Simple Apple Pecan Salad

  • By KJ

Sometimes you just need a salad to balance out all the other Thanksgiving dishes.

But you don’t want the salad to be too much of a bore, you know? After all, it is a holiday.

Simple Apple Pecan Salad is the perfect option.

It’s easy to make, packed with flavor, and tastes great leftover (…for that post-Thanksgiving meal when you only want to eat salad).

It’s a crisp and vibrant salad that combines the earthiness of kale with the juicy sweetness of Honeycrisp apples. Add crunchy pecans, creamy hints of blue cheese, and sweet dried cranberries. All these flavors are brought together with a sweet and tangy salad dressing made with Dijon mustard and maple syrup.

It’s an autumn salad perfect for a holiday or any other day of the year.

Apple pecan salad assembled in a serving bowl.

Sometimes you just need a salad to balance out all the other Thanksgiving dishes. 

But you don’t want the salad to be too much of a bore, you know? After all, it is a holiday.

Simple Apple Pecan Salad is the perfect option. 

It’s easy to make, packed with flavor, and tastes great leftover (…for that post-Thanksgiving meal when you only want to eat salad). 

It’s a crisp and vibrant salad that combines the earthiness of kale with the juicy sweetness of Honeycrisp apples. Add crunchy pecans, creamy hints of blue cheese, and sweet dried cranberries. All these flavors are brought together with a sweet and tangy salad dressing made with Dijon mustard and maple syrup. 

It’s an autumn salad perfect for a holiday or any other day of the year.

Apple pecan salad assembled in a serving bowl.

Why KJ Loves

Simple Apple Pecan Salad

Simple Apple Pecan Salad

I love how easily delicious this salad is. Plus, it helps you get something green on your holiday table in a snap! And it can be made in advance – it just keeps getting better and better! 

A close-up photo of all the apple pecan salad together in a bowl.

Apple Pecan Salad Ingredients

Kale (chopped)

Make sure to de-rib the kale to avoid the thicker, more bitter stalks. Kale is great because it keeps longer without the wilting you get with other greens. If you’re not into kale, you can use your favorite greens, like romaine lettuce or spinach.  

Honeycrisp apples (chopped)

Honeycrisps are a great balance of sweet and tart, with a firm texture. If you want to try out another apple, you could go for Fuji apples, Pink Lady Apples, or Gala apples. 

Pecans

For a little extra flavor, try toasting the pecans. If you like very sweet fall salads, you could do maple pecans or candied pecans. (But the salad dressing adds a nice sweetness, so you may prefer the pecans plain.) 

Blue cheese

The blue cheese crumbles add a nice tangy flavor to the salad. If you don’t love blue cheese, try some creamy goat cheese or feta instead. 

Dried cranberries

Dried cherries would also work in this fall salad recipe. 

Mustard Maple Dressing Ingredients

Shallot

Dijon mustard

Maple syrup

Extra virgin olive oil

Lemon juice

Salt

A close-up photo of all the apple pecan salad together in a bowl.

How To Make Apple Pecan Salad

In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients until combined. 

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour the dressing over the prepared salad and toss to coat evenly. 

Yup. It’s that simple.

Apple pecan salad tossed together in a serving bowl.

Other Additions:

^

Serve with grilled chicken.

^

Add more veggies - whatever you need to use from your fridge.

^

Top with bacon bits.

^

Chop up some red onion for an extra bite.

A close-up photo of apple pecan salad tossed together.

What To Serve with Apple Pecan Salad

If you’re serving these turkey meatballs for Thanksgiving, here’s a full holiday menu you can use!

Thanksgiving table set up with turkey meatballs, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, salad and pie.

Leftovers?

Serve topped with Herbed Turkey Meatballs for a complete meal. Or add some grilled chicken on top for an easy, post-holiday lunch.

A thanksgiving plate with herbed turkey meatballs, mashed potatoes, salad and cornbread stuffing.

The Archive: Explore Other Thanksgiving Menus

  • Thanksgiving 2022 – The theme in 2022 was “twists on classics.” From a buttery, golden brown turkey to a fluffy pumpkin mousse pie, this Thanksgiving Menu will easily impress your friends and family!
  • Thanksgiving 2021 – This menu features a simple turkey recipe, a perfectly glazed ham, fresh twists on classic sides, and a warm, cinnamon-speckled apple pie.
  • Thanksgiving 2020 – Try this beautiful glazed turkey, vibrant side dishes, and a scrumptious pumpkin dessert.

For more inspiration, see all our Thanksgiving recipe ideas here.

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Apple pecan salad assembled in a serving bowl.

Simple Apple Pecan Salad


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: KJ & Company -Kate Poskochil
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

Sometimes you just need a salad to balance out all the other Thanksgiving dishes. But you don’t want the salad to be too much of a bore, you know? After all, it is a holiday. Simple Apple Pecan Salad is the perfect option. It’s easy to make, packed with flavor, and tastes great leftover (…for that post-Thanksgiving meal when you only want to eat salad). It’s a crisp and vibrant salad that combines the earthiness of kale with the juicy sweetness of Honeycrisp apples. Add crunchy pecans, creamy hints of blue cheese, and sweet dried cranberries. All these flavors are brought together with a sweet and tangy salad dressing made with Dijon mustard and maple syrup. It’s an autumn salad perfect for a holiday or any other day of the year. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 10 oz Chopped kale
  • 2 honeycrisp apples, chopped
  • 1 cup Pecans
  • 1 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.

For the dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, lemon juice and salt until smooth and combined.
  2. Pour the dressing over the prepared salad and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately or make a day in advance and store in the refrigerator until service. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Nutritional information for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 254
  • Sugar: 6.8g
  • Fat: 20.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.7g
  • Fiber: 2.4g
  • Protein: 6.4g
  • Cholesterol: 13mg
Apple pecan salad assembled in a serving bowl.

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