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Overhead close-up photo of a spinach salad with crumbled feta, red onion, glazed pecans, and dried cranberries in a large bowl

The Best Spinach Salad

This spinach salad is simply the best! Made with fresh spinach, crisp apple, crumbled goat cheese or feta, thinly sliced red onion, glazed pecans, and dried cranberries, tossed in an easy, lightly sweetened balsamic vinaigrette. It's easy to make and full of flavor, perfect for entertaining or anytime you're craving a delicious salad!
Course Appetizers, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword autumn recipe, holiday, thanksgiving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 salads
Calories 359kcal


  • Jar with lid (or bowl and whisk)
  • Large bowl


For the Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup plus more if desired
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

For the Spinach Salad

  • 5 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 crisp apple thinly sliced, see Notes
  • cup crumbled goat cheese or feta
  • ¼ cup red onion thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup glazed pralines roughly chopped, or toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries


  • Add all vinaigrette ingredients to jar. Tightly secure lid and shake well, until combined. Alternately, add all vinaigrette ingredients to bowl and whisk until well combined.
    Sweet balsamic vinaigrette in jar with lid
  • Add spinach to large bowl. Pour vinaigrette over spinach and toss to coat. Add remaining salad ingredients and serve.


  • Apples: Use a crisp apple, like Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, etc.
  • Maple Syrup: Honey would work well, too, though the flavor will be slightly different.
  • Make it Dairy Free: Use a dairy free cheese or skip the cheese completely.
  • Make it Vegan: Use a vegan cheese or skip the cheese completely.
  • Make it Lower Sugar: Use a sugar-free liquid sweetener, like Lakanto Maple Flavored Syrup.
Recipe yields approximately 2 large salads or 4 smaller salads. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 salad out of 4 using the ingredients listed. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by 4. Result will be the weight of one serving.


Serving: 1salad | Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 3544IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 2mg | Net Carbs: 27g