Apple, White Cheddar, and Spinach Salad with Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette


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Spinach Apple Salad with Cheddar & Cranberries — The flavors just POP in this fast, easy, and healthy spinach salad! There are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every bite you can’t help but like it! 

spinach cranberry salad topped with grated cheddar in a white bowl

Easy Spinach Apple Salad Recipe

There are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every bite of this spinach apple salad, you can’t help but like it. It’s filling, satisfying, and healthy.

Hearty spinach, crisp juicy apples, salty cheese, chewy orange-flavored dried cranberries, and Fisher Natural Sliced Almonds for extra crunch.

I made a simple shake-it-together vinaigrette that’s tangy-yet-sweet from the apple cider vinegar, honey, and mustard. It coats each and every bite perfectly. Dressings can make or break salads and this one is a keeper. 

Honestly though, this is the food I crave day in, day out. I loved this healthy spinach salad and so did my family.

If this salad looks like a good to you, also check out its cousin, which is made with chicken. Namely, this Apple, White Cheddar, & Grilled Chicken Salad.

close up of a spinach apple salad topped with grated cheddar and dried cranberries in a white bowl

Spinach Apple Salad Ingredients

To make this spinach and apple side salad, you’ll need: 

  • Spinach 
  • Apple
  • Grated white cheddar cheese
  • Orange-flavored cranberries
  • Fisher Natural Sliced Almonds
  • Olive oil
  • Honey 
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Salt and pepper 

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

spinach salad dressing in a glass jar

How to Make Spinach Apple Salad

This easy spinach side salad with apples couldn’t be quicker to prepare! Here are the basic recipe steps:

  1. Prep the salad ingredients and add to a large bowl.
  2. Add the dressing ingredients to a small container with a lid and shake vigorously to combine. 
  3. Taste the vinaigrette and tweak as necessary to taste before pouring it over the spinach apple salad.

How Many Servings Does This Recipe Make?

This recipe serves two generously or four more modestly. 

spinach apple salad topped with grated cheddar and dried cranberries in a white bowl

Recipe FAQs

Can I Prep the Dressing in Advance? 

Yes! You can shake up the dressing and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week. If the oil hardens somewhat in the fridge, let the dressing sit on your counter for 15 minutes before shaking it up and drizzling over your salads. 

Can I Use Another Leafy Green? 

Of course! I love eating this as an apple spinach salad, but kale, lettuce, or another leafy green will also work. 

What’s the best Type of apple for salads?

You’re welcome to use any variety of apple you’d like in this spinach apple salad. Just be sure to slice it very thinly so it’s easy to eat. 

What Type of dried cranberries should I Use?

I found the orange-flavored cranberries at Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find them at your local grocery store, feel free to use regular dried cranberries.  

How Long does homemade vinaigrette last?

If you wind up with extra spinach salad dressing, it’ll keep airtight in the fridge for a week.

Spinach Apple Salad with Cheddar & Cranberries — The flavors just POP in this fast, easy, and healthy spinach salad! There are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every bite you can’t help but like it! 

Other Dressings to Pair with Spinach and Apple Salad

I love the apple cider vinaigrette in this fall spinach salad, but you can toss the salad with pretty much any dressing you like. Try one of these homemade salad dressings instead of the apple cider vinaigrette:

Spinach Apple Salad with Cheddar & Cranberries — The flavors just POP in this fast, easy, and healthy spinach salad! There are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every bite you can’t help but like it! 

What to Serve with Spinach Apple Salad

Pair this apple spinach salad with grilled chicken for a more filling main course salad, or serve it as a simple side salad with one of the following entrees:

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Yield: 2

Apple, White Cheddar, and Spinach Salad with Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Apple, White Cheddar, and Spinach Salad with Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette

The flavors just POP in this fast, easy, and healthy spinach salad! There are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every bite you can’t help but like it!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes



  • about 6 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 large apple, cored and sliced very thin (try Envy, Gala, Fuji, or similar)
  • 1 cup grated aged white cheddar
  • 1/2 cup dried orange-flavored cranberries (I use Trader Joe’s; plain dried cranberries may be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup Fisher Natural Sliced Almonds

Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette 

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard (I like either dijon or honey mustard)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste


For the Salad:

  1. To a large bowl or platter, add all ingredients in the order listed; set aside.

For the Vinaigrette:

  1. In a small glass jar or container with a lid, add all ingredients, put the lid on and shake vigorously until combined; taste vinaigrette and tweak as necessary to taste.
  2. Drizzle over salad, toss to combine, and serve immediately.


