Apple Arugula Almond Salad with Orange Dressing

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Apple Arugula Almond Salad with Orange Dressing is a healthy, spunky fall salad that takes minutes to put together and tastes delicious!

wooden bowl with apple slices, almonds, carrots, arugula, onion, and goat cheese in it
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Fresh Apple Arugula Almond Salad with Orange Dressing

Does everyone agree that it’s time for salad? After all that holiday binge eating that I’m sure we all did. I know I did. And I don’t regret it for a minute because that turkey, that potato salad and the most amazing green beans and bacon. I can do it all over again. I just need a little break thassall.

Don’t be judging me for all that eating because I think it’s awesome once in a while. But now it’s time to lighten the food down, get on the healthy eating bandwagon again till we can binge eating for Christmas. And I have the perfect accompaniment to this delicious salad – a Creamy Gluten Free Cauliflower Chowder that’s just perfect in this cold weather.

This arugula apple salad comes with some crunchy almonds, goat cheese and the most delicious orange dressing which is actually made with orange marmalade. Which works perfectly just in case you don’t have real oranges in your kitchen. Like me, who always manages to run out of them at super high speed. The dressing is just four ingredients which is absolutely perfect, and it’s really fast to make in your blender. I make this dressing all the time, and it also goes so well with a Greens, Persimmon and Ricotta Salad that’s another one of our favourites.

If you don’t have goats cheese by some chance, it’s fine. Just go with some feta, which is salty too and tastes just as amazing.

wooden bowl with apple slices, almonds, carrots, arugula, onion, and goat cheese in it, creamy dressing is being poured over it

How To Make Apple and Arugula Salad

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Apples, diced: Apples add sweetness, crunch, and a touch of tartness to the salad. They provide a refreshing contrast to the peppery arugula and other savory ingredients.
  • Arugula: Arugula is a peppery and slightly bitter leafy green. It adds a bold, zesty flavor and a fresh, crisp texture to the salad. It balances the sweetness of the apples and complements the other ingredients.
  • Almonds, chopped: Chopped almonds bring a satisfying crunch and nutty flavor to the salad. They add a rich, toasty note and provide some protein and healthy fats.
  • Carrot, julienned: Julienned carrots contribute a vibrant orange color and a subtle sweetness to the salad. They also add a pleasant crunch and a hint of earthiness.
  • Onion, sliced: Sliced onions provide a sharp, pungent flavor that contrasts with the sweetness of the apples and the creaminess of the goat’s cheese. They also add a nice textural element.
  • Goat’s Cheese: Goat’s cheese, with its creamy and tangy profile, adds a luxurious creaminess to the salad. It balances the flavors and provides a rich, velvety texture.
  • Salad Dressing:
    • Orange Marmalade: The orange marmalade adds sweetness and a bright citrusy note to the dressing. It complements the sweetness of the apples and adds a layer of complexity to the vinaigrette.
    • Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard brings a sharp and tangy flavor to the dressing. It helps emulsify the dressing and adds depth of flavor.
    • Olive Oil: Olive oil contributes richness and a smooth texture to the dressing. It also helps balance the acidity of the vinegar and mustard.
    • Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar provides acidity and a fruity, slightly sweet flavor that complements the apples in the salad. It also helps to balance the richness of the cheese and nuts.
    • Salt: Salt enhances the overall flavor of the salad and helps to bring out the individual flavors of the ingredients. It also serves as a seasoning agent for the dressing.
wooden bowl with apple slices, almonds, carrots, arugula, onion, and goat cheese in it all mixed up with creamy dressing

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Apple Arugula Salad

Choose the Right Apples: Opt for crisp and slightly tart apples like Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Fuji. They provide a nice contrast to the other flavors in the salad.

Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh and high-quality ingredients for the best results. Fresh arugula, ripe apples, and good-quality goat’s cheese will make a significant difference in the overall taste and texture.

Prevent Browning: To prevent the apples from browning, you can toss them in a mixture of lemon juice and water before adding them to the salad. This will help preserve their color and freshness.

Toast Almonds: Toast the chopped almonds lightly in a dry skillet or the oven for a few minutes until they become fragrant and slightly golden. Toasted almonds add extra flavor and crunch to the salad.

Dress Just Before Serving: To keep the arugula crisp and prevent it from wilting, dress the salad just before serving. Combine the salad ingredients and dressing separately until you’re ready to serve.

Properly Emulsify the Dressing: To ensure that the dressing is well-emulsified, whisk it thoroughly or use a small blender. This will help the ingredients combine evenly and create a creamy, cohesive dressing.

Taste and Adjust: Before serving, taste the salad and dressing. Adjust the seasoning as needed by adding more salt, pepper, or a touch of sweetness (such as honey) to balance the flavors to your liking.

