Fall flavors like apple, pecan, and cranberry pair naturally with many autumn meals. And while salad may not be the first that comes to mind, they transform simple greens into a nourishing side dish or entree. What are some other ingredients in cranberry apple pecan salad? Feta cheese and bacon balance the sweetness of the cranberries and apples. Learn how to make Jeanette’s cranberry pecan salad with poppy seed dressing to complement or star in your next fall meal.
The Multiple Benefits of Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad
A good salad has a variety of tastes and textures that keep it interesting and flavorful. While Jeanette’s cranberry apple pecan salad is a satisfying standalone meal, we’ll list some pairings that enhance its autumn flavors. But, is cranberry apple pecan salad healthy on its own? Here’s how this nourishing salad packs a serious nutritional punch.
Is Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad Healthy?
Are pecans good for you? Are apples healthy additions to your daily diet? While the answer to both these questions is yes, each provides specific nutrients that enhance your everyday health. Here’s how these two ingredients, along with dried cranberries, make this salad a nutrient-rich meal.
- Cranberries: The health benefits of cranberries remain significant, even after they’re dried. One quarter-cup serving is rich in fiber, potassium, calcium, and disease-fighting antioxidants. They’re also an excellent source of B vitamins and Vitamin C, making them excellent immune system boosters.
- Apples: There’s significant truth to the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are rich in soluble fiber, particularly in the skin, which promotes gut health and lowers cholesterol levels. They’re also a helpful source of Vitamins C and K as well as potassium.
- Pecans: Like many nuts, pecans are full of protein, healthy Omega-3 fats, and fiber, all of which are essential parts of a healthy diet. They also contain Vitamins E and A as well as zinc, all of which boost immune system health.
What Goes Well With This Salad?
While salads go well with virtually any entree, cranberry apple pecan salad pairs well with grilled or roasted meats. Chicken, turkey, and pork, in particular, seem to complement its sweet flavors. This makes it the perfect addition to your fall holiday table, as the pecans and cranberries pair well with numerous Thanksgiving flavors.
For a lighter option, adding these proteins directly to the salad makes it even more of a complete meal. Slices of grilled or roasted chicken breast, leftover turkey pieces, and sliced pork mix well with the apples, pecans, and cranberries and are each lean, heart-healthy protein.
Jeanette’s Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
Bursting with contrasting colors, flavors, and textures, Jeanette’s cranberry apple pecan salad is full of healthy nutrients. Meanwhile, bacon and feta cheese and a creamy poppy seed dressing provide a rich and savory contrast that makes each bite feel indulgent.
Here’s how to make this delicious fall salad:
- 6 ounces baby spinach
- 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped or thinly sliced
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- Bacon, cooked, and crumbled for use as garnish
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup 2% milk
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 4 tsp cider vinegar
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
Toss salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients until combined. Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and shake to mix. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat, adding additional feta and bacon if desired.
Our appliance experts are here to help when you need a professional repair or even weeknight dinner ideas! Jeanette’s cranberry apple pecan salad pairs excellently with her Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Baked Pork Tenderloin or Slow Cooker Potato Soup.