  • If you don’t use all the vinaigrette, extra will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 750Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 1327mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 8gSugar: 53gProtein: 18g

More Easy Side Salads:

Apple, White Cheddar, & Grilled Chicken Salad — All the flavors just POP in this fast, easy, and healthy salad!! The Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette doubles as marinade + salad dressing to save time!!

overhead view of grilled chicken salad with a jar of dressing in the background

Spinach Blueberry Superfoods Salad — This Whole Foods Copycat salad is incredibly flexible based on what you have on hand and enjoy. There are so many wonderful textures and flavors in every bite of this hearty salad filled with superfoods! 

Spinach and Artichoke Quinoa Salad – All the flavors of classic spinach and artichoke dip are in this HEALTHY salad!! The only thing that’s missing is tons of fat and calories! FAST, EASY, naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, and tastes DELISH!!

Kale Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas — This isn’t a traditional Caesar salad and that’s what I love about it. I used kale rather than romaine and fried chickpeas instead of croutons! 

Kale Strawberry Avocado Salad — Make a kale lover out of anyone with this kale strawberry salad! It’s topped with creamy avocado, juicy berries, and homemade strawberry vinaigrette! 

Twelve Superfoods Salad — This superfood salad is packed with 12 superfoods! This is a great clean out the fridge meal and is easily customized to suit whatever you need to use up.

Strawberry Chicken Salad — The grilled chicken is so JUICY and moist thanks to a homemade pecan butter marinade!! Sweet strawberries and crunchy pecans add extra texture and FLAVOR!!

Post is brought to you by Fisher. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own. #thinkfisher

Originally posted February 2, 2015 and reposted September 9, 2020 with updated text.

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. Wow this salad is so good! I made it on the weekend with some pork chops and potato wedges. My husband also enjoyed it and I have added this recipe to my favourites.

    Rating: 5
  2. This salad is AMAZING and it’s easy too. I made the vinaigrette in the morning and let it sit in the fridge until I was ready for it. Just make sure you shake it up again before using it. This salad is best served right after adding those apples because you don’t want them to brown. Also, it’s best eaten the day of. Once you dress that salad with the vinaigrette, it doesn’t make for good leftovers because the spinach will become wilted. This really wasn’t a big problem for me. You could easily make single servings of this salad and just dress individual bowls. I served the almonds on the side to be added to individual servings because we have someone with a nut allergy. With or without the nuts it’s fabulous! I used the suggested Envy apple and it was just perfect. I just cut my apple up into bite sized pieces for ease of eating. Don’t skimp on the cheese. You will want that aged white cheddar because it really goes so well with the apple and dried cranberries. I couldn’t find orange flavored dried cranberries, so I used craisins and it worked out perfectly. Beautiful fall/winter salad I plan on making often!

    Rating: 5
  3. Tried this salad yesterday. My family – not cranberries lovers. Well, they are now. Food presented in the right way can make wonders.

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it made cranberry lovers out of those who thought they ‘didn’t like cranberries’! Love stories like this!

  4. Yep, most were fairly flat. It did seem to be too much butter and there wasn’t enough chocolate (but after 10 minutes of creaming butter/sugar/egg with a hand mixer I wasn’t thinking I wanted to mix anything else in). I’ve made the compost and the blueberries and cream before…with the same results. I do like the crumbly bits in them tho’ (yeah, i cheated on the graham cracker pie crumbs and broke up a Kebbler crust). I really like some of the ideas so I guess I’m going to work on making the parts I like work in practice. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your stuff!!

    1. Sorry to hear yours were flat-ish (but it’s common with her recipes I’ve found and not surprising, as frustrating as it is!). She had great ideas for add-ins, crumbly bits, unique textures and flavors, it’s just a matter of working those things into a dough base that holds up better, IMO :)

  5. Make it today! Yum!! Ok, used glazed walnuts because I used the last of the pecans to make spiced nuts.
    p.s. I’m cheating on you with Christina Tosi and making cornflake, marshmallow and chocolate chip cookies. lol

    1. I’ve made those! Okay I will say (sorry but just being honest here) her cookies don’t turn out super well for me or most any home-bakers when I do google searches and talk shop with other bloggers/bakers. I swear her recipes are written for commercial scale, and scaling them down and with at-home-equipment, I never get thick and puffy cookies. Her cookies ALWAYS come out thin for me. Too much butter for the amount of everything else and they spread, my .02 anyway. I would personally use this dough base, scale the flour back a little, add some cornflakes and marshmallows, and call it a day. Please LMK how things turn out if you make her cookies following her recipe!

      And the salad…the glazed walnuts sound heavenly! I actually wanted to use spiced/glazed nuts for this recipe but ran out of time and just used them as-is. Your salad was probably amazing!

