Super delicious Fuji Apple salad with homemade balsamic dressing is a quick and healthy option for lunch or dinner. Dairy free + gluten free.
This Fuji Apple Salad with Balsamic Dressing is loaded with fresh, crispy, Fuji apples, sweet dried cranberries, and all finished with a tangy balsamic and Dijon mustard dressing. It’s honestly one of my favorite salads and I make it weekly!
Free from: Wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, lupin, sulfites, nightshades, tomatoes, and more
This tasty salad is a great recipe for all year long. It is a bit of a variation on Panera's fuji apple salad, only without the crisp apple chips. I kept this one vegetarian with lots of different options for protein. This delicious salad is one you'll want to make again and again.
Looking for more salad ideas? Check out this spinach strawberry spinach salad (dairy free) and this Panera Bread copycat Green Goddess Salad!
Why You’ll Love this Fuji Apple Salad
- Perfect to make year round
- Healthier than takeout as you are avoiding the extra oils and sugar
- Super easy to customize with your favorite toppings and proteins
- Quick to throw together making it a perfect side dish or add protein for a main meal
- Dairy free, Egg free, Vegan, Gluten free, Nut free, and more!
For the Salad
- Arugula Mix: Use all arugula, add some spinach or spring mix, or any other of your favorite greens into this salad base. Adding romaine lettuce is a great crunchy green.
- Fuji Apples: The star of the show! I use all fuji apples for this but you can easily mix it up with the different apples you choose. Gala or a honeycrisp apple are also perfect for sweet or try Granny Apple Smith for a more tart twist.
- Dates + Dried Cranberries: These are a great addition for a sweet and chewy texture.
- Pumpkin Seeds: I use these in place of nuts to keep this salad nut free.
- Red Onion
For the Dressing
The name for this dressing comes from the ingredients themselves, 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon of date syrup or maple syrup.
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Date Syrup or Maple Syrup
Use either date syrup or maple syrup for the dressing, depending on which you prefer.
If you are not allergic to nuts, feel free to add walnuts or crunchy pecans.
Extra Protein: Add more nuts or seeds like sunflower seeds or try some rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
Different Cheeses: In place of feta, try this with gorgonzola cheese, goat cheese, or blue cheese.
Different Toppings: Switch it up with pears in place of apples! Add some avocado slices, slices of grape tomatoes, or for some crunch, add some dehydrated apple slices.
For the full instructions, complete with recipe measurements and ingredient list, please see the recipe card below.
Making this salad is so easy.
First up, mix the dressing together. In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, the dijon mustard, and the date syrup (or maple syrup). Whisk together until fully combined. Set this aside while you prep the salad.
Next, wash and chop all the veggies as you prefer. I like thin slices of apple and red onions, but if you want smaller diced pieces, that is also good. Crumble up the (dairy free) feta cheese. Roughly chop the pumpkin seeds. And finally, dice the dates and cranberries so they are more evenly distributed.
Now it’s time to assemble! Grab a large bowl and start with a base of greens, top with your toppings, and drizzle that prepared dressing on top. That’s it!
I always suggest a more firm apple for salads that can hold up to all the other ingredients. You also want one that has a good balance of sweetness and tartness. For that reason, my favorite apples are Fuji, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or Empire. For a super tart apple, add a bit of sliced Granny Smith.
There are so many available! I think the Trader Joe’s Vegan Feta is a great option as it is based on potato starch and coconut oils. That makes it super allergy friendly.
Yes! As written, it is totally gluten free. If you add other toppings, please read the ingredients to make sure it is gluten free.
Yes! Filled with healthy ingredients like arugula, mixed greens, apples, and an oil free dressing, this salad is a super healthy option for lunch or dinner.
How to Store
To make this ahead of time: Make the dressing and store in a separate container. Slice and prep all the veggies and store separate from the washed and dried greens. If you are prepping apple slices, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to help prevent them from browning. Keep them all in separate containers until you're ready to serve. Assemble the salad right before serving.
Leftovers: Again, keep the dressing separate from the salad to keep it from wilting and turning soggy. Keep all the ingredients in the fridge for up to 3 days. The dressing is good for up to one week in the fridge.
More Salads to Enjoy
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- mixing bowls
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- cutting board
- 2 cups arugula or other mixed greens
- 1-2 Fuji apples sliced
- 2 tablespoons feta cheese dairy free
- ¼ cup red onion slivered
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds or nuts or seeds of your choice
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or date syrup
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, the dijon mustard, and the date/maple syrup. Whisk until combined and set aside.
- Prep the salad. Wash and chop the red onion, apples, greens, and feta cheese.
- Assemble. In a large bowl, place down a bed of mixed arugula and other greens. Add the toppings. Drizzle with some of the dressing. Enjoy!
- Allergy Substitutions
- Use either date syrup or maple syrup for the dressing, depending on which you prefer.
- If you are not allergic to nuts, feel free to add walnuts or crunchy pecans.
- Extra Protein: Add more nuts or seeds like sunflower seeds, try some rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
- Different Cheeses: In place of feta, try this with gorgonzola cheese, goat cheese, or blue cheese.
- Different Toppings: Switch it up with pears in place of apples! Add some avocado slices, slices of grape tomatoes, or for some crunch, add some dehydrated apple slices.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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