Recipe: Easy Spinach Salad with Apples, Walnuts, and Feta

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(Image credit: Shelly Westerhausen)

I’ll be honest: I don’t often get creative with my salads. If you come over for dinner, I’ll likely be serving a big bowl of greens tossed with a basic vinaigrette. (You could either call me a purist or boring; I like to think it’s the former.)

When I want to glam it up without really trying, I simply toss fruit, cheese, and nuts into the mix. This is the kind of salad you make once and never have to look at the recipe again after that. It’s infinitely adaptable and is always welcome on the table, no matter the day or season.

A Simple Formula for a Fast & Fancy Green Salad

This spinach salad is one to memorize. Chopped apple adds tart crunch, toasted walnuts lend heft, feta provides salty intrigue, and it’s all tied together with a quick honey-sweetened apple cider vinaigrette. It’s a salad that pairs well with most main dishes, but could just as easily be enjoyed for lunch on its own if you’re not starving, or topped with chicken if you’re craving more.

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(Image credit: Shelly Westerhausen)

What really makes this salad great, though, is how interchangeable the ingredients are. Swap arugula or baby kale for the spinach and slip in whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand in place of the apple, like berries or stone fruit. If you’d rather use pecans or almonds instead of walnuts, go right ahead — and of course, crumbled goat cheese would make a lovely replacement for the feta.

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(Image credit: The Kitchn)
177 Ratings

Easy Spinach Salad with Apples, Walnuts, and Feta

Serves4 to 6

Prep time: 5 minutes to 9 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (5-ounce) bag

    baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)

  • 1

    large tart apple, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp, cored and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 4 ounces

    feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup

    walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

  2. Add the spinach and toss gently to coat in the vinaigrette. Add the apple, feta, and walnuts and toss gently again to combine. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The vinaigrette can be made up to a week ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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