5 from 6 votes
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Apple Pomegranate Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

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Indulge in the vibrant and nutritious Apple Pomegranate Salad; a perfect blend of crunchy apples, juicy pomegranate seeds, and a zesty honey mustard dressing. This salad satisfies your taste buds and adds a splash of color and nutrition to your meal.

Pomegranate apple salad topped with feta cheese in a bowl.

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Ideal for any season, this honeycrisp apple pomegranate salad dressing combines the tartness of fresh apples with the sweet pop of pomegranate seeds, creating a delightful contrast. The honey mustard dressing, with its smooth texture and tangy flavor, ties everything together, making this salad not just a side dish but a potential centerpiece for a healthy meal. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or looking for a nutritious lunch option, the Apple Pomegranate Salad is sure to impress.

Want more delicious salad recipes to try out?  If you loved this recipe, and you’d like some more salad recipes, you could start with a Panera Fuji Apple Salad that’s a great way to use up leftover apples, too. Or for something a little different try a cold broccoli salad that’s great for summer BBQs.

If you love this recipe and want a warm salad option, try this quick and easy Instant Pot egg salad recipe.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Versatility: The Apple Pomegranate Salad seamlessly fits into any meal, from a light lunch to an elegant dinner party. Its vibrant colors and refreshing taste make it a universally appealing dish.
  • Nutritional Value: Packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, this salad is not only delicious but also incredibly beneficial for your health, supporting everything from digestion to heart health.
  • Easy Preparation: With minimal ingredients and a straightforward preparation process, this salad is perfect for those seeking a healthy meal without spending hours in the kitchen.
  • Customizable: The recipe can be easily adjusted to cater to your taste preferences or dietary requirements, making it a flexible option for any table.

What’s in This Apple Pomegranate Salad Recipe?

Ingredients for pomegranate apple salad sitting on a white countertop.

Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • Avocado Oil: A heart-healthy oil that adds a smooth, subtle flavor as the base of the dressing, perfectly complementing the zestiness of the other ingredients.
  • Apple Cider: Brings a sweet and tangy flavor that enhances the fruitiness of the salad, making the dressing vibrant and aromatic.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds a fresh, citrusy kick to the dressing, brightening the salad’s acidity.
  • Honey: It lends a natural sweetness that balances the tanginess of the mustard and lemon, adding depth to the dressing.
  • Dijon Mustard: provides a sharp, tangy flavor that contrasts beautifully with the salad’s sweet elements, giving the dressing its signature zesty taste.
  • Salt and Pepper: Used to season the dressing, these staples enhance all the flavors, making them more pronounced and balanced.

Salad Ingredients

  • Honeycrisp Apples: Known for their crisp texture and perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors, Honeycrisp apples add a refreshing crunch to the salad.
  • Lemon Juice: Prevents the apples from browning and adds a zesty flavor that complements the sweetness of the fruits and dressing.
  • Water & Salt: A simple mixture used to soak the apple slices, ensuring they stay crisp and fresh until serving.
  • Baby Spinach: Offers a tender, mildly sweet base for the salad, adding a bounty of nutrients and a vibrant green color.
  • Arugula: Provides a peppery note that contrasts with the sweetness of the fruits, adding complexity and depth to the salad’s flavor profile.
  • Candied Pecans: These sweet and crunchy nuts add a delightful textural contrast and a hint of caramelized flavor to the salad.
  • Pomegranate Arils: Bursting with juice, these juicy pomegranate seeds contribute a pop of tart sweetness and a beautiful ruby color, making the salad visually appealing.
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese: Adds a creamy, tangy element that perfectly balances the sweet and tart components of the salad.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Oil: If avocado oil is not readily available, olive oil can serve as a great alternative, offering a similar texture and health benefits.
  • Apple Cider: For a different twist, balsamic vinegar can replace apple cider, infusing the dressing with a rich, slightly sweet flavor.
  • Nuts: For a different crunch and nutty taste, candied pecans can be replaced by toasted walnuts, crunchy pecans, or slivered almonds.
  • Cheese: If feta cheese is not your favorite, try goat cheese for a creamier texture or shaved parmesan for a sharper bite.
  • Greens: For varied textures and flavors, mix up the greens by using kale or mixed green salads instead of baby spinach and arugula.
  • Fruits: While Honeycrisp apples and pomegranate arils are central to this recipe, feel free to experiment with other fruits. Pear slices or orange segments can add a new dimension to the salad. 

