Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette


You can never have too many salad recipes so here is yet another one to add to your rotation! I love the fall flavors in this salad and how easy it is to throw together (quite literally).

Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette | Cooking Classy

I originally planned to make this salad without the bacon and red onions but in the end I felt I wanted it to just have a little more, plus at times like this it’s hard to resist the urge to add bacon when I know it would only enhance to the max. You could definitely make it without but I’m thinking you like it better with bacon just like I did, and the red onions is totally optional. I’m the only one in my family that likes them on salad so I just add them to mine.

I love all the versatility of this salad yet how well it all comes together. You get so many different textures and flavors but each one compliments the other.


If you don’t yet have a salad on your menu for Thanksgiving I’d highly recommend this one. Yeah, I had three servings, just that good!

Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette | Cooking ClassyApple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette | Cooking ClassyApple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette | Cooking Classy


Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad

4.89 from 9 votes

Yield: About 7 - 8 servings


  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • 3 small gala apples or 2 medium , cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pecans , toasted
  • 4 oz feta cheese , crumbled (don't use the pre-crumbled stuff)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 12 oz bacon , cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 1/2 small red onion , sliced into thin strips (optional)

Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. If using red onion, place slices in a colander and run under warm water for about 10 seconds, tossing once, to remove harsh bite. Drain well.
  2. In a large salad bowl toss together spinach, apples, pecans, feta, cranberries and optional bacon and red onion. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately after adding dressing.
  3. For the dressing:
  4. Add all ingredients to a medium mason jar. Cover with lid and shake to blend well (or alternately just blend well in a bowl with a whisk).
  5. Recipe source: inspired by Southern Living

maple cider vinaigretteApple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette | Cooking Classy


  • ATasteOfMadness: Omg, I love spinach salad! This sounds like an amazing flavor combo! November 21, 2014 at 6:50pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: Those dried cranberries + the Maple-Cider Vinaigrette = Perfection! Love the crunchy apples, too! November 21, 2014 at 7:18pm Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): Such a pretty holiday salad, love that maple vinaigrette! November 22, 2014 at 10:00am Reply

  • Doris Krebs: This is lovely! and looks delicious. November 22, 2014 at 7:07pm Reply

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet: The apples, pecans and feta together sound so good! This salad is gorgeous and perfect for fall! November 23, 2014 at 7:51am Reply

  • MW: Salad looks great! I’m Wishing for lots of family time and love this holiday season! November 23, 2014 at 8:58am Reply

  • Liz: Hi,

    This salad looks great and I want to try it. How do you slice your apples so perfectly?

    Thanks! November 24, 2014 at 9:38am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I cut into quarters then trimmed the center portion off just past the seed, so you get a flat side then I laid it on that side and cut thin slices. I loved that they were small apples too so I ended up with a lot. November 27, 2014 at 12:36am Reply

    • William Cash Hateley: I didn’t add the cranberries; big mistake. Their sweetness is really necessary for the balance of this salad. I added them afterwards and it made a huge difference. April 30, 2015 at 10:50pm Reply

      • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback William! I couldn’t agree more. May 2, 2015 at 10:39am Reply

  • Mary: Made this tonight, very good, no feta, used gorganzola. Family loved it December 18, 2014 at 5:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you family liked this salad Mary! Thanks for your comment! December 21, 2014 at 7:42pm Reply

  • Jenny: Hi, Can I make the dressing ahead of time (24 hours)? Or is it best to make fresh? December 20, 2014 at 9:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It should be just fine to make it ahead of time, just stir or shake (if in a mason jar) well before pouring over salad. Hope you love it! December 20, 2014 at 11:40am Reply

  • Lindsay: Would spicy brown mustard change this too much? It sounds so delicious! December 24, 2014 at 10:19am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I can’t say for sure since I haven’t ever tasted that kind? It’s sounds good though. December 24, 2014 at 2:01pm Reply

  • Jules @ WolfItDown: This looks and sounds fantastic Jaclyn! The colours are enough to make you smile even before munching down this salad, yum! Thanks for the inspiration :D x February 3, 2015 at 4:40pm Reply

  • Lanie: How many servings? I want to use it as a side for a Bridal Shower…so servings won’t be big. March 6, 2015 at 12:13am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It makes about 7 – 8 servings. March 29, 2015 at 12:20am Reply

  • Megan: what is 1 serving of this? How many servings does it make? And is there any idea of nutrition facts like calories, fat, protein, fiber, etc? March 18, 2015 at 11:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It makes about 5 servings. Sorry I don’t have nutritional info though. March 18, 2015 at 11:55am Reply

      • Megan: Is one serving about a cup? Or how much would you say? March 18, 2015 at 12:21pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: Sorry I didn’t measure I should have, I’m guessing it’s about 2 cups. March 18, 2015 at 5:50pm Reply

