arugula salad with apples, goat cheese, candied pecans and cider vinaigrette

A salad worthy of a spot on your holiday table – arugula, apple, goat cheese and candied pecan salad with cider vinaigrette.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored byย Pompeian. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me inspired in the kitchen.

arugula, apple, candied pecan, and goat cheese salad with cider vinaigrette

My coworkers saw this and were all like uh…you know the wedding was last week, right?

But look, a girl can eat salad even when she’s not pretending to be on a please-god-let-my-dress-fit diet.


I mean, maybe she happened to eat two pies, three cupcakes, a partridge and a pear tree on Thanksgiving.

Maybe she “forgot” to work out for two weeks in a row and is now limping after doingย one body pump class.

Maybe she’s been drinking caramel macchiatos every afternoon because COFFEE BREAKS ARE HER LIFE.


Or maybe it’s just a really. good. salad.

No, seriously, thatย is a possibility.



So what makes this salad a cut above the rest?

Perfect crisp sweet honeycrisp apples.

Maple salty candied eat-the-whole-bowl pecans.

Creamy tangy goat cheese bites.

Sweet tart cider vinaigrette.

Arugula. Because our hips insist.


Every bite, though. It’s like a fall party exploded all up in our salad bowls.

Have I won you over yet?


I always insist on having a salad on our Christmas table, but it had better be an exciting one if it’s going to stand up to all the crazy rich food sitting next to it. To make sure my salad falls into the ULTRA side of the spectrum, I try to use only ingredients I’m really passionate about so that the flavors don’t fall flat. When it comes to salad dressings, I always turn to Pompeian for my olive oil. Here, I’ve used their extra virgin olive oil mainly because its flavor is so rich and exquisite that it’s good enough to drink.

This holiday season, Pompeian is helping families across the country immortalize their favorite holiday recipes by offering personalized bottles of Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which, by the way is the first and only extra virgin olive oil to carry the USDA Quality Monitored Seal. These customized bottles will feature a customizable label and photo and will look super cool on your holiday table or could make for a really fun and unique gift for an olive oil lover. I have quite a few of those in my uber Italian family, so I know what I’ll be gifting this year!

Arugula, Apple, Goat Cheese and Candied Pecan Salad with Cider Vinaigrette
A salad worthy of a spot on your holiday table - arugula, apple, goat cheese and candied pecan salad with cider vinaigrette.
Yield: 4 servings
For the cider vinaigrette
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
For the candied pecans
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt
For the salad
  • 5 oz arugula
  • 2-3 honeycrisp apples, cored and diced
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  1. For the cider vinaigrette, in a medium skillet, combine the shallot, cider, and cider vinaigrette. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced to ¼ cup of liquid, about 20-30 minutes. Pour the dressing into a bowl and whisk in the olive oil and dijon mustard. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. For the candied pecans, in a small skillet combine the pecans, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Cook over medium-high heat, until the brown sugar melts and starts to form a thick syrup, stirring constantly, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately pour the pecans onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread out into a single layer. Allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, apple pieces, goat cheese, and pecans. Toss with the cider vinaigrette right before serving.
An Eats Well With Others Original
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl

ย Eat your greens! Check out these:

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Kale and Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad with Parmesan Toasts

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Miso-Harissa Roasted Carrot, Squash and Two Potato Salad

From Around the Web:

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Candied Walnuts from Pinch of Yum

Kale Salad with Cider-Roasted Squash and Apple Cider Vinaigrette from Love & Olive Oil

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French Lentil and Vegetable Salad from In Pursuit of More


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48 Responses to Arugula, Apple, Goat Cheese and Candied Pecan Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

  1. Baby+June says:

    Now that looks like my kind of salad! Love the addition of candied pecans, those are my favorite. I’d eat this any day too ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Sune Moolman says:

    These are a few of my fa-a-avourite things! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Looks fantastic!

  3. bellini says:

    I just love how healthy this sounds in a sea of carb laden holiday dishes.

  4. Salads will forever be on my plate. They just make me happy…and this, THIS makes me happy. Love those pecans!

  5. I love everything about this salad Joanne – great combination of flavors!

  6. Johanna GGG says:

    I know what you mean about salads and Christmas – limp lettuce and hard tomatoes just wont do – this salad looks amazing and one I would love to have at christmas

  7. hahahahahaha I also tend to “forget” to exercise you know! ๐Ÿ˜€ And when you have a salad as super – cool as this one, I think detoxing for a while would be sheer bliss!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ LOVING that vinaigrette !!!

  8. So many great flavors going on in this salad! I could down those maple candied pecans by the handful…

  9. Gahhh yes! Salad time is EVERY time as far as I’m concerned. Especially if it’s a salad packed with as much yum as this is!

