Apple Pecan Arugula Salad

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Big plate of our recipe for Apple Arugula Salad with Pecans and Lemon Vinaigrette

Can I talk to you about salad, and also, life?

First, salad. No one should be forced to have a conversation on an empty stomach.

Cutting board with apples for making a healthy fall salad recipe

This salad is an adaptation of one I’ve been making recently for friends when hosting. It’s so simple in nature you likely already have most of the ingredients on hand right now (the best kind of recipe, in my opinion).

Peppery arugula is combined with crisp apples, toasted pecans, red onion, and dried cranberries, and it’s all dressed with a bright, vibrant lemon vinaigrette.

Plus, just 15 minutes (!!) and 8 basic ingredients to prepare – my idea of salad perfection.

This would make the perfect light and healthy dish to help you fill up on plants and erase some of that pie guilt likely lingering from yesterday’s feast. We’ve all been there. Salad to the rescue.

Pouring delicious homemade lemon vinaigrette onto our Easy Apple Arugula Salad with Pecans

Now, life.

This time of year, everyone tells you to be thankful for what you have. I agree. Slow down, be grateful – it’s good for the soul.

But what about when life is hard, or things don’t go the way you planned, or something happens and your sense of reality shifts? What then?

2015 was perhaps my most personally challenging year yet, one wherein things didn’t go ‘as planned’ for me. I was left feeling a little sad and angry and frustrated and just generally not like myself (what a bizarre sensation). It all made me realize I’m not as strong or spontaneous or resilient as I thought I was. In short, this year kind of kicked my ass.

The gritty details aren’t the important part. The important part is I think it’s OK to be sad, or angry, or disappointed, or tired, or whatever it is you’re feeling right now that’s not radiant joy. It doesn’t mean you’re not thankful. It just means you’re giving yourself permission to feel your feelings (which is perfectly healthy, by the way). And it’s OK if what comes out isn’t all roses and sunshine.

My encouragement is, cry it out if you need to. No one’s looking anyway. And while you’re at it, eat some pie and hug your mom. I’ve found these to be equally sufficient remedies.

Big bowl of our Easy Apple Arugula Salad with Pecans and Lemon Vinaigrette

OK, back to this salad because, delicious.

I hope you love this recipe. It’s:

Simple
Seasonal
Fresh
Healthy
Satisfying
Flavorful
& Perfect for fall + winter

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers (and hugs), friends!

Plate of our Apple Arugula Salad with Pecans and Lemon Vinaigrette for a hearty fall side dish

Apple Pecan Arugula Salad

A healthy, hearty fall salad with peppery arugula, crisp apples, and toasted pecans. Dressed in a simple, vibrant lemon vinaigrette, it makes the perfect light-yet-satisfying plant-based meal or side.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Big plate of Apple Pecan Arugula Salad for a healthy vegan side dish
4.96 from 61 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 (side servings // or half as much as an entrée)
Course Entree, Salad, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

SALAD

  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 7 ounces arugula (organic when possible)
  • 2 small apples (1 tart, 1 sweet // peeled, quartered, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise)
  • 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries (optional)

DRESSING

  • 1 large lemon, juiced (1 lemon yields ~3 Tbsp or 45 ml)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 pinch each sea salt + black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and arrange pecans on a bare baking sheet.
  • Bake pecans for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and deep golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • While pecans are toasting, prep remaining salad ingredients and add to a large mixing bowl.
  • Prepare dressing in a mixing bowl or mason jar by adding all ingredients and whisking or shaking vigorously to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.
  • Add pecans to salad and top with dressing. Toss to combine and serve immediately. Serves two as an entrée and 4 as a side (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Store leftovers (dressing separate from salad) covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days (though best when fresh). Dressing should keep at room temperature for 2-3 days when well sealed.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with dressing and cranberries.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 side servings Calories: 258 Carbohydrates: 20.9 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 20 g Saturated Fat: 2.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 17 mg Fiber: 4.7 g Sugar: 14.6 g

Hearty fall salad recipe made with apples, arugula, pecans, radish, and lemon vinaigrette

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  1. Huguette says

    Second time I made it in two weeks because I could eat it everyday! The best salad recipe ever! I didn’t have to change anything; followed the ingredients to the Ts and its perfect. So happy I found this recipe. Thank you very much.

