Brighten your plate with our Vegan Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad with Feta! Fresh spinach, crisp apples, sweet cranberries, and crunchy nuts mingle with vegan feta, all tossed in a mouthwatering maple, apple cider vinaigrette. Quick and easy, this salad is a burst of flavors that’s as friendly on your taste buds as it is on your time. Enjoy the vibrant goodness of fall in every bite! ??
Make this salad in less than 15 minutes. This versatile Vegan Spinach Apple Cranberry Feta Salad is perfect as a side dish for dinner or a delightful lunch pairing with a sandwich, soup, or bread. Packed with plant-based goodness, it’s not just flavorful but also gluten-free, catering to a range of dietary preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of nuts can I use in the salad?
Absolutely! Walnuts or pecans work the best. But almonds or pine nuts offer a milder flavor. It’s based on your preference.
What’s a good alternative to vegan feta cheese?
You can use crumbled vegan blue cheese, vegan goat cheese, or even a homemade cashew-based cheese as alternatives.
Can I make the vinaigrette ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the vinaigrette in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Give it a good shake before drizzling over the salad.
Is there a specific type of apple that works best for this salad?
Crisp apples like Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Fuji work well, providing a nice balance of sweetness and tartness.
Can I add protein to make this salad a complete meal?
Absolutely! Grilled tofu, chickpeas, or quinoa are excellent protein additions that complement the flavors of the salad.
How do I prevent the apples from browning?
Toss the apple slices in a bit of lemon or lime juice to help prevent browning, or add them just before serving.
Can I omit the nuts for a nut-free version?
Yes, you can omit the nuts or substitute them with toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds for a nut-free alternative.
What type of bread or soup pairs well with this salad for lunch?
A crusty baguette, vegan sandwich, wrap or burger or a warm bowl of butternut squash soup can make a delightful lunch pairing.
Can I use pre-packaged vinaigrette instead of making it from scratch?
Yes, you can use your favorite store-bought vinaigrette if you’re short on time.
How long does the salad stay fresh in the refrigerator?
The salad is best enjoyed fresh, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days.
Can I use fresh cranberries instead of dried ones?
While dried cranberries provide sweetness, I’d only use fresh cranberries if you prefer a very tart flavor. Consider slicing them thinly for a milder taste.
Is there a low-sugar alternative to dried cranberries?
Opt for unsweetened dried cranberries – apple juice sweetened or use chopped dried apricots or raisins for a naturally sweet option with less added sugar.
Can I prepare the salad in advance for a party?
It’s best to assemble the salad just before serving to maintain its freshness. However, you can prep the ingredients and dressing ahead of time and combine them when ready to serve.
Can I use a different type of green instead of spinach?
Arugula, kale, or mixed salad greens can be used as alternatives to spinach, offering different textures and flavors.
What’s the best way to store leftover vinaigrette?
Store any extra vinaigrette in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake well before using.
What other ingredients can I add to this salad?
Thinly sliced red onions, sautéed shallots, avocado, chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, cooked quinoa, cucumber, grilled tofu, toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh herbs (parsley or mint), shredded carrots, or vegan bacon bits. Feel free to mix and match these ingredients based on your preferences and what you have on hand.
More Delicious Salads with Fruit
- Arugula Blueberry and Feta Salad
- Spinach Nectarine Salad
- Melon Blackberry Herb Salad
- Blackberry, Strawberry, Spinach Salad
- Beet and Mango Salad with Citrus Dressing
Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad
For the salad:
- 6 cups fresh spinach (baby spinach or a mix is best)
- 1 large apple, thinly sliced (choose a crisp variety like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup vegan feta cheese, crumbled or dolloped
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, or toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
For the salad dressing:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large salad bowl, combine the fresh baby spinach, thinly sliced apple, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, and crumbled vegan feta cheese.
- In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad ingredients. Gently toss the salad to ensure all ingredients are well coated with the vinaigrette.
- Plate the salad on individual plates or a serving platter. Optionally, sprinkle a bit more vegan feta on top for an extra burst of flavor.