Grilled Apple Salad with Brown Sugar-Cider Vinaigrette

I am so happy to share this recipe with you today.  It is my new favorite salad!  The flavors of apple, toasted pecans, sharp cheddar, and brown sugar blend so well together, and are perfect for fall.

One of my cooking goals lately has been to find recipes for homemade salad dressings.  It seems once you have made your own dressing a couple times, it is very hard to go back to store bought dressings because the homemade ones taste so much better.  I have started making a mason jar full of dressing at the beginning of each week and that is the dressing we use on our salads each night.  It encourages me to make a salad to go with dinner, which is good, as greens are a great source of vitamins.

For a long time I didn’t make salads very often because I like so much dressing, it seemed like way too many calories.  Once I realized the nutrition our family was missing out on, I decided to make smaller salads, and save the creamy dressings for special occasions.  This has worked out well as far as calories and our family is getting a more balanced diet.

I can’t wait to share all of the yummy dressing recipes I’ve found, but this is by far one of the best!  It is a little on the sweet side, but not too sweet.  It is such a beautiful salad, too, if you cut the apples horizontally so the little star shows through.

The recipe recommends grilling the apples, but it tastes great leaving the apples raw as well.  Or if you are going to grill some meat for dinner, throw on the apple slices at the same time.  Just watch them closely so they don’t burn.  Next time you are grilling something for dinner or need a salad to go with soup this fall, give this salad a try.  I think you’ll love it!


  • 1 c pecan halves
  • 4 Gala apples
  • 1 (6-oz.) package fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (5-oz.) package spring greens mix
  • 3 oz. extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, shaved
  • 1/4 c sliced green onions
  • 2/3 c canola oil
  • 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 3 T light brown sugar
  • 3 T chopped fresh basil
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and light brown in color, stirring after 4 minutes.
  2. Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill.  Preheat grill to 350 to 400 degrees (medium-high) heat.  Cut apples crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rings, cutting from one side through the other, horizontally.  Grill apple rings, covered with grill lid, 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until crisp-tender.
  3. Arrange spinach and spring greens mix on a serving platter; top with apples, cheese, toasted pecan, and green onion slices.
  4. Whisk together oil, cider vinegar, minced green onions, brown sugar, basil, Dijon mustard, and salt until blended.  Toss salad with dressing leaving a few apples, cheese shavings, pecans, and green onions for garnish.  Serves 8.

Source:  Adapted from a recipe in Southern Living Magazine

Categories: Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Recipes, Salads

My name is Shari, and I am an Arizona native and married mother of 3 who loves to cook and bake and figure out how to garden successfully in our suburban home in the desert. On this blog you will find a combination of savory and sweet recipes that have been tested by me, along with many tips to help you be successful. I hope you enjoy them!

  1. Pingback: Roasted Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad with Brown Sugar-Cider Vinaigrette | Cook AZ I Do

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