  2. Nadine says

    This was a fabulous salad. I have fresh lettuces/arugula from my garden right now and I wanted to make it feel extra special. Using two different kinds of apples was noticed and applauded by my family. My red onion was particularly strong so I could have used a little less of that. Dressing was delicious. Very easy to put together.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Nadine! Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Maryam! Thanks so much for the lovely review! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  3. Andrea says

    This is one of my absolute favorites! It’s always a hit when we have guests over & so simple to make! I like to use a mandolin to slice my onion and apples!

  4. Veronica says

    Our new favorite salad. I’ve made it twice in four days. I used fuji apples and toasted sliced almonds because that is what I had at hand. I do think that a sweeter apple creates a great balance with the dressing. I’m so happy I found this recipe.

  5. Suzanne says

    This was a winner. My family ate every last bite and told me to keep the recipe. I used a Golden Delicious and a Gala Apple since that is what I had. Wee prefer lightly dressed salads so I only used 3/4 of the dressing.
    This will absolutely become one of our regular dishes.
    Thank you for the recipe.

  6. Liza says

    FABULOUS Recipe. I plan to serve this to guest cuz it’s so delicious. I tasted my arugula beforehand and it was very ‘spicy’ and too strong for my taste. So, following some advice, I dressed the arugula about 20-30 minutes before serving. This delicious vinaigrette actually neutralized some of the spicy taste. Then I added the remaining ingredients, tossed and served. Love this recipe. Thank you.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Liza. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  7. Melina says

    This salad was a nice one. I liked the combination of flavours a lot. I think it might also work with pear or even fresh nectarine in summer. I left out the oil in the dressing, it was a bit thinner but still good. I will defenitely make it again. Thank you.

  8. Becky veak says

    I loved this simple salad. I topped the salad w marinated grilled chicken breast and feta! Soooo good!

  9. Chintha Samarawickrema says

    Hi Dana,
    I haven’t made this yet, but I had tried number of your recipes. I have to say, your recipes are the best vegan/ whole plant based friendly recipes compared to most websites on the internet out there.
    Even just looking at this recipe I can say how nutritious & delicious it will be; with that trust, I give it 5 stars already.
    Thank you so much for being so unique!

    • M.E. says

      SOOO delicious. Prepared it yesterday AND today. I used toasted sliced almonds, white onion and gala apple (that’s what we had on hand) and I used 1.5 T of maple syrup. Once quarantine is lifted, I’m serving this to all of our family and friends!!!!
      It’s a KEEPER!!
      Thank you!!

  10. Gabriel Ibarguen says

    I made this arugula salad for a tinder and she absolutely loved it! She claimed in the FaceTime call the day prior to hate arugula but your recipe really changed her mind! Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Gabriel. We are so glad she enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  11. Dana Lu says

    This is a stellar salad and it’s so simple! I looked this up to make for xmas dinner and some of the kids don’t like red onions so I omitted that. Also cut back on the oil for personal preferrence. The mix of tart and sweet apples goes wonderfully with the bitter arugula.

    I’ve made this several times since and have added the cranberry covered goat cheese you can find at many grocery stores in place of the cranberries and it really adds another level to this already fabulous salad.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Dana. We are so glad you enjoy it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  12. Jess says

    This salad is incredible!!! I never post reviews but had to…made it as written just a bit less oil. This is going on my weekly rotation!

