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!
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!
- 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!
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!
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…
Beef. This salad also pairs beautifully with our Filet of beef tenderloin with creamy horseradish sauce or steak!
More Salads to Try
Apple Walnut Salad with Bacon and Gorgonzola
- 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
- 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!