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Arugula salad topped with sliced apples and avocado, maple toasted pecans, and feta with cranberry dressing on the side.
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Apple, Avocado, and Arugula Salad with Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

A fall-inspired salad filled with apples, avocado, arugula, toasted pecans, and feta topped with a homemade warm cranberry vinaigrette. The perfect salad to feed a crowd!
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Cost $15

Equipment

  • sheet pan
  • Saucepan

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 1 large head of romaine
  • 2 ½ ounces arugula
  • 2 large apples preferably honeycrisp, gala, or jonagold
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ to ½ cup feta

For the Candied Pecans

  • 1 cup pecan halves raw and unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt

For the Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon shallots very finely diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon honey dijon mustard
  • ½ lemon juiced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine pecans, maple syrup, melted butter, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to coat evenly.
  • Spread the pecans out on the prepared sheet pan and toast them in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, watching carefully so they do not burn. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Add olive oil and shallots to a saucepan over medium low heat. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally so the shallots do not burn.
  • Add the cranberries, vinegar, maple syrup, and dijon. Stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes to rehydrate the cranberries and allow them to soak up some of the dressing.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Wash and chop the romaine lettuce. Slice the apples and avocado.
  • In a large, shallow bowl combine romaine and arugula. Top with apple and avocado slices, followed by the toasted pecans and feta.
  • Drizzle the warm cranberry vinaigrette over top and serve immediately.

Storage

  • To store: If you make the arugula salad and cranberry dressing ahead of time, store all of the components separately in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Store lettuces with a dry paper towel over top to absorb any extra moisture.
    To freeze: Freezing is not recommended.
    To reheat: You can reheat the cranberry vinaigrette in a saucepan over low heat until it is warmed through or simply serve any leftover dressing at room temperature.

Notes

  1. Use any greens or lettuce you like best.
  2. You can coat the apples and avocado in lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
  3. If serving as a side dish, place on 1 to 1 ½ cups of lettuce per person. If serving as a main dish, plan on about 2 cups per person.
  4. If you're planning on serving the warm cranberry vinaigrette dressing on the side, instead of adding it on top of the salad, you might want to double the dressing recipe. This will ensure everyone gets enough dressing to scoop onto their salad.