  13. Terry Kliewer says

    I am thinking of using this delightful salad with prime rib dinner on Christmas Day With four ppl what do you think? Thank you for posting it sounds delicious and I have had a similar salad was very good. Thank you once again for posting

  14. Lena says

    Your days of buying ridiculously-priced salads are over. I made this yesterday before work (during a hectic morning of getting everyone ready) and happily it was super-easy to put together and delicious. The only thing I would modify for next time is the oil in the dressing. I’d probably cut out 1 tbsp of Olive Oil, but that’s just my personal preference and I still happily enjoyed it as-is.
    I recently watched Game Changers on Netflix and have been inspired to eat more healthfully. I’m happy I’ve found you (although I have been a fan of your green smoothie for years) and will be looking forward to trying many more recipes from your site. Thanks!

  15. Vanessa Waltz says

    So delicious! I was looking for something to do with my last farmer’s market arugula of the season, and this salad was perfect! I followed the recipe exactly, and topped with some shredded parmesan. Dressing was fabulous exactly as written. Will be making this again – thank you!

  16. Adriana says

    Found this recipe after having something similar at a restaurant but this is even better. Especially the dressing! It’s is so delicious! I used a spinach and arugula mix and added wild rice and feta.

  17. Mary S. says

    So delicious! I used a combination of arugula and baby spring mix for the greens. I used apple, pear and dried cranberries for the fruit. I toasted pecans and added feta. I made the dressing as directed. It was a lovely salad and received rave reviews! I will definitely make this again.

  18. Gloria says

    Very tasty. The mix of flavors and textures impressed my long-time foodie friend. Added to a dinner with shrimp scampi and fettuccini and ended with profiteroles. A wonderful dinner.

  19. Sarah says

    Hi Dana.
    I just made this and it’s super yum! I enjoy eating salads, veggies and plant based food but am not a vegan. I find your recipes approachable, easy and inspired. You are one of my go-tos on my very short list of faves.
    Right up there with Ina.
    Thanks!
    Sarah

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Sarah! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  20. Delight Johnson says

    I usually make a savory arugula with ham, cheese, and Cesar dressing, but this recipe was fresh and delicious! I used a large honeycrisp apple and added about 1 teaspoon sesame oil to the dressing. I didn’t have maple syrup, so I used honey. I used green onion that I had in the garden. I love how the strong lemon dressing and sweet fruit takes away the bitterness of the arugula.

  21. Maila says

    I was too hungry to take the time to toast pecans (I’ll use them next time) so I substituted some yummy feta I needed to use up. I have a Sicilian lemon white balsamic vinegar (it’s kinda sweet, so similar to lemon juice and maple syrup) that is my new favorite thing so I used that in the dressing. Delicious! I can see myself eating a version of this several times a week until Apple season is over!

  22. Miss Weekendgirl says

    The salad recipe is amazing!! I used butter lettuce blend with radicchio along with the arugula. I also used walnuts instead of pecans because that was what I had on hand. Keep the great recipes coming. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Anna says

    I love this recipe so much I’ve made it the last 3 days! I added sliced red pear, and use a bottled dressing.

  24. Jill says

    Not sure why this is called a fall salad because here in Chicago my arugula is taking over and it’s only July. I thought this was delicious, easy and perfectly manageable without shopping for ingredients. I had a sweet onion, so I sliced it super thin, and I didn’t have a lemon that day so I subbed bottled lemon juice, which was just fine. I love recipes that let me use what I have and still taste great. This is a keeper.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Jill! It is a fall salad because of apple season being in fall. But it can be enjoyed any time :)

  25. Laurie says

    My vegan, and everyone else, loved this! I used a 1/2 arugula and 1/2 baby spinach blend, and from-the-bag roasted and salted pecans. Total hit!

  26. Kristen says

    This salad was fantastic! So incredibly easy to put together with very little chopping and preparation. I made the recipe as written, except I was too lazy to toast the pecans. :) I ate an enormous serving for lunch and it filled me up well. It would also be a really nice dish to serve to company. This is actually the first recipe I’ve made from this site, so now I’m very excited to try more!