Garnish: Consider adding additional garnishes like fresh herbs (e.g., chopped fresh parsley or mint) for a burst of freshness and color.

Serve at the Right Temperature: Serve the salad at a cool but not overly chilled temperature. Cold temperatures can dull the flavors, so allow it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving if it has been refrigerated.

Presentation: Arrange the salad on a platter or individual plates for an attractive presentation. Sprinkle the goat’s cheese and toasted almonds evenly over the top to ensure every bite has a balance of flavors and textures.

Variations: Feel free to customize the salad to your preferences. You can add ingredients like dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, or crumbled bacon for extra flavor and texture.

Balance the Flavors: Taste as you go and ensure a balance of sweet (from the apples and dressing), salty (from the cheese and salt), and tangy (from the vinegar and mustard) flavors.


Can I prepare the salad in advance?

You can prepare the individual components of the salad in advance (e.g., wash and chop the arugula, dice the apples, toast the almonds), but it’s best to assemble and dress the salad just before serving to keep it fresh and crisp.

What can I substitute for arugula if I can’t find it?

If you can’t find arugula, you can use other leafy greens like baby spinach, mixed greens, or even kale. Each will bring a slightly different flavor and texture to the salad.

Is there a dairy-free alternative to goat’s cheese?

Yes, if you want a dairy-free alternative, you can use vegan goat cheese or other dairy-free cheese options like almond-based or cashew-based cheeses. These will provide a similar creamy texture and tangy flavor.

Can I use a different type of vinegar in the dressing?

While apple cider vinegar complements the apples in the salad, you can experiment with other types of vinegar such as white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar for different flavor profiles.

What can I do with leftover salad?

Leftover salad may not keep well due to the dressing softening the arugula. However, you can use the components in other dishes. For example, leftover apples can be used in oatmeal or yogurt, and leftover dressing can be saved for other salads or as a marinade.

Can I make this salad for a large group?

Yes, you can easily scale up the ingredients to make a larger batch for a group. Just ensure that you maintain the balance of flavors in the dressing and taste as you go to adjust as needed.

Can I add protein to make it a complete meal?

Absolutely! Grilled chicken, shrimp, or even tofu can be added to the salad to make it a more substantial and protein-rich meal.

Are there any other fruits I can add to the salad?

While apples are the star of this salad, you can experiment with other fruits like pear slices, sliced grapes, or even thinly sliced strawberries to add a different twist to the flavor profile.

Can I make a vegan version of this salad?

Yes, you can make a vegan version by using dairy-free cheese (as mentioned earlier) and substituting honey or maple syrup for the orange marmalade in the dressing.

How can I prevent the dressing from making the salad soggy if I want to make it ahead?

If you need to make the salad ahead of time, keep the dressing separate until just before serving. This will help prevent the salad from becoming overly soggy.

More Refreshing Salads

Grilled Chicken or Fish: Lean proteins like chicken or fish, especially when grilled, pair wonderfully with the lightness of the salad.

Quinoa or Couscous: These grains can add substance to your meal without overpowering the flavors of the salad.

Roasted Vegetables: Try roasted root vegetables or seasonal veggies for a warm, earthy contrast.

Whole Grain Bread or Baguette: A crusty bread serves as a great accompaniment to scoop up the dressing and complements the crunch of the almonds.

Cheese Platter: A selection of cheeses, particularly goat cheese or feta, can complement the nutty and fruity flavors of the salad.

Try these other favorite salads next:

Click here to view all our favorite side dishes!

wooden bowl with apple slices, almonds, carrots, arugula, onion, and goat cheese in it

Apple Arugula Almond Salad with Orange Dressing Recipe

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A bowl of salad with carrots, apples and a dressing being poured over it with arugula.

Apple Arugula Almond Salad with Orange Dressing

Apple Arugula Almond Salad with Orange Dressing is a healthy, spunky fall salad that takes minutes to put together and tastes delicious!
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Keyword apple salad, fall salad, fruit salad, healthy, heart healthy, low carb, lunch, summer salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 380kcal
Author Courtney ODell


  • 2 Apples diced
  • 3 cups Arugula
  • ½ cup Almonds chopped
  • 1 Carrot julienned
  • 1 Onion sliced
  • ½ cup Goats Cheese

Salad Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons Orange Marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt to taste


  • Blend everything for the dressing in a blender till smooth and creamy.
  • Put all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well.
  • Serve immediately.
  • If serving the salad later, refrigerate the dressing and other ingredients separately. Add the dressing just before serving or the salad will get soggy.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 571mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 18g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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  1. 2pots2cook says:

    This is a great refreshment during a “meat” season of the year ! Thank you and have a nice weekend !