Autumn Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette

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This Autumn Salad recipe is packed with good fall ingredients and tossed with a fabulous dressing.

autumn salad on white plate with fork

The transition to a new season is always an exciting time for home cooks. It’s a great time to get out new, seasonal ingredients and try so many new recipes. This Autumn Salad is one of those transitional recipes. It’s a good recipe to start with for fall because it will have you craving all of the fall things! It’s a perfectly delicious salad to add to your dinner menu.

sugared nuts in a white bowl

How to make sugared, spiced nuts for salad:

Let me explain that these are awesome. So good. I know you can buy sugared and spiced nuts at Trader Joe’s and other markets, but these are better! Use either walnuts or pecans for the recipe. The nuts are tossed with butter and sugar, and then spices are mixed in (ginger, curry, salt and pepper). They’re baked in the oven for 10 minutes. The recipe might make more than you want to include in your Autumn Salad, so you can save the rest for snacking or adding to another salad.

jar of salad dressing

Maple Cider Vinaigrette:

The  vinaigrette for this Autumn Salad is so easy to make, so don’t you dare skip making it! It’s a mix of cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. And then olive oil is whisked in to complete the simple vinaigrette for this salad. It can be made ahead and refrigerated, and then you can just take it out and re-mix it before adding to your salad.

autumn salad in a wooden bowl

Ingredients need for Autumn Salad:

  • spinach leaves
  • sliced pear (you could also use apple)
  • sliced red onion
  • crumbled blue cheese

Combine all of these ingredients in a large bowl. Then sprinkle in the sugared, spiced nuts, and toss with the cider maple vinaigrette.

salad on white plate with jar of dressing in background

The result is a totally delicious salad with autumn flavors. It’s not packed with a lot of weird, random ingredients- which I love. The sugared nuts are totally great in this salad. And the vinaigrette brings it all together. I highly recommend you try this Autumn Salad!

close up of autumn salad with fork

If you’ve been in a salad rut, it’s time to try this new Autumn Salad recipe. Plus, it’s a great way to celebrate the season. Enjoy!

Here are a few more fall recipes you might like to try:

autumn salad on white plate with fork
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Autumn Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette

Awesome spinach salad with added blue cheese and curried pecans!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 448kcal
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword autumn, fall, salad



  • 6 ounces walnut or pecan halves (about 1¾ cups)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper


  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • 10 ounces baby spinach (buy the bag!)
  • 1 large ripe Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces blue cheese crumbles



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl toss the nuts in melted butter. In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar and remaining ingredients; sprinkle over the nuts, tossing to coat. Spread in a single layer on a nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper-lined pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool in a pan on a wire rack; separate the nuts with a fork. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together first 5 ingredients. Gradually whisk in the oil until completely blended. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.


  • In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients. Sprinkle in the nuts. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, gently tossing to coat. You may have extra nuts and extra vinaigrette.


  • *Make nuts and vinaigrette ahead for an easy-to-put-together salad.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 383mg | Potassium: 388mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 3551IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 2mg
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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

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