  27. Lisa says

    Made this salad for the first time for my family and they loved it. I burned my pecans the first time roasting for 8min, but might be my oven. I also added roasted pine nuts (roasted for 3min at 350), and glazed the pine nuts and pecans in honey. Well balanced!

  28. Chelsie says

    This is definitely one of my new go-to salads. I skipped the oil and ate it again the next day, throwing on some white beans to make it a meal. Really good!

  29. Mike says

    I’ve made this several times over the last year. Save a few minutes, used roasted & salted pecan halves (Trader Joes). A bit of the lemon zest brightens it even further. Don’t leave out the cranberries. This salad is delicious! – Thanks!

  30. pat moran says

    This is our new favorite salad and I get requests to bring it wherever we go ! New to your site, but will definitely be using it from now on ! ( I add a little more syrup than you recommend, but otherwise prepare exactly as you say. ) Yummy !!!!

  31. Rita M. says

    I made this salad on christmas day and I loved it, I paired it with roasted chicken and a simple rice. It has the perfect balance of sweet, salty and tangy. I also make a bologna sandwich with this salad and it’s like they were destined for each other, it is soo good. My boyfriend, who has never being a salad fan, he loves it too and keep asking me to make it all the time. So, as you can see, it is a BIG hit in my house, thank you for sharing it with us. Happy new year! ?

  32. RM says

    It was pretty darn good! I didn’t have pecans so I subbed out a turkey jerk strip that I cut into little pieces. I was the only one eating it so probably should have halved the salad dressing. This made for a quick, easy and plant-based lunch with leftovers in the fridge and pantry!
    We are doing a keto/low carb type diet soon to support our son with PANDAS and Lyme, for 8 weeks!
    I can’t wait to try and adapt as many of your recipes as possible to get him eating more produce!
    This is a great recipe for us to still get our veggies in- not sure if he can have the apple slices but blueberries might work instead!

  33. Paige Carter Connelly says

    Due to the recent Romain lettuce alerts I tried something new and bought arugula. My husband said he does not like arugula but as he was eating he said this was one of the best salads he has ever had. Thank you for the awesome recipe!

  34. Sally Determan says

    This is my go to salad for guests! Easy to tweak based on ingredients on hand, but sticking with the base of items listed. Dressing is so yummy!

  35. Jack says

    Very, very good. We get arugula in our CSA and I’ve made this salad twice now this summer and I’ll make it again the next time we get arugula (even if I have to buy it at the store). So good.

  36. Miranda Chapman says

    This was so tasty. Great combination of sweet, sour, savory and bitter. I don’t normally like arugula so I was skeptical but somehow this simple combination really works well.

  37. Robyn says

    Dana…it looks like you posted this recipe a few years ago but I just made it last night for my husband and I and we give it 5 stars! Because the salad dressing was so simple, I was doubtful I’d like it but it was absolutely divine for this salad! Thank you for sharing this. <3

  38. Nicole says

    Delicious! The dressing is light and flavorful and easy to make. We served the salad as a side at a dinner party and everyone loved it. Will definitely make it again. Next time I will try it with the dried cranberries, as I meant to this time but forgot I had used them up in another recipe.

  39. Brittany says

    My sister and her family went vegan a little over a year ago.
    I always felt so bad for them at family gatherings because there were never any choices for them other than what they would have to bring themselves and to me that just never seemed quite fair. I decided to make Thanksgiving this past year a much more vegan friendly place.
    Let’s just say this salad was gone and it was not by just the three vegan family members. I doubled the recipe to make enough just in case and I am glad I did because it was a hit.
    It was so good and I personally love how easy the dressing is, and consisting of pure ingredients that I can actually pronounce and know what they are without googling them.

  40. Jackie says

    I ended up making this salad twice last week – once with your pumpkin mac n cheese and once with homemade pizzas. Both times, it was a hit. For me, there is a bit too much fruit in the salad, so the second time I made it I only added one apple and it worked fine. The cranberries are a great add in for an extra punch of flavor. The dressing is simple and quick to make. I did leave the red onions on the side – this is a personal preference (I hate onions!), but had them available for my boyfriend, who liked the salad with them. This will definitely be a salad that is added into our rotation.

