Light, nutritious and simple to prepare, this Apple Pecan and Bacon Salad with a simple Apple Cider Vinaigrette is a beautiful side dish for the holidays or any time of year. This Apple Pecan and Bacon Salad is everyone's favorite side dish.
I love salads all year long and I am always looking for new recipes. I knew I had to share this the minute I made it, it was THAT delicious.
Everything about this salad is fresh and yummy and it's made with all easy to find, wholesome ingredients. I like to keep the dressing in the refrigerator at all times.
If you are looking for some more healthy salad recipes, you will love this Arugula Beet Salad with Candied Pecans and Gorgonzola Cheese, Simple Chopped Salad with Orange Vinaigrette and definitely this Green Goddess Salad!
Why You Should Make This Apple Pecan and Bacon Salad
Loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, this salad is extremely nutritious. I am always looking for easy ways to add more veggies in my diet and salads are usually the answer.
This salad also has a gorgeous presentation which is perfect for get togethers, parties and holidays. I love that you can prep it ahead of time (except the apples so they don't turn brown) and simply place it in a pretty bowl right before serving.
With only 10 minutes of prep time, you can easily prepare it right then when your guests are there too. Or if you are like me and often forget to serve at least one dish!
There are just a few, easy to find ingredients for this salad and the yummy dressing.
- Blend of Spinach and Arugula - You can use whatever leafy green veggies you'd like or whatever is on sale. I personally love the mixture of spinach and arugula.
- Bacon - I used Candian uncured bacon with no nitrates. Be sure to check your labels to make sure there is no added sugar in it.
- Gala Apples - These are sweet with a mild flavor and huge crunch.
- Goat Cheese - This has a soft texture and tart and tangy flavor. You can substitute another cheese in this recipe if you'd like, but the goat cheese does pair very well with the apples and pecans.
- Candied Pecans or raw pecans - Raw, unsalted pecans work best in this recipe but you can also use salted pecans if you'd like. Just make sure you read the ingredients if your pecans are roasted because they always add unnecessary oils and other ingredients. If you'd like to add some sweetness, my Candied Pecans also work perfectly in this salad.
- Dried Cranberries - I use unsweetened dried cranberries. Please read the ingredients for your dried cranberries, many of them contain so much unnecessary added sugar, even in the form of fruit juice. I use these dried cranberries all the time because it's not easy to find the unsweetened ones in grocery stores. I also love this recipe from All Day I Dream About For sugar free dried cranberries, it's so easy to make your own.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - I like to use this EVOO for its light taste that makes it perfect for baking and cooking.
- Dijon Mustard - This mustard has a little more intense flavor that regular yellow mustard and adds a pungent twist to savory dishes.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - My absolute favorite for so many things! Apple Cider Vinegar has been shown to help maintain blood sugar levels and cholesterol as well as containing prebiotics. It is organic and non-GMO.
- Honey - I like to use raw honey because it is the least processed and contains the most nutrients and antioxidants.
How To Make This Apple Pecan and Bacon Salad
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Add bacon to a foil lined pan and bake for 20 minutes (or until crisp).
Once cooked, place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess grease.
Dice apples and bacon into bite size pieces.
To make the dressing, add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined.
Assemble the salad, drizzle dressing on top and enjoy!
If you'd like to add some protein to this salad, the possibilities are endless. This salad would be delicious with:
- Quinoa - Rich in plant-based protein, quinoa is actually a seed that is also high in fiber.
- Grilled Chicken - I always have grilled chicken in my refrigerator. I grill a bunch on Sunday afternoons for my meal prep day.
- Hard Boiled Eggs - Another food I will always have in my refrigerator for a quick breakfast or snack.
- Grilled Steak - My kids' favorite! This would make a wonderful addition to this salad.
- Grilled Shrimp - It doesn't get much easier than grilled shrimp. It literally takes a couple minutes on each side to grill and is loaded with protein.
You can easily prep this salad ahead of time, except for the apples which might turn brown. You can slice them right before serving to the already prepared salad.
The dressing is so easy to make so you can also prepare this ahead of time. Just keep this bacon salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator- mason jars work perfectly.
Apple Pecan and Bacon Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 8 cups mixture of baby arugula and baby spinach
- 8 slices bacon
- 2 Gala apples
- ⅓ cup Goat cheese
- ½ cup Candied Pecans or raw pecans
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey Or 1½ teaspoons Monk fruit for sugar free option
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Add bacon to a foil lined pan and bake for 20 minutes (or until crisp). Personally, I like mine extra crispy.
- Once cooked, place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess grease.
- Dice apples and bacon into bite size pieces.
- To make the dressing, add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined.
- Assemble the salad, drizzle dressing on top and enjoy!