmon.

It would also pair great with some cozy side dishes, like these roasted sweet potatoes and carrots!

Tips for making this in advance

This salad recipe is best enjoyed fresh and truly only takes about 20 minutes to throw together.

If you want to prepare some of it ahead of time, you can make the maple dijon salad dressing and store it in an airtight jar in the fridge.

The mixed greens, pecans, gorgonzola, and dried cranberries can be measured out and stored in the fridge as well.

Within the hour or so of when you want to serve it, simply mix all the measured ingredients together in a bowl. Slice the apples (so that they don’t brown) and add them into the bowl too. Finish by tossing everything in the pre-made salad dressing!

Apple cranberry salad tossed in maple dijon dressing.

More salads with dried cranberries

Did you give this Apple Cranberry Salad Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: Apple Cranberry Salad (20-Minutes!)

This simple apple cranberry salad recipe is made with pecans, mixed greens, gorgonzola, and a homemade maple dijon dressing. Perfect for your holiday menus and beyond!
Apple cranberry salad on a large serving plate.
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5 from 8 votes
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Ingredients

  • 5 ounces mixed baby greens (142 grams or 1 standard small clamshell)
  • 2 medium honeycrisp apples, sliced or chopped (or apple variety of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup raw pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola, crumbled

Maple dijon dressing:

Instructions

  • Make salad dressing by combining olive oil, maple syrup, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small jar with a lid. Shake vigorously to mix. Set aside.
  • Add all salad ingredients to a large salad bowl or serving platter. Shake dressing one more time then pour overtop of salad. Toss everything to combine well. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Enjoy!

Notes

*LEFTOVERS & MAKE AHEAD OPTION:
  • This recipe is best eaten fresh, but you can enjoy the leftovers until the following day. More than that, and it will get a bit too soggy!
  • You can make the salad dressing in advance (store it in the fridge) and measure out the other ingredients. Slice and add in the apple before serving, or else it will brown. Toss in dressing just before serving as well 🙂
 
*RECIPE MODIFICATIONS:
  • Gorgonzola can be swapped with another blue cheese that crumbles, as well as goat cheese or feta. For a dairy-free/vegan option, swap with a dairy-free alternative.
  • I used a spring mix as the base of this recipe, but you may use any combination of baby greens like arugula, baby spinach, baby kale, etc.
  • I love pecans with fall salads, but you are welcome to use walnuts instead. For a nut-free version, leave the nuts out and swap with pumpkin seeds.
  • If you want to add more bulk, feel free to add some cooked farro or quinoa to this salad.
  • If you want to add more protein, this salad tastes amazing with some grilled chicken or hard-boiled eggs!

Nutrition

As a dietitian, I create recipes with whole food ingredients that provide the nutrients needed for optimal health. My nutrition philosophy does not focus on numbers; however, I understand that this information can be helpful.

Do note that the nutrition info provided is an estimate and I cannot guarantee correctness of the displayed values. These numbers will differ depending on brands used, recipe modifications, and amount eaten. If you require specific nutrition information due to medical reasons, please consult with your dietitian or physician.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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Pinterest graphic for an apple cranberry salad recipe with pecans and a maple dijon dressing.
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