  41. Brittany Stites says

    We are currently obsessed with this salad! To add a fall vibe we added roasted butternut squash, seriously yum!

  42. Chris says

    Planned this but didn’t plan that my daughter would use up the lemon, so substituted organic apple cider vinegar instead and it was delicious (this from a family that does not particularly enjoy arugula). Added some shaved Parmesan too, but the recipe was better without it – next time will make exactly as planned – my new go to for arugula!

  43. Cynthia Garofalo says

    I made this salad for a co-workers retirement pot luck lunch and it was fabulous. I doubled the recipe and there was not a leaf to be left over and many asked for the recipe. This is definitely a keeper in my recipe file. Thanks Dana!

  44. Erika Devine says

    Thank you for the recipe. I made this tonight, it was so clean and refreshing. I used roasted almonds and sunflower seeds it was perfect (my husband is allergic to most nuts). Also I was hesitant because I couldn’t picture maple syrup in a dressing but it was amazing with the mix of fruit and veggies!

  45. Lars says

    Made this with a few changes. Sweet instead of red onion; half apple cider vinegar half lemon juice with a dash of garlic powder for the dressing; vegan shredded parmesan cheese lightly sprinkled on top. The man loved it. Light and delicious!

  46. Josephine says

    Hello Dana,

    I came across your Apple Pecan Arugula Salad today (May 22, 2017) while searching on-line for an arugula salad. It definitely caught my eye for two reasons; the picture looked absolutely delicious and I had all the ingredients on hand. That doesn’t happen very often. So I gave it a try.

    It was delicious and it certainly is a keeper! I can see making this salad for dinner parties and family and showing off just how good this salad is! Thank you for sharing. I hope to find more wonderful recipes on your site.

  47. Amy says

    Have made this salad, oh, probably 15 times in the last months and it’s always a hit. Not a huge cranberries-in-salads fan, so swapped them out for dried cherries. So good. Nearly every time, someone asks me for the recipe. Also, that dressing is good on just about any salad. Thanks for helping us switch up our salad rotation!

  48. Sara says

    Hey, usually I scroll to the recipe but some of your speech stopped me. Thanks for that. I really needed to read that today. I beat myself up for not being happy all the time. The reminder to live in the present with what I currently feel was awesome. You are awesome!

  49. Ella says

    Hi Dana,
    Thanks for sharing.
    Didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, made it only with arugula, red onion, and the dressing (sweet almond oil instead of olive). Delicious and refreshing!!!
    Will make it again :-)

    Trust 2017 is starting out well for you.
    Be blessed!

  50. Becky says

    Loved this salad, added grilled chicken for a light but filling dinner meal. So easy and so flavorful.
    We all have tough days, months and sometimes years. But thankfully I don’t fight the fight alone and try to rest in Gods peace as he works it out for my best.

  51. Dalia says

    i made this salad it’s out of this world the cambinatin of apples i use tow different kind and the arugula is amazing and i had to it pomegranate thanks 1 of my best salad i made . and was so easy to make i used low calories may pale strop

  52. Ginger says

    I love how simple the recipe was, but also how fancy it was/looks. :) I felt like a grown up making/eating it. Haha! Love your website and recipes. Hope to continue making more delicious recipes.

  53. Josy says

    An absolutely wonderful salad! I would better to differ, however, about using organic arugula. Greens such as these tend to hold onto bacteria like a sponge and organics make me fear e-coli. Many warnings on FDA/CFIA recall websites. Absolutely nothing wrong with well-washed normal arugula. Thank you for the recipe.

