Loaded with crisp apples, homemade candied pecans, a tangy maple balsamic dressing, and tons of other fall goodness, this bistro fall salad is the ultimate way to celebrate the season!
Fall salad days are here again!! While summer salads are wonderful, you just can’t beat a good salad loaded with fall.
Time to show Monday who’s boss in the salad department!
Enter, this loaded with goodness bistro fall salad.
To add to the overall feeling of fall around here, I obviously had to make a fall salad bistro-style and fill it with all the best parts of the season.
A little off-topic, but oh gosh, guys, the southern Wisconsin fall colors are just killing it right now!
I don’t even mind the 30-ish minute drive to school every weekday because the trees are seriously so pretty with their colorful changing leaves!
This salad kinda reminds me of the scenery around here right now.
This bistro fall salad features…
- Homemade candied pecans
- Crunchy fall apples
- Sweet dried cranberries
- Your favorite salad cheese (we love shredded sharp cheddar or blue cheese)
- A tangy maple balsamic vinaigrette
Making the Bistro Fall Salad
(scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe!)
To candy the pecans, start by melting butter, a little coconut (or brown) sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon.
Add the chopped pecans and let them toast around 3-5 minutes until the pecans are glazed and fragrant. Immediately spread them onto parchment paper to cool completely.
Once cooled completely, break the pecans into bite-sized pieces and store sealed at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
Building the Salad
To build the salad, combine spring mix, sliced apple, dried cranberries, candied pecans, and the cheese of your choice in a serving bowl.
Maple Balsamic Dressing
Let’s make some dressing! In a small bowl, whisk balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, a little mustard, and a pinch of thyme.
Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly to emulsify dressing. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste and it’s done!
Just before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
Make Ahead Option
For making this salad ahead of time, here’s the steps I recommend –>
- Make the candied pecans ahead of time and store separately from salad sealed at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
- Make the dressing ahead of time and store separately in refrigerator up to 6 days.
- Toss apple slices in a little lemon juice so they don’t turn brown and assemble all the salad components except for candied pecans (this can stay assembled in fridge up to 1 day)
- Just before serving, toss candied pecans and dressing into salad.
This salad is literally BRIMMING with all the fall goods! It’s easily one of our favorites.
Whether you choose to serve it as a Thanksgiving side dish or just a good ‘ol lunch salad, there’s really no going wrong with this bistro fall salad!
No more boring salads at your dinner table! Get ready for this beauty to steal the show!
More fall salads you’re going to love this season!
- Cranberry Apple Delicata Squash Quinoa Salad
- Candied Pecan Turkey Apple Spinach Salad
- Honey Rosemary Roast Chicken Spinach Salad
Bistro Fall Salad with Apples, Candied Pecans + Maple Balsamic Dressing
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 8 cups spring mix
- 1 large apple cored and sliced thin
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese or blue cheese, gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese
Maple Balsamic Dressing
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Add pecans and stir occasionally 3-5 minutes until nuts are golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and immediately lay pecans out on parchment paper to cool. Once cooled, break into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large salad bowl, arrange spring mix with sliced apples, dried cranberries, cheese, and candied pecans on top
Maple Balsamic Dressing
- In a small bowl, whisk balsamic, syrup, mustard, and thyme until smooth. Gradually drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until dressing is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Just before serving, toss salad with dressing. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
This is such a gorgeous salad, Sarah! This definitely screams fall and deliciousness. And I’m loving the maple balsamic dressing. How creative! I think I could eat this all year long. Sounds just perfect!
Thanks so much Gayle! You’re seriously so sweet! xoxo
Kelly // The Pretty Bee: Allergy Friendly Eats says
Hooray for fall things! This salad looks like a wonderful way to celebrate fall! That dressing sounds delicious!
Haha thank you Kelly! The dressing is to DIE for!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
This is THE perfect fall salad! LOVE all the yummy ingredients you used so much flavor and texture! Totally craving this deliciousness for lunch! And that maple balsamic dressing? OMG, I want to drink that! Cheers! 😉
You’ve gotta try this salad, Cheyanne! ‘Tis the season, right?? 🙂
Jen | Baked by an Introvert says
Fall flavors are the best! This salad sounds wonderful, Sarah! I love the candied pecans and apples. And that maple balsamic dressing sounds so good. Pinning this to add to our salad rotation!
This is definitely the perfect salad to add to a salad rotation! LMK if you try it, Jen!
I love ordering salads like this when I go out, only they’re always better at home aren’t they? This salad has such a delicious combination going on, and maple syrup is a must for me in salad dressings — it makes such a huge difference!
They’re totally better at home! Who needs restaurant salads anyway?? 😉 Thanks for the sweet words, Marcie!
Manali @ CookWithManali says
such a gorgeous salad Sarah, so pretty! and I love your pretty bowl too, is it from Cost Plus World Market? I think I saw a similar one there!
Thanks Manali! I got that bowl from TJ Maxx a few months ago I believe…it’s one of my favs!
Melanie @ Gather for Bread says
Looks like one big delicious salad to me! Sign me up for a whole week of this pretty thing.
Thanks so much Melanie! xoxo
I am sooo behind on commenting lately, but I just went through your last few posts and your pictures are so gorgeous Sarah! I just had to tell you that, but I’m sure you already know! This salad is seriously gorgeous too and so perfect for fall. I could see myself devouring the entire thing 😉
AW girl, you are totally the sweetest! Thanks for all the kind words and for the salad love, Danielle! xoxo!
Kelley @ Chef Savvy says
What a beautiful looking salad Sarah! I am loving that maple dressing!
Thanks so much Kelley! 😀
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says
Oh Sarah, this salad is absolutely gorgeous! My mouth is watering over all the goodies you piled on. Love the candied pecans and maple balsamic dressing! It’s the perfect salad for fall!<3
You are just the sweetest, girl! Thanks for all the love as always! xoxo 🙂
Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. says
That salad has all of the things I love! It looks just perfect for a fall supper. Love that maple balsamic dressing, that would be amazing!
Thanks so much Stacey! Fall err’thing for the win, right??
Hi! I’m looking forward to making this for my work pot luck tomorrow! (Just FYI, the dried cranberries are not in the list of ingredients.)
My go to salad no matter the season
That makes me so happy to hear, Vickie! Glad you’ve found a go-to. 🙂