Fall Harvest Salad

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share a commission.

Fall Harvest Salad combines lettuce greens with bacon, candied walnuts, goat cheese, red onion, and honey crisp apple slices with a delicious balsamic dressing. The perfect fall salad with bursts of flavor in every single bite!

Try my Candied Pecan Salad with Apples next!

A wooden bowl of the fall harvest salad with apple slices, bacon, candied walnuts, and goat cheese.

Green Salad with Apples

What does fall harvest mean to you? In Iowa (where I spent my childhood), fall harvest is the process of removing the crops (that were planted in the spring or summertime) for consumption. It is a labor intensive time, and farmers work overtime to get the corn and soybeans out of the fields before winter sets in.

In the realm of food blogging, fall harvest means fresh greens with a combination of fall flavors. To me, apples play a huge part of this because they are best in the fall. Using candied nuts are also a key component because they remind me of cooler weather and holiday salads.

FYI, these hand crafted wooden bowls were recently purchased at the Holland Bowl Mill in Holland, MI. We vacationed in the area and visited their shop after a friend recommended them to us. So many beautiful items!

I had these engraved with my business name and the date of inception, since it was a free service.

Side view of a serving bowl of the harvest salad with apple slices.

Ingredients needed for Fall Harvest Salad:

  • Lettuce Greens – For this salad, I used a combo of red lettuce, butter lettuce, and kale. These go great together and add more interest to an already delicious salad. Don’t forget to MASSAGE the kale! Feel free to use any combo of fresh greens!
  • Red Onion – You must add onion to your salads. Red onion and green onions are my favs!
  • Bacon – The saltiness from cooked bacon adds great flavor. A little bit goes a long way.
  • Goat Cheese – One of my favorite types of cheese, and it adds creaminess to every bite.
  • Candied Walnuts – Follow my recipe for the BEST Candied Walnuts and just keep them in the freezer. They are great on this salad and just for munching on too.
  • Honey Crisp Apples – Slice your apples thin, and add some fresh lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.
  • Balsamic Dressing – This dressing is the perfect topper. Just a simple combo of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon dressing, honey, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
The Fall Harvest Salad ingredients with labels.

How to make the best Fall Harvest Salad:

Step 1
Make candied walnuts. Follow my recipe for the BEST Candied Walnuts. These are lightly sweetened and make a perfect salad topper. I make a batch and keep them in the freezer. You could also just use toasted walnuts (or another type of nut), but using the candied version spells FALL. 😀

Step 2
Cook bacon. You can cook the bacon in a variety of methods. I like to keep the “microwave ready” bacon in my refrigerator because it’s so easy. However, I often bake the bacon in my oven and keep a stash in the freezer. Just make sure you get it nice and crispy.

Step 3
Prepare lettuce. Choose some fresh lettuce for this salad (avoid those bags!) and tear it in bite sized pieces. We love red or green lettuce, romaine, butter lettuce, spinach, and kale.

For kale, you’ll need to drizzle with some olive oil and a pinch of salt, and massage. You’ll see the kale go from pale to a bright beautiful green color. This makes the kale tender to eat too. You can use any type of lettuce you like, but a combo makes it so good!

Step 4
Prepare apples. Thinly slice the honey crisp apples and then toss with some fresh lemon juice to prevent browning. You can also use a different type of apple, if preferred.

Step 5
Arrange salad ingredients in a large bowl – the salad greens, red onion, goat cheese, crumbled bacon, candied walnuts, and apple slices.

Step 6
Make dressing. Combine the following ingredients in a mason jar – olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon dressing, honey, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Shake vigorously.

Step 7
Add dressing to salad. If you are serving a large group, add SOME of the dressing to the salad to coat and toss. (You won’t need all of it unless you add extra lettuce etc.)

If you’re not serving a group, just add the dressing to individual servings.

Overhead view of a spoonful of balsamic honey dressing over a serving of the harvest salad.

Possible variations to this recipe:

  • Use whatever salad greens you like best. I love using a combo of a couple different types.
  • Instead of honey crisp apples, feel free to try another kind. We also love fuji and pink lady as alternatives.
  • If you don’t want to use candied walnuts, you could use regular toasted walnuts or other type of nut. My Easy Caramelized Pecans would be a great alternative as well.
A wooden serving bowl of the Fall harvest salad with the dressing over top.
Side view of a wooden bowl with lots of toppings.

Kitchen Tools used for this recipe: (Affiliate Links)

xoxo ~Sue

Side view of a wooden bowl with the Fall Harvest Salad.

Fall Harvest Salad

Fall Harvest Salad combines lettuce greens with bacon, candied walnuts, goat cheese, red onion, and honey crisp apple slices with a delicious balsamic dressing. The perfect fall salad with bursts of flavor in every single bite!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish, Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8 large servings
Calories: 491kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 8-10 cups red lettuce
  • 8-10 cups kale – or butter lettuce
  • 2 medium honeycrisp apples – sliced thin
  • 1/2 large lemon – freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup red onion – sliced thin
  • 5-6 slices thick-cut bacon – cooked and crumbled
  • 6 oz. goat cheese – crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cup candied walnuts – see recipe on blog (or use toasted walnuts)

For the dressing:

    This makes extra dressing. You most likely won't need it all unless you add extra lettuce, etc.

    • 2/3 cup olive oil
    • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
    • 1 Tablespoon honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste

    Instructions

    • Make candied walnuts. Follow my recipe for the BEST Candied Walnuts. These are lightly sweetened and make a perfect salad topper. You can also use toasted walnuts, if preferred.
    • Cook bacon. You can cook the bacon in a variety of methods. Bake it (my preferred method), microwave it, or buy the already cooked bacon at the store.
    • Prepare lettuce. Choose some fresh lettuce for this salad (avoid those bags!) and tear it in bite sized pieces. We love red or green lettuce, romaine, butter lettuce, spinach, and kale.
    • Prepare apples. Thinly slice the honey crisp apples and then toss with some fresh lemon juice to prevent browning. You can also use a different type of apple, if preferred.
    • Arrange salad ingredients in a large bowl – the salad greens, red onion, goat cheese, crumbled bacon, candied walnuts, and apple slices.
    • Make dressing. Combine the following ingredients in a mason jar – olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon dressing, honey, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Shake vigorously.
    • Add dressing to salad. If you are serving a large group, add SOME of the dressing to the salad to coat and toss. (You won’t need all of it unless you add extra lettuce etc.)
      If you’re not serving a group, just add the dressing to individual servings.

    Notes

    If using kale in this salad, you’ll need to drizzle with some olive oil and a pinch of salt, and massage. You’ll see the kale go from pale to a bright beautiful green color. This makes the kale tender to eat too. You can use any type of lettuce you like, but a combo makes it so good!

    Nutrition

    Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 387mg | Potassium: 416mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 9047IU | Vitamin C: 70mg | Calcium: 233mg | Iron: 3mg
    Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

    4 Comments

    1. Sue, we tried the salad yesterday, and it was oh so delicious! I loved the combination of pecans, apples and goat cheese!
      And the bowl! Oh so cute!
      Thank you!!!

      1. Suebee Homemaker says:

        Thank you so much, Lusine!

    2. The best salad ever! Love it!

      1. Suebee Homemaker says:

        It really is delicious, and perfect for special occasions!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Recipe Rating