Crispy, crunchy, salty and sweet, this apple walnut salad is so good and takes only minutes to make. A quick salad dressing of apple cider vinegar, grainy Dijon mustard and maple syrup bring all the delicious flavors together for a salad that can be a side or a main dish.
This post is sponsored by the Washington Apple Commission but the recipe ideas and opinions are my own.
Why I Made This Recipe
Apple walnut salad is inspired by my other popular Cosmic Crisp salad, Crisp Apple Fennel Salad with Grainy Mustard Dressing and my Brie and Apple Grilled Cheese with Hot Honey Apples and cheese are such a classic combination and using apple cider vinegar in the dressing really boosts the apple flavor.
I've used Cosmic Crisp apples for this recipe so my apples stay fresh and white by the time I'm serving. Let's get started!
I love apple desserts too, like Best Apple Oatmeal Cake and Cinnamon Rolls With Apple Pie Filling that both use Cosmic Crisps and French Apple Beignets Recipe. Apples are such a versatile ingredient, I always keep fresh apples in my fridge for lunches, salads and baking.
Cosmic Crisp Apples - A cross between the "Enterprise" and "Honeycrisp" apples, Cosmic Crisps are large, juicy and red. These apples have a perfectly balanced flavor and firm texture, making it ideal for snacking, cooking and baking. I particularly like that they stay whiter longer after cutting, making them ideal for this salad and appetizers like I did below.
Blue Cheese - I've used a creamy tasting but still crumbly Quebec blue cheese called Ermite. St. Agur, Roquefort, Danish blue and Stilton will all work equally well in the apple salad.
Mustard - I have used grainy Dijon but creamy Dijon is fine as well. (Do not substitute yellow ballpark mustard.)
Maple Syrup - A natural sweetener with complex flavors, maple syrup also goes stunningly with apples.
Step By Step Instructions
This is a very fast and simple salad to make. Mix up your dressing and let it sit together while you prep your apples and blue cheese. You'll be done this in just a few minutes.
- Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients (vinegar, mustard, maple syrup and olive oil), then season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the salad.
- In a large bowl, add chopped greens, sliced apples and walnuts. Toss gently with ⅔ of the vinaigrette. Add in crumbled cheese and croutons and toss gently one more time. Arrange on a platter or serve in individual bowls with additional dressing as desired.
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- Green Salad - Feel free to use whatever greens you like. I've used leaf lettuce, kale, chard and parsley here but other great choices are arugula, spinach, watercress or spring salad mix.
- Cheese - If you dislike blue cheese, feel free to swap another semi firm, crumbled cheese. Try parmesan, cheddar, feta or goat.
- Nuts - Walnuts are a classic combination with apples but so are pecans so they will work equally well, just call it an apple pecan salad. You can substitute other nuts if needed or if you have a nut allergy, just use more croutons for the crunch.
- Maple Syrup - Honey is a fine substitute if required.
Apple Walnut Crostini - Instead of tossing croutons in the salad, why not toss the salad onto the croutons? Using thin toasted slices of baguette, top with lettuce, apple slices, walnuts and blue cheese. Drizzle a little dressing over each one and serve on a tray.
Apple Cheddar Salad - Simply swap an equal amount of the crumbled blue cheese for crumbled, aged cheddar, another classic combination!
Prep and Storage
This salad keeps well in the refrigerator up to 2 days if prepped but not dressed. Store ingredients separately from the vinaigrette until serving.
Once dressed, store remaining salad in the fridge for up to 2 days. The greens will become wilted but are still safe to eat.
This will not freeze.
No! Cosmic Crisp apples are non-GMO. These are a cross between the Honeycrisp and the Enterprise varieties, Cosmic Crisp® was classically bred over 20 years through Washington State University’s world-class fruit breeding program.
Cosmic Crisp apples are best stored in your refrigerator to maintain freshness, flavor and texture. Stored properly, they will last longer than other varieties.
Cosmic Crisp apples are naturally cultivated to have higher levels of acidity and sugar. This helps them to not oxidize as quickly, making them slow to brown. This is a great quality when using sliced apples for entertaining, in lunch boxes and of course for salads like this one!
I hope you love this apple walnut salad as much as I do. Full of vitamins, fiber and all the yummy flavors, it's one of my favorites.
Have a wonderful and delicious day,
Apple Walnut Salad
- 8 c Mixed greens
- 3 Cosmic Crisp apples cored and thinly sliced
- 1 c Blue cheese crumbled
- 1 ½ c Walnut halves
- 1 ½ c Thin bread croutons, broken into large pieces or regular square croutons
- 3 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- S + P to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with mustard and maple syrup. Whisk in olive oil then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, add greens, apples and walnuts. Toss gently with ⅔ of the vinaigrette. Add in crumbled blue cheese and croutons, toss gently one more time. Arrange on a platter or serve in bowls with additional dressing as desired.