This Fall Chopped Salad has a little bit of everything with roasted butternut squash, juicy apples with a maple vinaigrette and so much more. It’s definitely a salad you will want to make again and again!
Salads are one of my favorite things to make especially when it is loaded with seasonal, simple and colorful ingredients.
This recipe makes a great addition as a side salad or even as a main dish for lunch or dinner.
It has it all with roasted butternut squash, juicy apples, tangy blue cheese, red onions, toasted almonds, chopped spinach, dried cranberries and quinoa.
Make a simple maple syrup vinaigrette to drizzle over the top and voila, it’s going to hit the spot! Are you ready to get to it?
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: start by placed the chopped spinach in a medium or large bowl
Step 2: add the quinoa, apples, butternut squash, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, blue cheese, and red onions
Step 3: make the maple vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients (except olive oil) in a food processor – mix until well combined
Step 4: add in olive oil last and continue to mix until ingredients are incorporated
Who’s ready to dig in?
Once the vinaigrette is done, drizzle over the salad. Remember a little goes a long way!
How to make the perfect fall salad
The easy part of making a chopped fall salad is that just about anything goes. Here’s some ideas to get started.
- Greens – for this recipe I used chopped spinach but romaine, arugula, or kale would be good substitutes
- Butternut Squash – roast diced squash in oven or use sweet potatoes
- Blue Cheese – love the tanginess of this cheese or even gorgonzola. Other options for a milder taste would be goat or feta
- Toasted Almonds – by toasting the nuts you will bring out a “nuttier” flavor. I would also suggest pecans and walnuts
- Dried Cranberries – was never a fan of raisins but dried cranberries or cherries give the salad a sweet taste with a chewy texture
- Red Onions – for salads I prefer the taste of red over white or yellow but again this can be a taste preference
- Apples – I used Regent from our yard; they are sweeter but if you like something more tart, I would recommend Granny Smith. For this recipe just about any apple will do
- Quinoa – the addition of this ingredient gives a burst of protein to your salad. Chopped or shredded chicken would also be a good protein addition
- Maple Vinaigrette – this simple dressing has the sweetness of maple, the tanginess of Dijon mustard and a subtle taste of the herb thyme. One of our favorite dressings!
Isn’t it almost too pretty to eat – I said almost 🙂
- there a few things you can do ahead (even the day before) – roast the squash (see recipe), make the quinoa and vinaigrette (just stir again before adding to salad)
- rinse quinoa well before cooking
- if the apples you choose are really sweet you might want to dip them in lemon juice to prevent browning
- toast the almonds by placing them in a non-stick pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they become light brown and fragrant
- pure maple syrup is best for the dressing
Why you will love this Chopped Fall Salad. Not only is this salad easy to make but it really can be a great addition to any gathering for family and friends. It makes a great presentation!
More Salad Recipes
- Chopped Spinach Winter Salad – similar but with an orange vinaigrette and pomegranate seeds
- Asian Quinoa Bowl – a tasty salad with peanut salad dressing
- Autumn Apple Salad – made with homemade cornbread croutons
- Lentil Greek Salad – super easy to make!
- Italian Antipasto Salad – loaded with Italian favorites!
Get the Recipe
- 2 cups butternut squash, 1/2" diced cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, prepared as directed on package
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 apple, diced
- 2 oz. blue cheese
- 6 cups spinach, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Toss squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and place on a rimmed cookie sheet
- Bake for about 25 minutes; stirring about halfway through
- Cook quinoa according to directions
- Toast almonds by placing in a non-stick skillet over medium heat; stir occasionally until light brown and fragrant
- Prepare vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a food process (except oil) and blend. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until well emulsified.
- Either combine all salad ingredients in one bowl or divide onto 4 plates; drizzle vinaigrette over and serve immediately
SEE STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS IN POST
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 470Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 461mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 14gSugar: 22gProtein: 16g
Nutritional information provided is computer-generated and only an estimate. You may want to do your own research with the ingredients listed if you have concerns about health or specific diets.
My friend Marcie has a great fall salad too – Apple Fig Arugula.