This beet apple salad with maple vinaigrette is incredibly easy to make and packed with autumnal flavor. Crunchy, flavorful and great as an appetizer or side.
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Salads go very much in and out of favor in our house. We tend to eat them much more often in the summer as a lighter side, with Mexican street corn salad being a big favorite.
Then I sometimes make a heartier salad for lunch, like a Vietnamese chicken salad or wild rice salad pretty much any time it feels a fit. Which often means when I'm craving something healthier or have leftover chicken or lots of herbs to use up.
However as the weather cools, I sometimes forget about them a bit more. Then I make one that's perfect for this time of year and I get back in the habit.
This beet apple salad is perfect as an easy fall salad. It's so incredibly quick to make, with just a few ingredients, and is also very flexible in how you serve it.
One of the things that really makes this salad for me is the maple vinaigrette. It's so incredibly easy to make, but adds a wonderful pop of flavor. I'd definitely recommend making extra to use with other things!
Steps to make this beet apple salad
This salad could hardly be easier:
- Toast the pine nuts;
- Peel and grate the beets;
- Core and slice the apple;
- Shake or whisk the vinaigrette ingredients;
- Put it all together in a bowl.
Being a relatively simple salad, you also want to make sure you use good ingredients since there's no real room to hide. That's particularly true of the apples - go for something with a good flavor, crisp, and a nice sweet-tart balance. Honeycrisp, Fuji or Mackintosh would be good options.
Ways to adapt this salad
While I really love the simple combination here, you can easily tweak this in a few ways:
- Use roasted beets instead of grated raw beet. Personally, I really like the slight crunch of the raw beet here, but the salad would also work with roasted beets if you have them. Just dice them and add them in.
- Swap the nuts to almonds or pecans - both of these would be good flavor-wise here, and as with the pine nuts, I recommend dry toasting them to bring out their flavor.
- Add some goat cheese - goat cheese and beets pair perfectly together, so crumbling some into this salad would work well, if you like. (Worth noting: without it, this salad is vegan, and clearly that's not the case if you add goat cheese.)
- Add some roast chicken - if you want to make this more of a meal, chicken would work well here. It'll be delicious with that maple vinaigrette!
- Add some chickpeas - as a vegetarian alternative to make this a bit heartier, chickpeas would be my top choice.
What pairs well with this beet apple salad?
This salad is very light (unless, of course you add extras as above), so works really well as a side dish. In terms of what to serve as a main alongside, think steak, roast chicken, salmon and or maybe a burger, sandwich or a plainer pasta dish. It would also work with some other sides like hasselback sweet potatoes.
I also like this simply as a light lunch or appetizer, too. Really, it's very flexible, which another part of what makes it such a favorite!
This beet apple salad salad has a wonderful balance of sweet-savory flavors, plenty of crunch and takes mere minutes to make. It's versatile, vegan, and one you definitely need to try soon.
Try these other fall-flavored salads:
- Butternut squash wild rice salad
- Vegan lentil salad with roasted Brussels sprouts
- Apple celeriac salad
- Plus get more fall recipes in the archives
Beet apple salad with maple vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- ½ cup grated beets (½ cup is 2 ½ - 3oz approx, 70-85g beetroot)
- ½ apple
- 2 handfuls arugula (rocket)
For maple vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Gently toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet/frying pan or under a broiler/grill. Keep a close eye on them so they don't burn then set aside.
- Grate the beet and core and slice the apple.
- Put the arugula in the bottom of a bowl, top with the grated beet, apple and pine nuts.
- Shake together the vinaigrette ingredients (oil, vinegar and maple syrup) in a small jar or whisk in a small bowl. Drizzle over the salad, toss and serve.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Try some other tasty apple recipes:
- Apple Bacon Goat Cheese Salad by Jonesin' For Taste
- Fall Panzanella Salad by House of Nash Eats
- Skillet Apple and Sausage Stuffing Recipe by Lemon Blossoms
- Apple Cinnamon Layer Cake with Brown Butter Streusel by The Baking Fairy
- Apple Pie Donuts by Daily Dish Recipes
- Baked Chai-Spiced Apple Chips by Culinary Adventures With Camilla
- Cinnamon Apple Crumb Cake by Cookaholic Wife
- Cinnamon Caramel Apple Frozen Custard by Faith, Hope, Love & Luck
- German Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting by Cooking With Carlee
- PB Apple Muffins by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
- Out of This World Apple Cake by Family Around the Table
- Slow Cooker Apple Butter by Shockingly Delicious
- Apple Butter Overnight Chia Oatmeal by Love and Confections
- Apple Bourbon Float by Our Good Life
- Cold Apple Cider with Caramel Infused Rum by Amy's Cooking Adventures
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