Main Dish/ Side Dish

Spinach Apple Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

This Spinach Apple Salad is healthy and perfect for Fall! This vegetarian salad is packed with apples, feta, walnuts, dried cranberries and red onion for a delicious combo that works great as a main or side dish.

October 1, 2019 (Last Updated: October 15, 2019)
Salad in a white bowl with gold fork in it on a white counter.

Salads get a bad rap of being boring and bland so often, but in reality they can be so flavorful and delicious! This Spinach Apple Salad with Homemade Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette is simple to make and saves perfectly for an easy lunch or meal prep. This healthy vegetarian spinach salad is packed with walnuts, dried cranberries, feta, red onion and apples! I love making this salad as a side for dinner, or bringing it to a holiday party like Thanksgiving or Christmas. I hope you, your family and friends love this healthy and versatile salad recipe!

What You Need To Make a Spinach Apple Salad

The kitchen tools you will need to make this healthy spinach salad are: 

  • A Pairing Knife and Cutting Board- These are to chop the apple and slice the red onion.
  • A Colander or Salad Spinner- This is to make sure your spinach is nice and clean.
  • A Large Bowl- This is to combine all your salad ingredients together. If you are making this ahead of time for a party or holiday, a large bowl with a lid works great for storage and transport. 
  • Salad Tossing Tools
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Small Bowls for Serving
  • Meal Prep Containers (Optional)

The ingredients you will need for this easy spinach apple salad are: 

  • Fresh Spinach- You could swap out some of the spinach for arugula, artisan spring mix, or some kale. This is your preference and any lettuce swaps will change the overall flavor. 
  • A Large Apple- I like using Fuji, Gala, or Pink Lady. Any will do those are just my favorites. 
  • Feta Cheese- Another fun cheese option would be using goat cheese. Also, you could leave the cheese out or swap in a vegan cheese to make this spinach salad vegan. 
  • Walnuts- If you aren’t a big walnut fan would could use almonds, or pistachios instead. Just make sure that they do not have shells or any flavoring on them.
  • Dried Cranberries- Any dried fruit can work if you cannot find dried cranberries. I also like using dried cherries in this salad recipe. 
  • A Red Onion
  • Homemade Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Salad in two white bowls on a white counter.

 

How To Make a Healthy Spinach Salad

Preparing  Easy Spinach Salad Ingredients

  1. First, you will need to prepare your salad ingredients. Start by thoroughly washing your spinach in a salad spinner or colander. Once you have the spinach washed, dab it dry with paper towels and prepare the rest of the ingredients. 
  2. Take a red onion and slice it in half, then remove the outside layer. Cut the onion in half width-wise then thinly slice the lengthwise until all of the onion is sliced. 
  3. Cut a large apple into four large chunks. You can either thinly slice the apple or chop it into 1/2 inch pieces. Personally, I like the chunks because they are easier to eat, but it is up to you.
  4. Measure out the remaining salad ingredients and add them to a large bowl with the washed/dried spinach leaves. 
  5. Toss the spinach salad until the goodies are all distributed. Serve immediately with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette, or cover and store until ready to serve. This salad recipe will yield 4 side salads or 2 large main dish salads. 

Enjoy!

Prep image for salad showing apple and rec onion being cut on a wooden cutting board.

What To Pair This Fall Spinach Salad With

I love that this spinach apple salad is not only easy, but also super versatile. This healthy spinach salad works great as a main dish or as a side. If you go the main dish route this recipe will yield 2 big daddy salads. Alternatively, this salad will yield 4 side salads perfect to pair with another recipe. Personally, I love pairing a salad with the classic soup or sandwich. Another great option for this spinach salad is to serve it as a side for a holiday dinner or brunch like Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas! If you need some great recipe pairing ideas check these recipes out!

Salad ingredients all on top of salad in a glass bowl on a white counter.

Can I add meat to this salad?

Of course you can! I love leaving this salad vegetarian, but you can add meat if you wish. Some great options are grilled or baked chicken breasts or leftover Thanksgiving Herb Butter Turkey. I do not recommend adding red meat or pork to this salad, because I do not feel the flavors would meld well together. Also, make sure if you add any meat to this spinach salad that it is cooked first. 

Storing Leftover Salad

This Spinach Apple Salad can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. This makes this healthy salad great for meal prep or a simple lunch. I also love to make this salad ahead of time for holidays like Thanksgiving. I can make the salad the day before, so I don’t have to worry about it the day of! Personally, I like to leave the Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing separate when storing and add it to the salad right before I’m ready to eat it or serve it. If you add the dressing ahead of time the spinach leaves will get sort mushy and not be that great of a texture. Also, give the salad a good toss before you serve it, so all the goodies can get redistributed. 

Spinach Apple Salad in a glass bowl with wooden serving spoons in it.

Love Vegetarian Recipes? Try These Next!

Veggie Quesadillas with Black Beans

Blueberry White Chocolate Scones

Roasted Veggie Enchiladas

Vegan Morning Glory Muffins

Vinaigrette Dressing being poured over spinach salad in a glass bowl.

I hope you love this Healthy Spinach Apple Salad! Don’t forget to check out my Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette for the perfect finishing touch to this tasty vegetarian salad recipe!

Happy Eating!

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Salad in a white bowl with gold fork in it on a white counter.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Spinach Apple Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

This Spinach Apple Salad is packed with apples, feta, walnuts and tossed in honey balsamic vinaigrette. This healthy salad works as a main dish or side!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Course: Main Course, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy fall salad recipe, healthy salad with spinach, spinach apple salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 178kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Fresh Spinach Washed and Dried
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 2/3 Cup Feta
  • 1/2 Small Red Onion Sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts
  • 1 Large Apple Chopped
  • Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette To Taste

Instructions

  • Wash spinach leaves thoroughly then pat dry with a paper towel. While spinach is continuing to dry, thinly slice half of a red onion. I like to cut it in half first so the slices aren't massive. Next, chop the apple into either thin slices or 1/2 inch chunks. It is whatever you prefer.
  • Add the washed and dried spinach into a large bowl with the remaining ingredients. Toss the salad until the ingredients are well distributed.
  • Add the Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing to the large bowl and toss, or leave separate and let each person add the dressing themselves. Serve immediately or store leftovers in the fridge.
    Enjoy!
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Notes

  • Leftover Storage: Store leftover spinach apple salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The salad saves better if the dressing is stored separate and added when ready to eat. 
  • Ingredient Substitutions: I love this salad as is, but some other additions you could try are apple chips instead of fresh apples, almonds instead of walnuts, goat cheese instead of feta (or leaving the cheese out completely), adding grilled chicken, using a different dressing, or using a different dried fruit. Of course these are just some options and you could make any swaps you wish. Note: Any swaps to the recipe will change the overall flavor. 
  • Nutritional Information does not include Honey Balsamic Dressing. 

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.1g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12.8g | Saturated Fat: 3.5g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 418mg | Fiber: 3.9g | Sugar: 8.1g | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @erhardtseat or tag #erhardteat!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Laura | Wandercooks
    October 6, 2019 at 12:31 am

    5 stars
    Beautiful! Colourful and refreshing, which is exactly what you want for a hot summers day 🙂

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    October 5, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    5 stars
    This dish looks so healthy and flavourful! That vinaigrette sounds so good.

  • Reply
    Andrea Metlika
    October 5, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    5 stars
    This salad looks fabulous. The Honey Balsamic sounds perfect with the dried cranberries and apples and all of it.

  • Reply
    Krissy Allori
    October 5, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    5 stars
    Loved this light and refreshing salad! The walnuts and apples are so good together.

  • Leave a Reply