This Spinach, Apple, and Pomegranate Salad is super healthy, packed with flavor and loaded with crunchy candied pecans! This harvest salad makes a beautiful presentation for entertaining.
This spinach, apple, and pomegranate salad has got to be the prettiest salad ever!! I am in love with the color combo and I think it’s the perfect Thanksgiving salad! Plus, it’s super healthy and tastes AWESOME! I am not a huge salad lover, but this one may convert me. It would also be great topped with some leftover rotisserie chicken!
Why You’ll Love This Pomegranate Salad
- Candied pecans give the harvest salad the perfect crunch.
- This salad with pomegranate seeds is utterly delicious.
- It’s drizzled with homemade vinaigrette dressing.
- Easy to customize.
- Pomegranate salad is fantastic for holidays and events.
Salad with Pomegranate Seeds
This spinach salad recipe is super easy to put together and to make it quicker you can even buy the pomegranate arils from the grocery store instead of removing them yourself. It isn’t hard to do if you know how to cut open a pomegranate correctly. Trust me, there is a right and a wrong way, I know from experience!
The first time I tried to cut open a pomegranate, I dove right in. That was my first mistake. I cut it open the totally wrong way, like totally wrong, like can’t get any more wrong! It was a huge mess and I never wanted to buy one again. But I got over it and decided to figure it out. So the secret is to score the pomegranate down the natural ridges, then gently pry it open. This article on how to cut and de-seed a pomegranate is what I read and it works every time.
How To Make Harvest Salad
Step 1: Prepare Candied Pecans
Begin by melting butter in a skillet. Then add pecans, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir until the pecans are toasted, about 3-5 minutes.
Place the pecans on a piece of parchment paper and let them cool completely.
Step 2: Make The Dressing
Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl until blended.
Step 3: Prepare The Spinach Apple Salad
Gently toss all of the salad ingredients together in a bowl. Arrange until you reach the desired look and drizzle with vinaigrette and add candied pecans. Serve and enjoy!
Spinach Salad Recipe Tips
- Save time using store-bought pomegranate arils. If you don’t want to de-seed a pomegranate yourself, look for the arils at your grocery store. Some may or may not carry them, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
- Try different kinds of cheese. Some other cheeses you could try in this harvest salad: goat cheese (this is really good!) or gorgonzola.
- Swap the nuts. You can also sub out the pecans for almonds, walnuts, or pistachios. I think pistachios would be really good in this spinach apple salad and I’m really wishing I would have made it that way instead!
- Go for pears. You can also use pears instead of apples.
- Add fruit right before serving. Don’t add the apples (or pears) until ready to serve because they can turn brown rather quickly.
- Add chicken. In the mood for some more protein, go ahead and top this spinach apple salad with some rotisserie chicken! It makes it a little more filing and tastes great.
Can This Thanksgiving Salad Be Made Ahead?
While you can’t assemble the salad with pomegranate seeds ahead of time there are things you can do to get some of the prep work done ahead of time.
- Prepare the candied pecans up to 5 days in advance and store them in a glass food storage container.
- Make the vinaigrette dressing 4-5 days in advance. Store it in the fridge in a sealed container. Keep in mind there are no preservatives, so it’s not going to last as long as store-bought dressings.
Everything else for the pomegranate salad should be prepared right before serving.
How Do You Eat Pomegranate Seeds In A Salad?
You will eat the salad with pomegranate seeds like any other salad. You can eat all of the pomegranate arils. Once the seeds have been removed from the pomegranate they are ready to eat and there isn’t anything else you have to do to them.
How Do You Pick A Ripe Pomegranate?
Pick up the pomegranate and give it a slight squeeze. It should be firm to the touch and feel heavy like it’s packed with juice. The color is going to be dark and there shouldn’t be a lot of bruises or blemishes.
This Spinach, Apple, and Pomegranate Salad is super healthy, packed with flavor and is loaded with crunchy candied pecans!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup (116g) pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8-9 ounces (226g) baby spinach
- 2 apples, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup (110g) pomegranate arils
- ¼-½ cup (30-60g) feta cheese
- candied pecans
Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium to medium low heat. Add the pecans, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pecans start to toast. About 3-5 minutes.
Transfer pecans to a piece of parchment paper to cool. Let cool completely before adding to the salad.
Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients until well blended.
Toss together all salad ingredients or arrange in a pleasing manner. Serve with the vinaigrette.
- Don’t add the apple or pears until ready to serve to prevent browning.
- Candied pecans can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- Vinaigrette can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Recipe adapted from Fork Knife Swoon.