  54. Kerrie says

    This salad was fantastic! The apples and maple syrup balanced the peppery arugula and the pecans added a great richness. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  55. Jodi says

    I was looking for a salad to make with a quiche and wanted to use up the arugula in the fridge. This came up when I googled arugula salad and I have to say it is one of the best salads I’ve made (and I make a lot of salads). Used a fresh lemon from our tree out back and the dressing was amazing. I will use it for other salads too. The combination of all the flavors just worked. Don’t leave out the dried cranberries!

  56. Lisa Mason says

    It was great! Served with seared marinated Salmon. I used raisins in place of cranberries though because thats what I had on hand

  57. Amy says

    My husband last night: “This might be the best salad I’ve ever had in this house. Possibly ever.”
    (My 5-year old: “Apples in salad… that’s fancy.”)
    My husband tonight: “Can we have that salad from last night again?”

    He’s pretty right. It is a great, simple, clean salad. From two folks who eat a LOT of salad, thank you for helping us mix it up.

  58. Amy says

    My husband last night: “This might be the best salad I’ve ever had in this house. Possibly ever.”
    My husband tonight: “Can we have that salad from last night again?”

    He’s pretty right. It is a great, simple, clean salad. From two folks who eat a LOT of salad, thank you for helping us mix it up.

  59. june says

    i was wondering what you thought about the combination of fruit and veg? i always thought that was not good to do for the digestive process. can u elaborate on this?
    otherwise this looks absolutely delish!

  60. Diana K. says

    I made this a few weeks ago for a very tough crowd. OK, so it was really my folks and their best friend, and my brother and his family, but they are total foodies :) My husband couldn’t stop eating it, which is saying a lot as well (food lover too, but more on the plain jane picky side). And everyone else couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful the flavors worked together. All in all, a fantastic side for my “Bring on the Fall” dinner party. So glad I found your blog, and just bought your cookbook. Excited to try more. Thanks you ~Di

  61. HL says

    I made this to go with a butternut squash lasagna for a vegetarian Canadian Thanksgiving – lovely fall salad and perfect after a heavy, rich dinner. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of dijon to the dressing and soaked the red onions in the dressing before adding to the salad.

  62. kayla says

    awesome!! i used slivered almonds, just what i had on hand, but the dressing was phenomenal! super clean and light. We normally opt for a balsamic vinaigrette so this was a wonderful change up!

  63. Laura says

    This recipe was even better than I expected. It was a delicious combination of healthy ingredients. Thank you for sharing!

  64. Diane says

    Made this tonight and it was spectacular. I even put in the lemon zest as well. So peppery, sweet and tangy all at one time. I also threw in some pears and gorganzola cheese.

  65. Jen says

    Wow – this salad was delicious! I did not have maple syrup so substituted with honey . . . and it was good. I will definitely make this yummy salad again! Thank you!

  66. Mary says

    Oh boy, oh joy! Can’t wait to make this tonight. And I actually have everything. Dont you love it when it works out that way? Usually missing something. I’m so giddy. Just happened to pick up some arugala ftrom local organic farm, have a bearing Lemon tree, some beautiful apples, pure maple syrup, a very special olive oil i recieved for my birthday, etc. Thanks for sharing. I know it will be delish. Love your blog.

  67. Kay W says

    Hi Dana,

    This salad looks great!!
    I was wondering what I can use to substitute for maple syrup?
    Will it ruin the whole salad if I don’t put the Maple syrup at all?
    Thanks!

    Kate

  68. Laurie Hamame says

    1. Thank you for being real. 2015 was such a rough year. I hope 2016 will be nicer to us!
    2. I’m eating this salad right now and I’m shoveling it into my mouth! All the flavors are insane! Thank you for blowing my mind.