  • Melanie: Loved the ingredients in the salad itself, but sorry, the dressing was horrible. Smelled and tasted of straight vinegar and did not blend well with the salad. April 28, 2015 at 7:34pm Reply

  • Lynda: I had the opportunity of eating this salad at a graduation party last night. In a huge bowl the recipe was tripled and there were no left overs. Just that good! I will definitely be making this salad for myself and soon! May 17, 2015 at 6:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Lynda! May 17, 2015 at 10:46am Reply

  • Dina: It is so hot I could not even think of cooking tonight I made this salad and it was so good! I followed the receipe and would not change a thing! The flavours are amazing together thanks September 10, 2015 at 6:15pm Reply

  • Cara: Awesome Salad! I didn’t like spinach but now I will eat it. Traded the apple cider vinegar for red wine vinegar though. October 3, 2015 at 1:23pm Reply

  • Beverly: Made this tonight! It was the best! October 29, 2015 at 6:32pm Reply

  • Susan: I made this for a big group today and it was a huge hit, with everyone asking for the recipe! The only change I made to is I added a bit of boston butter lettuce just for added greens variety. Not a lot, just a tiny head. And I did not put the optional bacon in. Great recipe! November 8, 2015 at 7:06pm Reply

  • djenefer: how long before serving should i chop the apples and mix with the salad?? I’m afraid they will turn brown if i chop them long before December 23, 2015 at 11:30am Reply

    • ecuprincess: Put a little fresh lemon juice on them and they will not turn as quickly May 7, 2016 at 10:55am Reply

  • Bessie Moncada Fernández: Parece deliciosa, hasta ahora voy a tratar de hacerla! June 26, 2016 at 10:28pm Reply

  • marleny zacarias: Quisiera la receta en español, pues yo no se ingles, se los agradeceria mucho October 8, 2016 at 9:59pm Reply

  • Anne from Pintesting: I made this for supper last night – it was delicious! My HH loved it, too. He said I should have added the bacon and I agreed, but we’re on a diet so… I’ll be making this again. Thanks for the great recipe! November 20, 2016 at 11:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it Anne! November 28, 2016 at 12:32pm Reply

  • Crissy: This salad was delicious! I used a champagne vinaigrette that’s my favorite, it paired well with the salad. Great recipe! September 23, 2017 at 6:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sounds delicious! September 25, 2017 at 1:23pm Reply

  • Dot: Great crunch and so tasty! November 4, 2017 at 12:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you liked it Dot! Thanks for your review! November 4, 2017 at 2:12pm Reply

  • Keri: What are the 21 day fix containers for this? November 5, 2017 at 8:21pm Reply

  • Angie: I’ve been making this A LOT lately. Definitely my favorite fall salad! The dressing is phenomenal! November 6, 2017 at 11:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the review Angie! November 8, 2017 at 11:21am Reply

  • Tori: Amazing salad! Brought this in for a work dinner – everyone loved it! November 20, 2017 at 6:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad to hear Tori! November 21, 2017 at 11:53am Reply

  • Julee: Made this foe dinner and it was DELICIOUS! I added crutons and used more of a balsamic Vinaigrette! This recipe was amaizng! December 5, 2017 at 9:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Julee! Glad you loved the salad! December 7, 2017 at 5:15pm Reply

  • Erin: Absolutely delish! Great pairings of sweet (fruit) and salty (bacon). The vinegar adds a much needed depth of flavor and tang. I used goat cheese instead of feta, as my guests preferred that, and i did add the red onion. Everyone loved the subtle maple flavor and devoured the salad. I made it for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas! December 23, 2017 at 9:37am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it Erin! January 2, 2018 at 12:33pm Reply

  • Roberta: Great taste. Use a very large bowl! I used less red onion as it is a preference. The dressing is unique and a nice tasty change from the usual dressings. Will make again as will those at the meal! Thanks for sharing. December 25, 2017 at 10:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome! Thanks for leaving a review. January 2, 2018 at 4:33pm Reply

  • Lupita: I made the dressing ahead of time should I refrigerate it or leave it out?🤨 January 14, 2018 at 9:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I recommend refrigerating. January 14, 2018 at 10:02pm Reply

  • Melody: Delicious. The apples really make this salad, but the combination of all the flavors and textures have made this a new favorite. We had it without the bacon and onion and didnt miss them at all. February 12, 2018 at 4:55am Reply

  • G.C.: The salad was fantastic but I agree with an earlier post that the vinegar was too strong. Next time I will increase the amount of maple syrup and but back on the vinegar. February 27, 2018 at 3:40pm Reply

  • Jane: I would substitute the gala apples with Granny Smith for a little tartness. March 31, 2018 at 4:11am Reply

  • Michelle: I didn’t add bacon or onion and this was delicious without. My 11 year old even loved it. Thank you! May 8, 2018 at 3:48pm Reply

  • Kathy: Why do you say not to buy the pre-crumbled feta cheese? May 9, 2018 at 12:39pm Reply

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