This easy spinach and arugula salad recipe starts off with a trio of greens - silky spinach leaves, peppery arugula, and shredded crisp romaine lettuce. Nestle in sweet apple slices, tangy feta cheese, and crunchy pecans. Topped with sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, this spinach arugula salad has a great mix of flavors and textures. The honey balsamic vinaigrette brings everything together for the perfect arugula, romaine and spinach salad.
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Healthy spinach salad
This spinach salad with apples is one of my latest absolute favorite things to eat. It's one of my favorite fall-inspired easy side dishes.
A base of fresh spinach, peppery arugula, and soft romaine lettuce, topped with a crisp sliced Fiji apple, crunchy pecans, pepitas, sunflower seeds, and tangy feta cheese. Finally, the whole thing is drizzled with a sweet and savory honey balsamic vinaigrette.
This spinach and arugula salad is packed from top to bottom with delicious flavors and textures.
Ingredients for a good salad
About the ingredients for this recipe. See the recipe card below for exact amounts.
- greens - I use a mix of spinach, arugula, and romaine in this salad
- apples - Fiji apples are my favorite - use your favorite apple!
- pecans - I just roughly chop these.
- seeds - I use pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. You can lightly toast these first if you want to.
- feta cheese - I love crumbly tangy feta cheese. Feta is made with sheep's milk (or a combo of sheep and goat). You can also use goat cheese for this recipe.
- homemade Balsamic dressing - this dressing is a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, dried thyme leaves, and seasoned with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
What's the secret to making your salad better?
Turn basic salad ingredients like spinach and romaine lettuce into a great-tasting and satisfying salad by adding different textures and tastes.
- Vary the textures and tastes of your greens and combine them. Pair a soft green like spinach with peppery arugula and crunchy romaine.
- Add something fresh like apples or cucumbers.
- Add something crunchy like nuts and seeds.
- Use fresh herbs if you have them
- Use a variety of different flavors like sweet, spicy, sour, and savory (apples are sweet, arugula is peppery, feta is tangy, thyme is savory).
- Use a dressing that matches or contrasts the salad ingredients.
- Make your own dressing to really make your spinach salad better
- Season your greens with salt and pepper.
- Dress your greens first. Plate the greens, add the extra ingredients, and another drizzle of dressing.
Homemade dressings make a homemade salad taste so much better
It's easy to mix up a basic vinaigrette. I use a basic vinaigrette ratio of:
3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar
I also add honey to balance the acidity with sweetness, and some dijon must both for savory flavor and also to emulsify the dressing (hold it together.)
I chose balsamic vinegar, honey, and thyme for this salad because the flavors go well with apples and spinach and the whole salad screams fall vibes to me.
- wash the greens
- shred the romaine lettuce
- slice the apple
- roughly chop the pecans
- make the dressing
The exact ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post to get right to it. Below is a quick summary of how to make this spinach salad with step-by-step photos.
Season the greens with salt and pepper and then add the dressing. Mix.
Add in your prepared ingredients, like the sliced apple, pecans, and seeds.
Stir the dressing again if needed.
Add more dressing to the salad and serve.
RECIPE TIP: Tossing the greens with the dressing first brings more flavor to the salad. Add another drizzle before serving.
✔ This recipe is vegetarian
> To make this vegan use another sweetener instead of honey (such as maple syrup) and skip the feta or use a vegan feta cheese replacement product.
To mix the dressing for this recipe, I use either a bowl and whisk, a jar with a lid, or my mini blender cups from my Ninja Kitchen System.
You can prepare and store the ingredients separately in the fridge. Don't dress the salad ahead of time because it can get soggy. Dress the salad when serving.
You can use whatever salad greens you prefer in this recipe.
Arugula, also called rocket, is a leafy green with a fresh, peppery, and slightly bitter taste.
Spinach Salad with Apples, Feta, Pecans
- Ninja Food Processor mini cups, for the dressing, optional
- Mix all dressing ingredients together with either a bowl and whisk, a jar with a lid, or a mini blender.
- Add greens to a large bowl. Add the dressing and mix.
- Plate the greens and add apple slices, feta, pecans, and seeds.
- Drizzle more dressing and serve.
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
This post was originally posted on January 20, 2021, and updated on October 6, 2022, for clearer information and nutrition information.
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