Apple Walnut Salad with Bacon & Gorgonzola

Jan 16, 2024 · By Bethany Kramer
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

This apple walnut salad is the perfect side salad for any occasion! It has crunchy texture from apples and walnuts, salty bites from bacon and gorgonzola cheese, and a pop of sweetness from dried cherries. It’s then drizzled with a beautiful & bright citrus vinaigrette that combines all the flavors!

A wooden bowl with apple walnut salad on a bed of greens topped with bacon and crumbled cheese. Around the bowl of salad is a jar of salad dressing and a small bowl of walnuts with a gray napkin placed under the bowl.

Drew and I love making a salad with our meals every night. We often make our go-to Greek chickpea salad, apple pomegranate salad, or corn and tomato salad in the summertime! It depends on what we are in the mood for, but in any salad we make, we always want lots of textured toppings and fresh flavor in each bite.

And this apple walnut salad has every ingredient I love for a crowd-pleasing salad! From the crisp and sweet apples, and crunchy walnuts to the chewy & tart-dried cherries and crispy bacon paired with the salty gorgonzola cheese.

It’s a salad that pairs perfectly with almost any meal, and everyone always loves it!

Key Ingredients

Apple walnut salad ingredients arranged on a wooden backrgound.
  • The greens – you’ll need a simple mixed greens for the base of the salad.
  • Toppings – This salad is primarily made up of delicious toppings that add the perfect texture and flavor, such as apples, walnuts, bacon pieces, dried cherries, red onion, and gorgonzola cheese.
  • Dressing/vinaigrette – we’re using a homemade citrus vinaigrette to drizzle over all the ingredients. It perfectly marries all the ingredient flavors together and adds a bright citrus flavor to every bite!
Recipe Variations

The greens. For the base I like to use mixed greens, but you can also use arugula, spinach, or any green lettuce you enjoy.

Toppings. Addition toppings you can add for flavor and texture are pears, pomegranate seeds, cranberries instead of dried cherries, pecans, sliced almonds, pancetta or turkey bacon instead of regular bacon, or blue cheese instead of gorgonzola.

Bake or pan-fry the bacon. To cook the bacon faster, I opted to pan fry it in small pieces. You can also bake it in the full strips, then cut it up and add it to the salad.

Best apples for salad. I like to use an apple that is both tart and sweet for salads. So I like fuji apple, pink lady, honey crisp, or granny smith!

The Citrus Vinaigrette

Paired with this salad is a zingy and brightly flavored citrus vinaigrette! It’s such a showstopper of a salad dressing. It’s made with freshly squeezed orange juice, zest for deep citrus flavor, dijon, and a little apple cider vinegar for some tang. Once this salad and dressing are combined, the flavors beautifully complement one another!

Serving Suggestions

This is an every-occasion type salad, so it pairs beautifully with almost any meal you love or are serving! Things we love to pair it with are…

Chicken. Such as our whole roast chicken, lemon rosemary chicken thighs, or for the fall season, this autumn roasted chicken with butternut squash.

Beef. This salad also pairs beautifully with our Filet of beef tenderloin with creamy horseradish sauce or steak!

A close up of apple slices in a salad with walnuts, pieces of cooked baked, and crumbled cheese.

More Salads to Try

We’re all about a texture-filled, flavorful salad. If you love this salad, you might also like our Pear Salad, Apple Pomegranate, or this Summer Farro salad with cherries!

Apple Walnut Salad with Bacon and Gorgonzola

This apple walnut salad is the perfect side salad for any occasion! It has crunchy texture from apples and walnuts, salty bites from bacon and gorgonzola cheese, and a pop of sweetness from dried cherries. It's then drizzled with a beautiful & bright citrus vinaigrette that combines all the flavors!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 5 oz mixed greens
  • 1 large fuji, granny smith, or honey crisp apple, sliced thin or cut into cubes
  • 3-4 strips of bacon
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola crumbles
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced or thinly sliced
  • 1 citrus vinaigrette

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon: use a sharp knife to slice the bacon pieces into smaller bite sized pieces. Then cook them in a cast iron or stainless steel pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Cook until browned and crisp or until your desired level of doneness. Place the bacon on a paper towels and pat the pieces dry from the excess grease.
  • Assemble the salad: in a large salad bowl arrange the greens (either whole or roughly chopped), with the cooked bacon pieces, red onion, dried cherries, gorgonzola, walnuts, and apples slices. Drizzle with the citrus dressing and serve!

Notes

Extra topping ideas: switch up the flavor and texture by adding more toppings such as pears, pomegranate seeds, cranberries instead of dried cherries, pecans, sliced almonds, pancetta or turkey bacon instead of regular bacon, or blue cheese instead of gorgonzola.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword apple walnut salad
Freezer Friendly No

Join my email list

Let's stay in touch! Get updates when I post something new, cooking tips, and more! No spam.

Leave a Comment & Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating