Vinaigrette being poured over Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts and Cranberries
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5 from 16 votes

Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts and Cranberries

Recipe video above. A terrific bright, fresh salad with a great combination of flavours and textures. The candied nuts and plumping the cranberries is optional - but don't skip it if you're making this for company! The dressing is best kept simple to let the ingredients in the salad take centre stage. Makes more candied nuts than you need but I find it hard to make a smaller batch.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Western
Keyword: Apple Salad
Servings: 5 - 6 people
Calories: 364kcal
Author: Nagi


  • 1 red apple , quartered, seeds remove, finely sliced
  • Squeeze of lemon juice (to stop apple browning)
  • 120 g/4 oz mixed salad leaves (4 to 5 big handfuls)
  • 1/2 red onion , finely sliced (wedge way, not half moon)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp feta or goats cheese , crumbled (garnish, optional)

Candied Walnuts (or other nuts):

  • 1 tbsp butter , salted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans


  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


Candied Nuts:

  • Place butter in a small non stick skillet over medium heat. When melted, add sugar. Stir briefly, then leave until the sugar mostly melts.
  • When it starts bubbling a bit, add nuts.
  • Stir 2 minutes. Pour out on parchment paper lined tray.
  • Spread nuts out, allow to cool. Roughly chop half, leave some whole.

Plump Cranberries:

  • Place in a bowl, pour over freshly boiled water. Leave to soak 10 minutes then drain.


  • Drizzle with lemon juice and toss (stops apple from browning).


  • Place Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well. Adjust to taste - more oil to make it creamier, sugar for sweet, vinegar for tart.


  • Place salad in a large bowl with half the apple slices and all the onion. Drizzle with half the dressing then toss.
  • Scatter over the cranberries, desired amount of walnuts, remaining apple slices and feta. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve immediately!


1. Apple - I like using red apple for appearance and also because most are sweet / a bit tart. Whereas granny smiths are tarter and gold apples tend to be sweeter.
2. Nuts - use any nuts you want here. Pecans and almonds are ideal.
Recipe makes more candied nuts than you need but I find it hard to make a smaller batch. Leftovers keeps for a week or two in an airtight container (or even freeze for months!)
Nut substitute: sunflower seeds and pepitas would also be great here for texture and flavour.
3. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings assuming 3/4 cup of candied walnuts used. 
Nutrition Facts
Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts and Cranberries
Amount Per Serving
Calories 364 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 344mg15%
Potassium 196mg6%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 895IU18%
Vitamin C 3.6mg4%
Calcium 64mg6%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 344mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 895IU | Vitamin C: 3.6mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1.1mg