How to Make Arugula Apple Pomegranate Salad Step by Step

Collage of creating apple cider vinaigrette dressing.
  1. Combine avocado oil, apple cider, lemon juice, honey, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a mason jar. Close the lid tightly and shake well to mix the dressing ingredients. Set aside. (Photos 1 & 2)
Collage of assembling pomegranate apple salad.
  1. Prepare the fresh apple slices and place them in a large ziploc bag. Add lemon juice, water, and a pinch of salt to the bag. Seal and gently shake to coat all the apple slices evenly. Leave aside. (This step prevents the crisp apples from browning; you can skip it if serving immediately.) (Photos 3 & 4)
  2. Add baby spinach, prepared apple slices (drain any excess liquid before adding), candied pecans, pomegranate arils, and crumbled feta cheese in a large bowl. (Photos 5 & 6)
  3. Prior to serving, drizzle the salad with the prepared apple cider vinaigrette, tossing lightly to ensure all ingredients are evenly coated. Adjust the amount of dressing to taste. (Any leftover dressing can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed mason jar for future use.)
A bowl of pomegranate apple salad with pecans and feta cheese.

Recipe Tips

  • Apple Preparation: To ensure the apple slices maintain their crispness and vibrant color until serving, soaking them in the lemon water solution is key. Remember to drain them well to avoid a watery salad.
  • Dressing Consistency: If you prefer a thinner dressing, consider adding a little water or more lemon juice. Adjust according to your taste preferences.
  • Serving Suggestions: This salad is best served immediately after dressing to maintain the freshness and crispness of the greens and apple slices.
  • Taste Adjustment: Before serving, taste the salad and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice to suit your palate.
  • Nut Allergies: For those with nut allergies, omitting the candied pecans or replacing them with a nut-free alternative like roasted chickpeas can add a similar crunch without the allergens.
  • Cheese Alternatives: Experimenting with different types of cheese can significantly alter the flavor profile of the salad, so feel free to swap out feta cheese based on dietary restrictions or taste preferences.

Storing Tips 

It’s best to keep the components separate, if possible, to store any leftover Arugula Apple Pomegranate Salad. If the salad has not been dressed, store the greens, prepared apple slices, and other components in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. 

The dressing can be kept in a tightly sealed container or mason jar for up to a week. If the salad is already dressed, try to consume it within a day, as the greens can become soggy. 

Unfortunately, this salad does not freeze well due to the high water content in the fresh ingredients and greens, which can lead to a mushy texture upon thawing.

Pomegranate apple salad in a black bowl drizzled with apple cider vinaigrette.

Serving Suggestions

The Arugula Apple Pomegranate Salad serves wonderfully as a light, refreshing starter or a side dish that complements a variety of main courses. It pairs beautifully with baked chicken Parmesan or fish, offering a crisp contrast to the smoky flavors of the meat. 

For a vegetarian or vegan option, consider serving it alongside a quinoa or chickpea pattie to create a balanced and nourishing meal. Something simple, like garlic bread rolls, also works well.

Additionally, this salad makes an excellent addition to a holiday feast, bringing a burst of color and a blend of sweet and tangy flavors that cut through the richness of traditional dishes. It works well alongside a Christmas charcuterie board.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make the dressing ahead of time?  

Yes, you can make the dressing ahead of time. It can be stored in a sealed mason jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. Making it ahead of time can enhance the flavors as the ingredients meld together.

Is this salad gluten-free?  

Yes, this Arugula Apple Pomegranate Salad is naturally gluten-free. However, it’s always important to check the labels of purchased ingredients, such as candied pecans, to ensure they haven’t been processed in a facility that handles gluten-containing products.

Can I add protein to this salad?  