  69. Bryce says

    I absolutely love this salad. It has become my new go-to healthy snack. And now I know how to make dressing, I never knew it could be THAT incredibly simple. I love the red onion with the sweetness, it’s the perfect punch of flavor. Thank you for your amazing recipes! You are the best :)

  70. Julie says

    My boyfriend and I made this salad and we are instantly obsessed! I added blue cheese crumbles, I know it’s not the healthiest, but I just can’t do without cheese!! This salad is so easy to make, and absolutely delicious. Thanks for giving me my new favorite salad :)

  71. Lee - Fit Foodie Finds says

    A good cry can make you feel better sometimes :) So sorry 2015 kicked you in the face. It wasn’t the best for me either…but am excited to venture into 2016 with an open mind and heart! You continue to amaze me on the daily, Dana! Happy holidays!

  72. Kristen says

    This salad was WONDERFUL. Thank you! I’ve tried and loved a few of your recipes in the last few weeks, but this is my first time commenting. I am definitely making this again – the mix of bitter arugula and sweet apples and dried cranberry was delightful, and the roasted pecans made this a perfect winter salad. I left the skin on the apples, but otherwise followed the recipe to a T.

  73. Shelby says

    This salad looks like a perfect starter for a dinner party! And I just so happen to be getting a lot of arugula and pecans from my CSA these days :)

    Your post (and the comments that follow it) are a great reminder that few people have perfect, constantly joyous lives. So much of our world is centered upon virtual reality, and through photos and written words it is often easy to misinterpret other people’s lives as perfect. We all deal with sadness, frustration, and disappointment, and sometimes it’s difficult to focus on the good things in our lives. I love your blog, writing style, and photos, and I really liked that fact that you were open in a different way throughout this post. I hope to one day be able to influence as many people as you do!

    P.S. crying it out and hugging your mom are cure-alls.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the kind words, Shelby! I know our readers mostly enjoy the recipes on our site – it is a food blog after all. But I’ve been realizing lately that I’m drawn to authenticity in real life and online, and sometimes I’m not the best about being open online. I appreciate your feedback and hope you found it somehow encouraging, even if it merely communicated ‘I’m a person and I’m not happy 100% of the time because life is hard, but that’s OK!’ All the hugs your way. xoxo

  74. Emilie @ Emilie Eats says

    All of this is so true! I think the most important thing to do is to acknowledge that you’re feeling hurt and sad, because that’s much better than pushing it off to the side. It’s okay to feel let down sometimes! I know you’re strong and you have this whole support system cheering you on! Thanks for being my biggest inspiration in blogging. I would’ve never started this amazing journey had it not been for your gorgeous photos and mouth-watering recipes.
    And yes, a hug from mom always does the trick <3

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the encouragement, Emilie! It’s so true that it’s OK to feel down sometimes – it’s natural and just a part of life! And you’re right, I have an amazing family, friends, and group of supporters here on the site! I feel so uplifted by all of your comments. Thanks for sharing! xoxo

  75. lisa says

    Just made this salad and it is delicious. I brought some to my neighbor who has broken ribs and can’t do much for herself. Thanks for blessing us both. :)

  76. Gina says

    Salad sounds delish! More importantly, thanks for being real about 2015 being rough. You are right, it is ok and sometimes necessary to cry it out, eat pie, and hug your mom! Love the ‘realness’ factor that shined through in this post. Xo.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Of course! I’m so glad you found it encouraging! Thanks for saying hi, Gina. Here’s to a brighter, hopefully less challenging 2016!

  77. Martina says

    Dana, I drooling all over my keyboard…. not really, but kinda! “Sadly” I just had my last apple and added the last pecans to my home-made granola. But next week I am so going to make this! Delish!

