Apple, Brie, and Pecan Salad is the perfect mix of fall flavors and is tossed in homemade Apple Cider Vinaigrette.
Throughout the fall and winter, you’ll likely find a variation of this salad on our table a few nights a week and anytime we host a holiday meal. Apple Cider Vinaigrette gives the salad an unmistakeable fall flavor and the combination of pecans and apples just feels so seasonal. It also gets great balance of crunch from the apples and pecans balanced with richness of brie cheese.
While I’ve given you a template below for this tried-and-true fall salad, there are so many other ways to mix things up. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Variations on Fall Salad
- Greens – Sturdy greens work best, so baby kale is a great option. Baby Spinach, Arugula, or finely chopped Curly Leaf Kale are all great and will hold up under the weight of the other ingredients. If you use mixed salad greens that are a bit more tender, be sure to wait to toss the salad until right before serving.
- Cheese – Great with cubed brie, these flavors also go well with crumbled goat cheese, blue cheese, feta, or cubed Swiss.
- Nuts – Both pecans and walnuts fit in well here. For something extra special, try it with Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans.
- Fresh Fruit – Both apples and pears work well to give the salad fall flavor and natural sweetness.
- Dried Fruit – It’s hard to beat the balance of sweet and tart from dried cranberries, but the salad works well even without dried fruit. If you want to use something different, raisins, chopped dried apricots, or dried cherries are also great.
- Add Protein – Turn this fresh salad into a full meal by adding cooked chicken, roasted turkey (great use of holiday leftovers!), or chopped deli meat (like ham or turkey).
Other Flavorful Salads
- Watermelon, Feta and Arugula Salad
- Bacon, Corn and Avocado Salad
- Slow Cooker Carnitas Taco Salad
- Sesame Ginger Kale Salad
Apple, Brie and Pecan Salad
- Mixing Bowl
- sheet pan
Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
- 1 tsp Diced Shallot
- 3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 tsp Honey
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or use your favorite oil)
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 cup Pecan halves (see note)
- 8 oz Baby Kale (sub baby spinach)
- 4 oz Brie Cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1 Apples, chopped (I like a crisp, slightly tart variety like Honeycrisp, Gala, or Granny Smith)
- Preheat oven to 275°F / 135°C.
- Spread pecans out on a sheet pan and toast for 15 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through roasting.
- While pecans roast, make vinaigrette by combining shallot, vinegar, mustard, and honey in a small bowl. Add olive oil while whisking until the vinaigrette is smooth. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. (Note: Alternatively, for a very smooth vinaigrette, you can combine all vinaigrette ingredients and blend them with an immersion blender. This is my preferred method.)
- Just before serving, combine roasted pecans, baby kale, brie, cranberries, and apples in a large salad bowl. Add vinaigrette until salad is dressed to your liking. Toss well.
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