Apple Walnut Salad with an Herbed Lemony Dressing⠀

"Give me a big + bold salad with lots of textures, flavors, and a punchy homemade vinaigrette and I am ONE HAPPY GIRL 😍⠀"
-- @nyssas_kitchen

A Note from Feedfeed

This apple walnut salad recipe is filled with thinly sliced apples, crunchy vegetables, and nuts and dressed in a bright, citrusy vinaigrette! You can skip the feta to keep this vegan, or add some protein like grilled chicken to give this salad more oomph!

Recipe Description

This apple walnut salad is perfect for any time of the year, but it shines exceptionally bright in the spring and summer when crisp, refreshing flavors are especially welcome. 

For a light and healthy meal, serve it alongside grilled chicken or fish. It also makes a great side dish for a picnic or barbecue, complementing sandwiches, burgers, or grilled vegetables. This salad is a delightful blend of crisp apple, aromatic fennel, and zesty red onion, all brought together with a tangy lemon dressing. It's a great way to use any leftover apples or fennel. The bright freshness of this salad reminds me of sunny days and picnic times in the park.

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  • Apple Walnut Salad with an Herbed Lemony Dressing Ingredients
  • Test Kitchen Notes
  • FAQs
  • Recipe Card

Apple Walnut Salad with an Herbed Lemony Dressing Ingredients

Everything you need to make apple walnut salad.

  • Green Apple: Green apples offer a crisp, slightly tart flavor that complements the salad's other ingredients. If they are unavailable, you can substitute them with any type of apple that is crisp and slightly tart apple, like Granny Smith.

    Fennel: Fennel has a unique anise-like flavor and crisp texture. If you can't find fennel, celery stalks can substitute for a similar crunch and mild flavor.

    Feta Cheese: The feta cheese is optional but adds a creamy and salty contrast to the salad. Feel free to omit or substitute with another cheese, such as goat cheese, blue cheese, or shaved Manchego.

Test Kitchen Notes

  • Apple, Fennel, and Red Onion Slicing: Slice the apple, fennel, and red onion thinly to ensure they blend well with the salad greens. A mandoline slicer works best for this.

    Lemon Juice for the Apple: The lemon juice adds flavor and helps prevent the apple from browning.

    Toasting Walnuts: Toasted walnuts add excellent flavor and crunch to the salad. Be careful not to burn them; toast in a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently until fragrant.

    Other Add-ins: Add different cheeses to the salad and mix in dried cranberries or raisins. Play with different vinegars in the dressing, such as apple cider vinegar or a balsamic vinaigrette.


What kind of apple should I use in a salad?

How do you keep apple slices from turning brown in a salad?

Can I prepare the salad dressing ahead of time?

How long can I store the assembled salad in the refrigerator?

Prep time 15mins
Cook time 15mins
Serves or Makes: 4

Recipe Card

For the Salad


  • 1 (5 ounce) box tender salad greens (such as red leaf lettuce)⠀
  • 1 green apple, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small bulb of fennel, shaved thin
  • 1/4 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, for topping
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional), for topping

For the Salad Dressing


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper⠀
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish


  • Step 1

    Place the salad greens in a large bowl and set aside.

  • Step 2

    Add the sliced apple, fennel, and red onion to a medium-sized bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to prevent browning.

  • Step 3

    Combine the dressing ingredients: 2 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt, maple syrup or honey, and parsley in a small jar or bowl.

  • Step 4

    Shake or whisk together until well combined. Taste and adjust the salt, maple syrup, and honey if desired.

  • Step 5

    When ready to serve, top salad greens with apples, fennel, and red onion. Toss the salad with the dressing and finish with toasted walnuts, feta cheese, and extra parsley. Enjoy immediately.