Apple, Pecan & Feta Salad

Looking for a refreshing and satisfying salad recipe that’s bursting with flavor? This Apple, Pecan & Feta Salad is the answer! With crisp apples, crunchy candied pecans, and creamy feta cheese, this salad offers a delightful combination of textures and tastes. Paired with a tangy Dijon Vinaigrette, it’s a crowd-pleasing dish that’s perfect for any occasion.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 16 cups romaine, spinach, or a blend of your favorite lettuces
  • 3 ripe apples, diced
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • Dijon Vinaigrette


  1. Toast the pecans: In a heavy skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the pecan halves and toast them for a few minutes until fragrant. Sprinkle with sugar and salt, and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly to coat the pecans evenly. Transfer the candied pecans to a sheet of parchment paper and allow them to cool completely.
  2. Assemble the salad: Place the torn lettuce in a large salad bowl. Top with the cooled candied pecans, diced apples, and feta cheese crumbles.
  3. Dress and serve: Just before serving, drizzle the salad with the Dijon Vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat the ingredients evenly. Serve immediately to enjoy the flavors at their freshest.

Nutritional Information:

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Servings: 8

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve this Apple, Pecan & Feta Salad as a refreshing side dish alongside grilled chicken, salmon, or steak for a balanced meal.
  • Pair it with a crusty baguette or whole-grain bread to create a light and satisfying lunch option.

Storage Instructions:

  • Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness and flavors.
  • Keep the salad and dressing separate if possible to prevent the lettuce from becoming soggy. Mix them together just before serving.

Reheating Tips:

  • Since this salad is best served cold, there’s no need for reheating. Simply enjoy it straight from the refrigerator for a crisp and refreshing experience.

Presentation Ideas:

  • Transfer the salad to a decorative serving bowl or platter to enhance its visual appeal, garnishing with additional feta cheese crumbles or fresh herbs for a finishing touch.
  • For a more elegant presentation, arrange individual servings on chilled salad plates and drizzle the Dijon Vinaigrette in an artistic manner.

Customization Options:

  • Customize the salad by adding ingredients like sliced strawberries, dried cranberries, or toasted pumpkin seeds for additional flavor and texture.
  • Experiment with different types of cheese such as goat cheese or blue cheese to vary the flavor profile of the salad according to your preferences.

Enjoying Leftovers:

  • Incorporate leftover salad into wraps or sandwiches for a quick and easy lunch option.
  • Use the salad as a topping for homemade pizza or flatbread for a creative twist on classic recipes.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • Prepare the candied pecans and Dijon Vinaigrette in advance and store them separately until ready to use. This will streamline the assembly process when you’re ready to serve the salad.

With these serving and storage tips, you can enjoy the Apple, Pecan & Feta Salad at its best, whether you’re serving it fresh or saving some for later. Its versatility and vibrant flavors make it a versatile addition to any meal or occasion. Try these tips to make the most of this delicious salad recipe!


  1. Grilled Apple Twist: Enhance the flavor profile by grilling the diced apples briefly before adding them to the salad. This adds a subtle smoky flavor and caramelizes the natural sugars in the apples for an extra layer of sweetness.
  2. Pear and Walnut Variation: Substitute ripe, sliced pears for the apples and toasted walnuts for the pecans to create a slightly different flavor profile while still maintaining the crunchy texture and creamy feta contrast.
  3. Blue Cheese Burst: Swap out the feta cheese for crumbled blue cheese to add a bold and tangy flavor to the salad. Blue cheese pairs exceptionally well with the sweetness of the apples and the crunch of the pecans.
  4. Cranberry Crunch: Add a pop of color and tangy sweetness by incorporating dried cranberries or pomegranate arils into the salad. Their vibrant hue and burst of flavor complement the other ingredients beautifully.
  5. Protein Powerhouse: Boost the protein content of the salad by adding grilled chicken breast or sliced hard-boiled eggs. This transforms the salad into a satisfying main course suitable for lunch or a light dinner.
  6. Maple Glazed Pecans: Instead of simply toasting the pecans with sugar, try glazing them with a mixture of maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon for a sweet and aromatic twist that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.
  7. Mediterranean Medley: Take inspiration from Mediterranean flavors by adding ingredients like sliced Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers to the salad. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a tangy-sweet accent.
  8. Avocado Avenger: For a creamy texture and added richness, add sliced avocado to the salad. The creamy avocado complements the crisp apples and crunchy pecans, adding a luxurious element to the dish.
  9. Asian Fusion: Infuse the salad with Asian-inspired flavors by adding sliced mango, toasted sesame seeds, and a drizzle of soy-ginger dressing. This unique twist brings a sweet and savory dimension to the salad that is sure to impress.
  10. Quinoa Quencher: For a heartier salad option, add cooked quinoa to the mix. Quinoa adds protein and fiber, making the salad more filling and nutritious. Toss with a lemon-tahini dressing for a burst of freshness.

Experiment with these variations to create unique and exciting versions of the Apple, Pecan & Feta Salad that suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Whether you stick to the original recipe or try one of these creative twists, you’re sure to enjoy the delightful combination of flavors and textures in every bite!


  1. Can I use other types of nuts instead of pecans? Yes, you can substitute pecans with walnuts, almonds, or even hazelnuts to suit your preference or dietary restrictions.
  2. Is it necessary to toast the pecans? Toasting the pecans enhances their flavor and adds a delightful crunch to the salad. However, if you prefer untoasted nuts, you can skip this step.
  3. What type of apples are best for this salad? Crisp and slightly tart apples like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp work well in this recipe. However, you can use your favorite variety of apple depending on your taste preferences.
  4. Can I prepare the salad in advance? While it’s best to dress the salad just before serving to prevent the lettuce from wilting, you can prepare the components (toasted pecans, diced apples, lettuce) ahead of time and assemble them just before serving for convenience.
  5. How long does the Dijon Vinaigrette last in the refrigerator? The Dijon Vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Shake or whisk it well before using to re-emulsify the ingredients.
  6. Can I make this salad dairy-free? Yes, you can omit the feta cheese or substitute it with a dairy-free alternative such as vegan feta or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.
  7. What can I use instead of Dijon mustard in the vinaigrette? If you don’t have Dijon mustard on hand, you can substitute it with whole grain mustard or a splash of apple cider vinegar for a tangy kick.
  8. Can I add protein to make this salad a complete meal? Absolutely! Grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu are excellent additions to this salad to make it more substantial and satisfying.
  9. How can I prevent the apples from browning? To prevent the diced apples from browning, you can toss them in a mixture of lemon juice and water before adding them to the salad. This helps to preserve their color and freshness.
  10. Can I make a larger batch of this salad for a crowd? Yes, you can easily double or triple the ingredients to make a larger batch of the salad to serve at gatherings or potlucks. Just be sure to adjust the dressing accordingly to maintain the balance of flavors.

This Apple, Pecan & Feta Salad is a delightful blend of flavors and textures that will tantalize your taste buds. Whether served as a side dish or a light meal, it’s sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire. Try it today and treat yourself to a delicious and nutritious dining experience!