    • Martina says

      On a different not – yeah, 2015 wasn´t my favorite year thus far as well! I think everyone has their baggage and thinks to deal with and I agree, it´s totally fine to be sad and to just hang in there. It does get better! So, it seems like 2016 can only get better :)

  78. Emily@Robust Recipes says

    Dana, I hear ya. Life can be rough sometimes. I think what you are doing with your blog is amazing. I love your healthy recipes, fun narrative, and beautiful photos. You and your blog and the things you do are a true inspiration to me. I took your food photography video course and my photos have taken a 180 in quality, i learned so much. So, thank you for doing what you do and keep it up. This season of life shall pass. Btw salad looks delicious, as always. Hugs!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      That’s amazing news, Emily! So glad we could be of help and inspiration to you. Thanks for the kind words! xoxo

  79. Danielle says

    Hi Dana,

    I hope 2016 makes up for it all, whatever it all is :) I have had a turbulent year myself (like holy shit that was messed up…). Just wanted to let you know that you’ve pretty much been my favorite blogger for three years and I’m grateful for your work, humor and imspiring effort. Thanks for the great reading!

  80. Kathryn - The Scratch Artist says

    Sorry to hear this years been a challenge. I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments of feeling what your feeling when your feeling it. Do I want to be sad and/or angry? No. But I want to be sad and/or angry when I am sad and/or angry. Ya know? I think feeling what we are feeling when we are feeling it is a requirement for having all the good things in life. Otherwise you end up numbing yourself to everything, the good, the bad, and the in between. I liked hearing your thoughts along with your beautiful recipe. Here’s to gratitude for all of our feelings and ways of being.
    XOXO

  81. Dana Gerard says

    Hey Dana,
    Just like another comment, please know that you are a great source of sunshine and inspiration to me personally. I truly appreciate your approach to food, bubbly attitude, phenomenal photography and original recipes. I list your blog as one of the ten blogs that inspire me on my own food blog.
    If only life and love were as neat and well edited as your blog!
    It’s how we react to life’s events that defines who we are. Keep up the great work and know you have a huge fan that’s cheering for you every step of the way. Thank you!

  82. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough says

    Hugs and prayers for you, friend! I feel ya — 2015 was a doozy of a year in some ways for me, too. But I am so thankful I got to meet you in person! And I hope the remainder of this year brings you joy and peace. xo

    P.S. And this salad. YESSSS.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Same! So lovely to meet you in person lady. Sorry this year was rough on you, too! Sending hugs to you as well. xoxo (P.S. those peppermint meringues you shared on Insta? OH DEAR. Gimme dat.)

  83. Judi says

    I can see this lovely salad with several other greens, but I am sick to death of arugula.

    Your website, however is a constant source of inspiration.

    Thank you, Dana and happy holidays to you!

  84. holly says

    BIG HUGS to you and this salad! Life man, it kicks our butts ( mine included, this year ), but I couldn’t agree more. We must feel our feelings, hug our moms, and keep on keepin’ on.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Dang, 2015. Why you gotta be so mean? Ha! Overall it was good, but it definitely spun me around. Love you lady. Thanks for the encouragements.

  85. Hannah Elizabeth says

    Oh, I’m so sorry it’s been a hard year for you, Dana!! I’ve had a hard last month, so I totally know what you’re talking about when all the emotions you’re feeling aren’t pure joy and love of life. I wish I could somehow make it easier for you…sending hugs your way!! XX

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry you’ve had a rough month, but hopefully this provides a little perspective + encouragement. Sending hugs!

  86. Leah M @ love me, feed me says

    First, this salad looks so goooood! So simple and delicious.
    And thank you for sharing about your life, you pretty much voiced everything that’s been whirling around in my head lately. I needed that little reminder that it’s okay to be sad/mad/frustrated, so thank you <3 I also agree that pie is helpful in those situations ;)
    I'm sorry to hear that this year kicked your butt, but I just know that so many good things are headed your way! Sending lots of love and positive vibes your way!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you, thank you for the kind words, Leah. I typically just talk about the food, but today felt the desire to share a little more about how my year has gone. Glad you found it encouraging!

  87. Heather says

    I look forward to trying this. I’ve tried a few of your recipes and love the minimalist approach. I want to know: 1) how are you calculating the calories in all items in this recipe; 2) why 20g fat per serving? For a salad with so few ingredients, eve with a sprinkling of nuts, it seems really high. Totally deters me from making this. Thanks for your reply.