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.
Why KJ Loves
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!
Apple Pecan Salad Ingredients
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.
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.)
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 cherries would also work in this fall salad recipe.
Mustard Maple Dressing Ingredients
Extra virgin olive oil
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.
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.
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!
- Herbed Turkey Meatballs With Gravy — The aromatic, savory flavors of a holiday turkey without the fuss.
- Sour Cream & Onion Mashed Potatoes — OG mashed potatoes with a little extra creaminess and tang.
- Cornbread Stuffing — Simple, traditional, and packed with classic herbs and flavors.
- Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie — It’s a cookie. It’s a pie. It’s both, and it’s to die for.
Serve topped with Herbed Turkey Meatballs for a complete meal. Or add some grilled chicken on top for an easy, post-holiday lunch.
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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