Spinach Salad with Curried Pecans, Blue Cheese and Apples

spinach salad recipe
This recipe should really be titled, My Favorite Salad Ever. I love, love, love this salad. I made it for the first time for Christmas dinner and have come back to it again and again. You can make the components ahead of time and just throw together this salad at the last minute right before you are going to serve it. While there are a few different pieces to this salad, and the ingredient list does look sort of long, it is totally easy to make and you probably have everything on hand. This salad is a perfect first course without a protein on it and a filling dinner with one. Maybe some bread on the side?

spinach salad recipeFor the pecans:

6 ounces pecan halves
2 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
a pinch of cayenne pepper


1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

To make the salad:

1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach
1 Gala or Fuji apple thinly sliced
1 small red onion thinly sliced
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

spiced pecan recipePreheat your oven to 350 degrees. Toss the pecan in all the melted butter with the remaining ingredients. Toss to coat the pecans completely. Spread the nuts on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 13 minutes. Cool and set aside. I use half for the salad and snack on the rest. You can make these a few days ahead of time and keep them in an airtight container. Hide them so that some actually make it on the salad.

Put all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake until combined. Dressing done. You can make this a few days ahead of time also. Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. This makes a lot of dressing. Use about 1/4 and go from there when dressing your salad.

spinach salad recipePut everything into the bowl. Season the leaves with a little salt and fresh black pepper. Toss with 1/4 of the dressing.

spinach salad recipesOn this particular evening, I made this a dinner salad. I marinated the chicken in some of the dressing with about a Tablespoon of curry powder whisked in. I wanted the flavor of the chicken to mirror the flavors of the nuts. We grilled the chicken and sliced it on the bias. I drizzled a little more dressing on the top of the grilled chicken. Looking at these pictures again are making me very hungry.

spinach salad recipesMy favorite dinner salad. Make one and share it with somebody that you like having around, because they will be back around.

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  • O.M.G. I cannot believe I have lived for 32 years without having curried candied pecans. I have to double the pecan recipe because they are SO good I can’t keep my hands off of them.
    The salad is also to die for. Mmmmm. My husband loved it as well. I didn’t have any blue cheese but I did have goat cheese with figs in it and used that instead. So delish. Thanks Bree.

  • Hey Bree!
    Tyler’s mom (and Drew’s) here from soccer…made this for Drew’s 1st birthday brunch yesterday and it was such a hit! Everyone raved (I cited your site of course) and even my huskies loved the pecans as evidence by them stealing the tupperware and TEARING into it and gobbling up every last pecan (rats!)…thanks so much loved it!


    • Happy Birthday Tyler! I can’t believe that you are 1 already! I love this salad, it is one of my all time favorites. The pecans are crazy!

    • This is one of my favorite salads ever. I make it all the time. The pecans are crazy good!

      • Okay…..it was AMAZING! And I can’t keep my 22 month old out of the left over pecans! 🙂

        • I know! I love the pecans. I could eat those all by themselves.

  • I just recently discovered your blog and an hardly wait to try out some of the recipes. The sound delicious and incorporate some ingredients I don’t normally use. The one comment I have though is, your photos lool delicious and it’s great to see what the dish looks like as it progresses, I would like to be able to print out the recipe without the photos. Wastes so much paper.

    Thanks for the recipes.

    • Hi Catherine, if you click on the print friendly button on the bottom of each post, you can take all of the images off before printing.

  • I just discovered this fabulous website !!!! I am 75 and love to cook and bake and can hardly wait to try these recipes..I needed some new recipes after all these years…Thanks…


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