Absolutely! Adding grilled chicken, salmon, or tofu can turn this salad into a hearty main course. Ensure the protein is cooked and slightly cooled before adding it to the salad to maintain the freshness of the greens.

How do I prevent the apple slices from browning if I need to wait before serving?  

The lemon water solution mentioned in the preparation steps effectively prevents browning. However, if there’s a longer wait, keep the apple slices submerged in the solution, and only drain them when ready to assemble the salad.

Can this salad be made vegan?  

Yes, to make this salad vegan, omit the feta cheese or replace it with a vegan cheese alternative. Also, ensure that your candied pecans are vegan-friendly; some are made with honey.

Need More Salad recipes? Try these:

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A bowl black bowl of apple pomegranate salad with spinach and arugula.
5 from 6 votes

Apple Pomegranate Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yields 4 servings
Indulge in the vibrant and nutritious Apple Pomegranate Salad; a perfect blend of crunchy apples, juicy pomegranate seeds, and a zesty honey mustard dressing. 

Ingredients 

Salad Dressing

Salad

  • 1 medium honeycrisp apples cored and thinly sliced
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz (170 g) baby spinach
  • 6 oz (170 g) arugula
  • 1 cup (112 g) candied pecans homemade, store bought, or sub raw plain pecans
  • ¾ cup (123 g) pomegranate arils about 1 whole pomegranate
  • ½ cup (75 g) crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  • In a mason jar, combine avocado oil, apple cider, lemon juice, honey, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Close the lid tightly and shake well to mix the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
    ½ cup avocado oil,½ cup apple cider,Juice of 1 lemon,3 tablespoons honey,2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • Prepare the fresh apple slices and place them in a large ziploc bag. Add lemon juice, water, and a pinch of salt to the bag. Seal and gently shake to coat all the apple slices evenly. Leave aside. (This step prevents the crisp apples from browning; you can skip it if serving immediately.)
    1 medium honeycrisp apples,Juice of ½ lemon,⅛ teaspoon salt,2 tablespoons water
  • Add baby spinach, arugula and prepared apple slices (drain any excess liquid before adding), candied pecans, pomegranate arils, and crumbled feta cheese in a large bowl.
    6 oz baby spinach,1 cup candied pecans,¾ cup pomegranate arils,½ cup crumbled feta cheese,6 oz arugula
  • Prior to serving, drizzle the salad with the prepared apple cider vinaigrette, tossing lightly to ensure all ingredients are evenly coated. Adjust the amount of dressing to taste. (Any leftover dressing can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed mason jar for future use.)
    Salt and pepper to taste

Notes

  • Apple Preparation: To ensure the apple slices maintain their crispness and vibrant color until serving, soaking them in the lemon water solution is key. Remember to drain them well to avoid a watery salad.
  • Dressing Consistency: If you prefer a thinner dressing, consider adding a little water or more lemon juice to the mixture. Adjust according to your taste preferences.
  • Serving Suggestions: This salad is best served immediately after dressing to maintain the freshness and crispness of the greens and apple slices.
  • Taste Adjustment: Before serving, taste the salad and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed to suit your palate.
  • Nut Allergies: For those with nut allergies, omitting the candied pecans or replacing them with a nut-free alternative like roasted chickpeas can add a similar crunch without the allergens.
  • Cheese Alternatives: Experimenting with different types of cheese can significantly alter the flavor profile of the salad, so feel free to swap out feta cheese based on dietary restrictions or taste preference.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 576kcal (29%) Carbohydrates: 45g (15%) Protein: 7g (14%) Fat: 43g (66%) Saturated Fat: 7g (44%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g Monounsaturated Fat: 26g Cholesterol: 17mg (6%) Sodium: 528mg (23%) Potassium: 576mg (16%) Fiber: 5g (21%) Sugar: 36g (40%) Vitamin A: 5106IU (102%) Vitamin C: 24mg (29%) Vitamin D: 0.1µg (1%) Calcium: 236mg (24%) Iron: 3mg (17%)

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love a salad with lots of texture, and this was perfection. A great combination of flavors too. The dressing is especially divine!

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