This fall arugula apple salad features pecans, red onion, parmesan cheese, and a simple apple cider vinaigrette dressing. It’s a deliciously easy dish that’s perfect for fall days and holiday meals.
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As I write this, I’m sitting outside with the first leaves of the season falling around me. Writing about fall food under a fall landscape…it’s quite picturesque, don’t you think?!
I’m extra excited to start posting fall recipes on the blog this year. I think it’s because I’m craving a change of seasons, especially since every day has been so monotonous for the past six months.
So, I hope you’ll bear with me as I start releasing my apple, root vegetable, and squash recipes a little earlier than usual! This arugula apple salad, in particular, is a great transitional recipe to help you ease into the new season.
It’s made with spicy baby arugula, crispy apples (I used Pink Lady), thinly sliced onion, crunchy pecans, and salty parmesan cheese. It all comes together under a heavy drizzle of apple cider vinegar mixed with EVOO and dijon. I’m truly in love with the flavors here, and I think it might even become a go-to Thanksgiving or Christmas salad over the years!
- Ingredients: This salad tastes best with baby arugula and a sweet apple variety. I like to use Pink Lady apples, but Honeycrisp, Gala, or something similar would also work. Granny Smith might be a little too tart, but if you love green apples, then by all means give them a try and let me know!
- Substitutions: You can use goat or feta cheese in lieu of the parmesan. Smoked gouda would also taste DELISH in an arugula apple salad IMO. To make this salad vegan, omit the cheese altogether. If you want to try a different nut or seed, I think pistachios, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds would be nice.
- Preparation: I don’t recommend making this too far in advance, because the sliced apples may get a little brown. But it should keep OK for up to three hours in the fridge. Mix all of the salad ingredients together in a serving bowl, but wait to add the dressing until just before serving.
For a cozy fall meal, serve arugula apple salad on the side of my Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Brown Rice Risotto. It would also go well with the One Pot Mushroom Spaghetti, Vegetarian French Onion Soup with Lentils, and Carrot and Celery Soup with Thyme Pecan Crumble.
More Fall Salads
If you love this arugula apple salad, you should also check out the Arugula Sweet Potato Salad with Cumin Lime Dressing, Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing, Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dates, Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Apple Cider Dressing, and Maple Swiss Chard Salad with Turkey.
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Arugula Apple Salad with Pecans
- 5 ounces baby arugula - rinsed and dried
- 2 apples - cored and thinly sliced; I used Pink Lady
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ½ cup raw pecans
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- In a large bowl, combine the arugula, thinly sliced apples and red onion, pecans, and parmesan cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon, and salt. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss until coated. Enjoy!
- Possible substitutions: goat, feta, or gouda cheese for the parmesan and pistachios, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds for the pecans.
- To make vegan, omit the cheese.
- This recipe shouldn’t be prepared too far in advance since the apples may go brown. If needed, it should be OK if prepared two or three hours ahead of time. Store the salad ingredients in a bowl in the fridge, but wait to dress the salad until right before serving.
Happy (almost) fall! – Lizzie