Favorite Green Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Pepitas

Recipes that are healthy, doable, and make me feel good are my favorites. Take this straightforward green salad, which I’ve been making every holiday season for the past five years.

I can’t even remember how many Friendsgivings I’ve brought it to, and my family has also enjoyed it for Thanksgiving. It’s lovely, simple to make, and sure to please guests.

Fresh spring greens, a tart Granny Smith apple, sweet dried cranberries, and creamy goat cheese are all combined in this salad with a straightforward apple cider vinaigrette (recipe included).

When it comes to salads, I usually try to surpass myself, but I kept this one straightforward. It’s the ideal side salad for all of your meals during the cooler months.

Make it for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other meal in between!

Suggestions for Serving a Green Salad

My preferred green salad to accompany heartier holiday or comfort foods is this one. Think about serving this salad with stuffed acorn squash, baked ziti, and lasagna.

For a complete light meal, pair this salad with a creamy soup. It would pair particularly well with my creamy roasted cauliflower soup, best butternut soup, and creamy pumpkin soup.

salad tips for greens

Spring greens lose their crispness quickly after being dressed. Keep the dressing separate until you are ready to serve if you are making this salad ahead of time. Since apples brown when they are exposed to air, chopping the apple right before combining everything will yield the best results.

Replace the spring greens with a large bunch of chopped kale that has had its thick ribs removed for a salad that will last longer. The more robust green kale can withstand a protracted dressing soak; in fact, the longer it marinates, the better it tastes. You could also add the apples at this point because the vinegar will help keep them fresh.

Also read the recipe of Easy Green Goddess Dressing


  • a leafy salad
  • 5.0 ounces (about 5 cups) salad made of spring greens
  • 1 or 2 Granny Smith apples, depending on size (s)
  • 1/3 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw pecans or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds).
  • 13 cup of crumbled, 2 ounces of chilled goat cheese
  • vinegar made from apple cider
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup
  • Apple cider vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon
  • 14 teaspoon of sea salt, fine
  • black pepper, freshly ground, to taste


Pepitas are toasted: The pepitas should be heated in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the edges are turning golden and they start to pop (if using pecans instead, warm them just until they are fragrant). Place the cooled pepitas in a small bowl.
Creating the dressing Olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt should be thoroughly combined in a cup or jar. Add pepper to taste for seasoning.
Slice the apple into bite-sized pieces just before serving. In a sizable serving bowl, arrange your greens. Add sliced apple, cranberries, and pepitas to the top. Over the salad, scatter the goat cheese crumbles using a fork.
You probably won’t need to use all of the dressing; just enough to lightly coat the leaves after tossing. After giving everything a gentle toss to combine, serve!


TURN IT VEGAN Leave out the cheese and swap the honey for maple syrup.
STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: Store dressing separately from the greens because spring greens quickly wilt after being dressed. After being cut open, apples oxidize quickly, so I chop them right before serving the salad. Change the spring greens for chopped kale for a salad that will last longer (like this). Bonus? The dressing will keep the apples in a fresh cut appearance.