Apple, Bacon, Pecan Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

posted by Andrea | 04/5/2017
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A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to bring a salad to a women’s luncheon at church.

This might not sound very exciting to many of you, but I LOVE all sorts of different salad ingredients… and I rarely ever have a chance to make them at home because Dave will not eat salad if it contains fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, feta cheese, or any sort of homemade dressing.

As I was deciding what salad recipe I wanted to make for our luncheon, I looked through various recipes as well as what ingredients I had in my house, and decided on this very delicious salad that I think could be perfect just about any time of year.

The baby spinach and fresh lettuce make it a great spring-time salad. The apples and cranberries make it suitable for fall, and the bacon and candied pecans just scream “happy holidays” to me.

You can easily substitute your own favorite dressing or vinaigrette, but the homemade Apple Vinaigrette is so amazing with this salad. I had my doubts when I taste-tested it solo, but once I took my first bite of it drizzled over the delicious salad, I knew it was the perfect compliment to this flavorful salad.

If you’re looking for a delicious salad to bring to an upcoming Easter celebration — or just something for yourself for lunch, this salad is amazing!

Recipe for Apple, Bacon, Pecan Salad

serves 10-12

{print recipe}

INGREDIENTS: 

For the Salad: 

  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 8 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 apple, very thinly sliced (I used 1/2 of a HUGE Granny Smith)
  • 1 c. dried cherries or Craisins
  • 1/2 c. crumbled bacon pieces
  • 1 small purple onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. feta cheese crumbles
  • 3/4 c. candied pecans (this is the recipe I use)

NOTE: Regular salted pecans would work fine too — I just love the extra sweet crunch of the candied pecans.

For the Dressing: 

  • 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T. poppy seeds
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. dry minced onion

NOTE: This dressing makes PLENTY for the salad — you probably won’t use it all unless you really like a ton of dressing. However, I like having extras in the fridge for later.

DIRECTIONS: 

Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl (you can arrange it to look pretty if you’d like!)

Mix up all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar or another container with tight-fitting lid. Stir and/or shake vigorously until ingredients are well combined. (You can make the dressing a few days in advance if you want).

Pour dressing over salad or serve dressing on the side. Refrigerate leftovers.

Doesn’t it look pretty? 

And honestly, I think this salad could work for almost any occasion, any holiday, any season of the year — maybe not a child’s birthday party, but practically anything else 🙂

As I mentioned above, I usually have leftover dressing which I store in a small mason jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks. However, don’t be alarmed if it majorly separates in the fridge. This is what my dressing usually looks like when I pull it out. Just give it a REALLY good shake and it will look “normal” again.

This salad has just the right combination of crunchy and chewy and savory and sweet… if you love “non traditional” salads, you’ll want to give this recipe a try.

If not, you can come over and have Romaine lettuce, cheddar cheese, croutons, and Ranch dressing with Dave 🙂

Do you have a favorite salad or dressing recipe?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly recipes!

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16 comments

  1. Karen Jeanne

    04/23/2017

    Beautiful salad! Sounds like it’s right up my alley, too. I’m going to try it with leftover shredded chicken in place of the bacon, because that’s what I have on hand. Btw, I love your blog more than any others I read!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Karen! Shredded chicken sounds amazing — hope you love it!

    [Reply]

  2. Katy

    04/07/2017

    My husband is the same way about salads, but I prefer salads like this. And I’m definitely saving this salad dressing recipe – it sounds amazing!

    [Reply]

  3. JoDi

    04/05/2017

    This looks amazingly delicious! I love all kinds of salads, especially ones like this one that combine savory and sweet! Lately, I’ve been eating spring mix with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, crumbled feta or blue cheese and poppy seed dressing.

    Dave and my husband have similar taste in salads. My husband’s standard combo is iceberg (Romaine is the only other kind of lettuce he’ll eat), shredded cheddar cheese, bacon bits and bottled Italian or Ranch dressing

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    we should get together and let our husbands eat bland salads while we enjoy the good stuff!

    [Reply]

  4. shan

    04/05/2017

    Andrea, Lovely, and will try for the next ladies’ luncheon!

    [Reply]

  5. Linda

    04/05/2017

    Oh wow! This looks amazing! I do love salads like this. I love fresh spinach too! Trying soon!

    [Reply]

  6. Shelly Smith

    04/05/2017

    The link to print this recipe is the wrong link (goes to “Light and fluffy Waffles” instead!) 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    it’s fixed now… thanks 🙂

    [Reply]

  7. Candis Gannes

    04/05/2017

    I love a good salad an unlike Dave, I must have some sort of fresh fruit, dried fruit and or nuts. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    [Reply]

  8. Lee Winemiller Cockrum

    04/05/2017

    This looks amazing!

    [Reply]

  9. ShellyL

    04/05/2017

    Looks great!

    [Reply]

  10. Michelle

    04/05/2017

    Dave is missing out, I can tell!! Can’t wait to try this one!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — in his defense, he has tried various different salads — he just doesn’t like them 🙂

    [Reply]

  11. Ann

    04/05/2017

    I agree with Jennifer! I can’t wait to try it!

    [Reply]

  12. Jennifer Owen

    04/05/2017

    This looks and sounds delicious. Can’t wait to give it a try!

    [Reply]