Spinach salad with maple pecans, apple and blue cheese

Spinach Salad with Maple Pecans, Apple and Blue Cheese

Submitted by: Ellie Krieger, RD

This salad is simple enough to make on a weeknight and will brighten any fall or winter meal, but is beautiful and has a festive feel so it fits in perfectly on a holiday table. The maple pecans are also wonderful packaged as a gift or for snacking, so consider making a big batch of them to keep in the fridge.


  • Maple Pecans:
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan halves (plus 3 tablespoons for dressing, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons pecan oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For assembly:
  • 1/2 sweet red apple, such as Fuji or gala
  • 5 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled


  1. To make the maple pecans: place the pecan halves and maple syrup in a dry skillet over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the syrup is caramelized and the nuts are toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. To make the dressing: whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, shallot, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Whisk in the three tablespoons chopped pecans, if using.
  3. Right before serving: cut the apple into matchsticks. Place the spinach into a large bowl and toss with the dressing until coated. Divide the spinach among 4 serving plates. Evenly distribute apples, blue cheese crumbles and maple pecans as toppings and serve. Makes 6 cups.

Nutrition facts





Sat Fat










If you liked this, why not try...

Submit Your Recipe

Share your tried and true pecan recipes with us and have them featured on our site!

Pecans possess many impressive health benefits.

When it comes to America’s native nut, great taste is just the beginning. Heart-healthy with power-packed protein, this nutrient-dense nut boasts multiple health-promoting nutrients and bioactive compounds. The pecan has rightfully earned its reputation as a nutrition powerhouse.

American Pecan

Find us here:

Follow us for quick and easy pecan recipes, nut news, videos, and more.