  6. So, learned something new today. Those cranberries my husband “hates” somehow are perfectly awesome on salad. Go figure. Made it for myself thinking he wouldn’t want any since it has all the elements of nothing he likes. But I think I am one step closer to incorporating non-ranch salad in my life. Can I get an AMEN!

    1. That is awesome he liked the cranberries, even though he previously ‘hated’ them. Yeah, kids (and men) can be soooo fickle about what they think they don’t like, when it’s presented in a new way! Love it when this happens!

  7. I made this salad for my wife, and couldn’t explain how much she loved it. Thanks for the recipe, Averie :)

  8. Averie I have to say your photos are gorgeous. I always have the hardest time photographing salads but yours looks fantastic!

    1. Thanks for sharing that! I have a hard time with MOST salads actually. This one wasn’t too terrible but usually I am left taking wayyyyy tooooo many photos…of lettuce. As I think to myself, this really shouldn’t be that hard :)

  9. This salad looks so refreshing and good. I just want to start eating from my screen. I love love love this recipe.

  10. ok this combo SOUNDS good so i’m sure it would taste even better, delish. i love your savory recipes just as much as your sweet ones, Avery. pinning and trying this one too. thanks!

  11. i am so glad you said white cheddar rather than gouda or blue cheese. I am just not a huge fan of blue cheese and I swear its on every salad I see on blogs! This looks great

    1. Funny I have people in my family who are not blue cheese fans and while I like it, I’ve been conditioned over the years to not buy it often and so I never even think to use it for blog recipes :) So you’re safe here!

  12. What a gorgeous photograph of a salad! I love salads and eat them almost every day. I have a pear-cranberry vinegar in my cabinet that’s looking for a salad to dress. Do you think I could substitute this vinegar for the apple cider variety? :)

    1. Plain vinegar is harsher than ACV so you may need to play around with the seasonings and such to get it to taste the way you enjoy.

    1. Yeah but that looked like the trip of a lifetime! There was a piece of berry coffee cake on your IG feed or FB feed? Omg that looked amazing and so much else as well!

  13. This salad looks delicious, Averie! I always keep a bag of spinach leaves in my fridge, so I’m definitely going to try this out. Love the dressing, too!

  14. How light, fresh and delicious! I don’t mind eating healthier when healthier looks this good!

  15. I totally loved this–the apple and cheddar hit the spot today! Your salads are always so good, and they seem to appear just when I’m in the mood for something different. I made enough dressing to pour over shredded cabbage, toasted walnuts and another apple tomorrow.

    1. Thanks for trying this one on the same day I posted it – you’re the best! And glad you enjoyed it and now you have enough dressing for tomorrow’s recipe :) And you’re in luck…I have another salad next week or maybe the week after? with a totally unexpected dressing but I think you’ll enjoy that one too :) Thanks for the feedback, Paula!

  16. Oh wow, what a delicious-looking salad! I love the apple+cheese combo, and I can’t believe I’ve never tried it on salad. I’ll have to try it as soon as I can get to the store to buy some cheddar (it’s a snow day and they’re still clearing the roads…and I just realized I don’t have any cheese in the house – how is that even possible??)!

    1. I used Kerrygold Reserve White Cheddar. It’s sold in a small brick with a black label/wrapper. It’s a bit pricey but I do love it!

  17. Yes, after yesterday chowing on all the wrong (but tasty) kinds of food, now is the day to eat this gorgeous salad. Now, THIS salad is all what I’m craving!

  18. That dressing sounds beyond! Perfect pairing to the apples, cranberries and cheese….gonna test it out tonight! I’m a salad fanatic.


  19. At the risk of shocking you two days in a row … this sounds yummy! I really do try to focus on healthy eating! ;)

  20. Mel and I were just saying it’s fruit and salad ONLY today. This salad looks so good – I think it’s dinner. Pinned!

  21. This salad is a trifecta…I love apples cheese and nuts…I’m getting over a foot of snow today and a salad makes me long for warmer weather.

    1. Me too – and I live in San Diego. The days are getting a bit longer, like 10 mins in the evening and as an evening runner, it’s like borrowed time! And a sign spring is maybe coming :)

  22. This totally sounds like one of the salads that I order at a restaurant that I LUHVE! The crunchy apples, cheesy goodness and that vinaigrette! I Need it. Pinned!

    1. Thanks for pinning and I wish I could go to that restaurant! Most times I order things at restaurants just to see if I can recreate them at home :)

  23. I have spring mix, galas, dried cranberries, extra sharp cheddar and smoked almonds on hand. This salad looks so good I’m calling those ingredients close enough to make it for lunch today!

    1. Knowing your tastes, I think you’re going to love it as much as I did and that’s awesome that you have all these items on hand…great minds think alike! LMK what you think!