  10. Zainab says:

    Really love all the flavors in here!!! Amazing salad ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Mira says:

    This looks like my type of salad Joanne! Love the flavors! Pinned!

  12. Love this salad! Who can resist candied pecans??

  13. Any excuse to eat goat cheese… really. ANY. Though to be fair, the rest of this salad sounds quite delicious as well.

    And yes, just started post-baby working out again. The soreness is simultaneously great (“I’m getting back into shape”) and depressing (“OMG, how did it get THIS bad?”).

  14. I am that rare person that if there is a good salald present at any holiday meal I’ll load my plate with that salad…and mashed potatoes! This looks just lovely, the perfect combination of flavors!

  15. I could get down with this. Goat cheese and candied pecans are a match made in heaven!

  16. SallyBR says:

    Gosh, you just reminded me that I made a cider vinaigrette last month and totally forgot about it. I was hoping to blog on it, and it completely escaped my mind….

    it was from Fine Cooking, I think…

    your salad is gorgeous, all flavors perfect together!

  17. cheri says:

    I love this spicy, sweet, salty, crisp salad, this is the best kind!

  18. Pam says:

    I think this salad looks AMAZING! Great textures and flavors in there. YUM.

  19. Oh gosh – apples and candied pecans??? It’s like a pie – in salad form ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. You have me at candied pecans! I definitely will love this beautiful and delicious salad.

  21. Sarah says:

    What a delicious salad! I love candied nuts, especially in salad.

  22. Oh, delish, Joanne – fabulous autumn salad – Joanne.

  23. Trisha says:

    Girl, you are always working so hard and training for a big race. It’s ok to take time off! I’m going to justify all my non-exercising during exams by eating extra large helpings of this yummy salad. You had me at goat cheese and candied pecans. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. This is my all time favorite type of salad….goat cheese & candied pecans make every salad amazing!

  25. this salad has allll the good things!!! i need it ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Kate says:

    I’ve been craving salads like mad lately!

  27. This salad looks amazing! I need to spice up my salads more often!

  28. ok just added this amazing salad to my Christmas dinner pinterest board . . I need to make this!! and yes, you totally won me over with this one. . the sauteed shallots and the candied pecans. . gawd yes. and when are you guys honeymooning?

  29. Beth says:

    You won me over when I read the first word of your salad. Forget diets – I’d eat this any (every) day of the week.

  30. This happens to be one of our favorite salads! And, the olive oil is a Nice idea for a gift!

  31. Danguole says:

    You won me over before I even read the post! Salad has such weird connotations–like you just can’t win no matter what your reasons for eating salad are. Can we just let salad be food like all the other foods? /rant

    This looks so delicious, though! Never met a salad with goat cheese that I didn’t like.

  32. Reeni says:

    Loving everything about this salad! It’s the perfect Christmas salad but I want to eat it right now too!

  33. Betty says:

    Well that was perfect timing! Yesterday my brother gave me a ridiculous amount of arugula because it was left over from his last market of the season. What do you do with a half bushel of the stuff? I know what I’m doing with SOME of it, anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. This sounds like a wonderful salad. Arugula, goat cheese and candied pecans?? Yumm. I love candied pecans! Can’t wait to try this salad.

  35. Personalized bottles sound like the perfect gift!

  36. I can’t get enough of candied nuts in salads, but will you believe that I’ve never made them myself before?? Thanks for the recipe!

  37. Christine says:

    Hey you! Getting over a surgery can make you have the same desires. All I want are salads. Thanks for the excellent combo!

  38. Love everything about this salad and I’m especially intrigued by the apple cider vinaigrette!

  39. I eat soup in summer and salads in winter – nobody’s going to put me in a box! Ha. I love this so much. Pinned.

  40. Salads are the bomb! The more salads you eat the more dessert you can eat!!

  41. Eileen says:

    Salad is the best! who cares what anyone else says? A bowlful of this would be pretty much my ideal lunch. NOM NOM etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. grace says:

    i love candied nuts as a rule, and they’re dynamite in salads. your vinaigrette is lovely, and perfect for this festive salad!

  43. I love the delicious candied pecans in this, way to make a salad perfect ๐Ÿ˜€

    Choc Chip Uru

  44. Kelly says:

    I never get tired of seeing veggies and salads especially since I’ve been around way too much butter and sugar lately. I love everything in here especially the arugula and candied pecans! Looks fabulous!

  45. Yes and yes. Totally going to make this salad next week.

  46. […] Arugula, Apple, Goat Cheese, and Candied Pecan Salad from Joanne Eats Well with Others […]

  47. […] Arugula, Apple, Goat Cheese and Candied Pecan Salad with Cider Vinaigrette byย Eats Well With Others […]

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