Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad with Honey Cider Dressing - an insanely delicious and super healthy salad - perfect for any get-together with family and friends!
I'm super excited to share this wonderful Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad with you. Every time I serve it, people wanted the recipe. So, I figured you might too!
This seasonal salad is a perfect dish to serve for any occasion, whether it's a small dinner party or a weekday family meal, as it will be sure to be very popular. Furthermore, it's easy to put together and is pretty enough to elicit lots of oohs and aahs.
An easy, super delicious salad dressing!
I tend to use this delicious Honey Cider dressing on lots of salads besides this Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad. It's beyond easy to make, as you just throw everything in a jar and give it a good shake.
Since there are no unusual ingredients; just olive oil, honey, cider vinegar, crushed garlic, salt and pepper, you probably already have everything you need right in your pantry. I also add a scoop of poppy seeds, just because I think they're just so darn pretty. However, if you're not a poppyseed fan, just omit them.
An apple a day...
In addition to being crazy delicious, this Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad is also super healthy. With crisp, crunchy apples, fresh baby spinach and antioxidant-rich pomegranate seeds, this salad has all the great nutrients to build and maintain strong, healthy bodies.
Intimidated by pomegranates?
I used to be super intimidated with pomegranates. It was such a pain to remove the seeds without making a huge mess. But I learned an awesome technique a while back and now I use them quite liberally at this time of year.
I know you can buy them already seeded, but they charge a pretty penny for this prep work. Don't pay an arm and a leg for the prepared seeds. Check out this simple tutorial, The Easy Way to Remove Pomegranate Arils, no water, no mess, no kidding!
I got a comment from a reader last week that kind of sums it up. He wrote:
I can’t believe that I was scared of pomegranates all these years also. I’m a 57 year old building inspector who just learned something amazingly simple that will enrich his family’s life with the gift of seasonal pomegranates. I’m not one to respond to this type of stuff, especially a cooking blog, but I just had to. Thanks again!
Put this healthy, delicious Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad on your must-make-soon-list! I think it will become a favorite at your house like it is at mine. I make it whenever I want a salad that I know everyone will love - it's on the menu for dinner tonight!
Café Tips for making this Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad
- If you can’t find pretty baby spinach, arugula, watercress or a combination of any of these would also be delicious as a base for this salad.
- This Lemon Ginger Poppyseed Dressing or this Light and Spicy Cilantro Dressing would also pair nicely with this salad.
- You may not use all of the dressing for this salad, but it's delicious drizzled over chicken or shrimp and on just about any other salad.
- You can prepare all the ingredients for this salad in advance. Just keep them separate and toss right before serving.
- Golden raisins in lieu of the dried cranberries are also delicious in this salad.
- This Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad makes a great side, but it's also wonderful topped with chicken, shrimp or salmon for a light, healthy lunch or dinner. Pair it with some warm crusty bread for a fabulous meal!
This Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad recipe was originally published in 2016. Too good to be buried deep in the Café archives, we've freshened up the pictures and text and are republishing it for your culinary pleasure! Bon Appetit!
Thought for the day:
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with
My righteous right hand.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- For the almonds:
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- To plump the dried cranberries:
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon water
- For the dressing:
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 medium clove garlic finely minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- For the salad:
- 8 cups baby spinach
- 1 large crisp red apple I like Fugi or Pink Lady, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
- ½ cup pomegranate arils or seeds
For the almonds, preheat the oven to 300˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil. Combine slivered almonds, olive oil, honey and kosher salt on the sheet pan and stir to combine. Don’t worry if the honey doesn’t coat all the nuts. Bake for 5 minutes, then stir to redistribute. Repeat 2-3 times (baking 5 minutes, then stirring) until almonds are light golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir to separate, then set aside to cool. (See note below* on advance preparation.)
Combine cranberries and 1 tablespoon water in a small microwave-safe glass (or ceramic) cup or bowl. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap and cook on high for 40 seconds. Remove from microwave and set aside to cool. (See note below* on advance preparation.)
Combine all dressing ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Cover tightly and shake well. Set aside. (See note below* on advance preparation.)
For the salad, combine spinach and apple slices. Drizzle ¼ cup of the dressing over the salad. Top with dried cranberries, pomegranates and almonds. Toss before serving. Pass extra dressing at the table.
*To make ahead:
The cranberries can be prepared a day in advance. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container. Remove from refrigerator and hour before serving.
The dressing can be made up to 1 day in advance, covered tightly, and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator an hour before serving.
The almonds can be toasted up to 1 day in advance; store at room temperature in an airtight container.
** Intimidated by pomegranates? Don't pay an arm and a leg for the prepared seeds. Check out this easy tutorial - The Easy Way to Remove Pomegranate Arils, no water, no mess, no kidding!