This irresistibly delicious Fall Harvest Salad with Apples and Sweet Potatoes is as pretty as a picture and tastes as good as it looks! Full of roasted sweet potatoes, juicy sliced apples, and crunchy roasted pecans, this healthy salad will remind you of a cool crisp Fall day.
The holidays are just around the corner, and if your family is anything like mine, it seems like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. When you are short on time, it’s hard to eat healthily, but this hearty main-dish salad changes all of that. Your big and little kids will want to eat their veggies!
Let’s talk a minute about what makes a good Fall Harvest Salad:
- Fresh crisp lettuce
- A delicious dressing that’s easy to make and compliments the other ingredients
- Fresh fall produce
- A little crunch from nuts or croutons
- And, last but not least, why cheese, of course!
Check, check, and check! Fall Harvest Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Apples checks all of the boxes!
Let’s talk meal prep and meal kits:
Meal prep, which is preparing all of your meal components ahead of time, and meal kits, which come with everything you need to make a meal, are popular right now! And why wouldn’t they be? Both promise great taste in half the time, which I know is music to your ears!
To prep this salad ahead of time, so all you have to do is assemble it when it’s time to eat, only requires a few steps:
- Rinse and chop or tear the lettuce. Store covered in your salad spinner or wrapped in a damp paper towel in the refrigerator
- Chop up the sweet potato and roast in the oven. Store the roasted sweet potato in a small plastic bag in the fridge
- Roast the pecans, if they are not already roasted
- Make the Citrus Vinaigrette and store it in the refrigerator
If you decide to prep this dish ahead of time, ignore the times shown for making this salad in the recipe. Your time will be less than five minutes. It’s a win-win!
What kind of apples work best in this salad?
The best answer to this question is whatever kind your family likes or you happen to have on hand. I like Granny Smith apples, but I happened to have some Honey Crisp apples, so that’s what I used. They were wonderful.
What kind of cheese should I use?
Again, it’s a personal preference. I used feta cheese in this salad, but crumbled goat cheese or even blue cheese or gorgonzola would be great too! You’ll want to use creamy cheese for this salad.
How about croutons and nuts?
Croutons and nuts play a big part in adding the crunch, which makes this Fall Harvest Salad so delicious. I made my croutons because I had some leftover sourdough rolls. However, you can use purchased croutons, and they will work just fine.
I also used roasted pecans because, well, I always use pecans in any recipe that calls for nuts. But you can substitute toasted walnuts or almonds too. The key here is to roast or toast the nuts.
How to make Fall Harvest Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Apples:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the sweet potato cubes in a large bowl. Pour in the olive oil and add the salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Toss and ensure the potatoes are coated with the olive oil.
Place the sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet and roast until tender, which should take about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the citrus vinaigrette, add all vinaigrette ingredients to a mason jar and shake well. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble the salad, add the lettuce to a large bowl. Top with sweet potatoes, feta cheese, roasted pecans, cranberries, sliced apples, and croutons.
Drizzle on the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Sharon’s Expert Tips:
Wait until just before you are ready to serve the salad to slice the apples. They will turn brown if sliced and held too long before adding to the salad.
If you would like to make homemade croutons, take several slices of stale sourdough bread or rolls and cut them into cubes. Add to a bowl along with ¼ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper. Toss and spread the cubes out on a baking sheet. Toast in a 375-degree oven for about 10 minutes.
If you decide to make homemade croutons, make twice as much as you think you will need because it’s impossible not to snack on them. Store the cooled croutons in an airtight plastic bag.
Feel free to add in some protein if you like. Grilled fish, shrimp, or chicken would all be good choices.
This salad is very versatile. Try adding some cooked quinoa or pearl couscous if you need to make it stretch a little further.
I used a baby spring mix of lettuce for this salad. You can substitute baby kale, romaine or arugula.
More main-dish or hearty salad recipes:
Need more recipes, check out all of my quick and easy salad recipes here.
★ If you make Fall Harvest Salad, please leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it! Thanks so much for visiting Grits and Pinecones!
Fall Harvest Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Apples Recipe
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled or unpeeled, cut into ½-1 inch cubes.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 oz baby spring mix lettuce
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup roasted pecans
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- 1 apple cored, unpeeled, and thinly sliced
- 1 cup croutons
Citrus Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 3 tablespoon orange marmalade
- 4 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- juice of ½ lime
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place the sweet potato cubes in a large bowl. Pour in the olive oil and add the salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Toss and ensure the potatoes are coated with the olive oil.
- Place the sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet and roast until tender, which should take about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- To make the citrus vinaigrette, add all vinaigrette ingredients to a mason jar and shake well. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- To assemble the salad, add the lettuce to a large bowl. Top with the sweet potatoes, feta cheese, roasted pecans, cranberries, sliced apples, and croutons.
- Drizzle on the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.