Spinach Salad with Maple Pecans, Apple and Blue Cheese

By: Ellie Krieger, RD

Serving Size: 4

Cook Time: 20 mins

This salad is simple enough to make on a weeknight and will brighten any fall or winter meal, but is beautiful and has a festive feel so it fits in perfectly on a holiday table. The maple pecans are also wonderful packaged as a gift or for snacking, so consider making a big batch of them to keep in the fridge.


Maple Pecans:

1/2 cup raw pecan halves (plus 3 tablespoons for dressing, optional)

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Pinch of salt

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons pecan oil or extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon finely minced shallot

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For assembly:

1/2 sweet red apple, such as Fuji or gala

5 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves

2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled


  1. To make the maple pecans: place the pecan halves and maple syrup in a dry skillet over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the syrup is caramelized and the nuts are toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. To make the dressing: whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, shallot, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Whisk in the three tablespoons chopped pecans, if using.
  3. Right before serving: cut the apple into matchsticks. Place the spinach into a large bowl and toss with the dressing until coated. Divide the spinach among 4 serving plates. Evenly distribute apples, blue cheese crumbles and maple pecans as toppings and serve. Makes 6 cups.

Nutritional Facts:





Saturated Fat