Autumn Harvest Salad Recipe with Apples and Pears

Autumn Harvest Salad Recipe with Apples and Pears

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This Autumn Harvest Salad recipe is made with crunchy nuts, protein-packed eggs, sliced carrot, creamy feta, crisp apples, and diced pears. Top it off with a super simple homemade maple vinaigrette, and it’s a delicious salad that will keep you full.

I daydream of this harvest salad recipe starting about mid summer. I’ll be honest. I just can’t wait until fall comes around to make this super delicious salad!

I know lots of people who daydream of pumpkin spice for fall. And I do too — after I’ve had this salad! Not that it has to be fall to enjoy this salad. Personally, I would like to eat it all year long.

Autumn Harvest Salad with Apples and Pears

This is a hearty, filling meal that’s perfect for lunch or dinner. And any time you add bacon, I’m here for it. And as an added bonus, this recipe is completely gluten free!

6 Steps to Make This Harvest Salad Recipe

I won’t try to make this something it’s not. It’s not quick and easy. (I’m sorry!) There’s an ample amount of chopping to do, boiling eggs, cooking bacon, and more. But I will say this. It’s tasty and it’s worth it! Your taste buds will thank me later.

So let’s get going!

1. Start with the Maple Bacon Dressing

Our first order of business is to start with the dressing. Yes, it seems we’re working backward. But we will start here and end here too.

First, combine the maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set it aside.

FYI – this is a dressing you can whip up any time you cook bacon. Store it in a mason jar in the fridge for several days and warm it up before you use it. Mmmm. A warm bacon dressing is where it’s at.

maple syrup in containers and on a spoon resting on a plate

2. Cook the Bacon for this Fall Salad Recipe

You might feel like you’re fixing breakfast when you get the bacon and eggs out of the refrigerator, but you’ll end up with a salad when we’re done. I promise!

First, the bacon. It’s personal preference, but I like to fry my bacon on the stovetop. I warm a large pan on medium heat and let it sizzle away. Then give it a rough chop or just break it apart by hand once it has cooled.

Note: you will want to reserve the bacon grease from the pan here. Don’t get rid of it just yet. We will need it later!

bacon frying in a pan

Now, the one issue with frying bacon in a pan on the stove is the potential for grease splatter. But there’s a thing for that. Believe it or not, I just learned of this about a month ago, and it’s a game changer. You can use it on whatever pan may pop oil onto the stovetop around the pan. Or onto the floor. Or onto you!

I love how this thing helps to keep the stovetop and countertops clean. Less mess = less time cleaning up!

3. Hard Boil the Eggs

Now it’s time for hard boiling the eggs. There are many people who use different methods to hard boil eggs. But look at this picture. This is how my eggs turn out every time. Without fail. So if yours can be runny in the middle or green around the yolk, check this out.

hard boiled eggs on top of a harvest salad recipe with apples and pears

So here’s the magic:

  1. Place your eggs (cold from the refrigerator) into a pan that has a lid.
  2. Fill the pan with enough water to cover the top of the eggs in the pan, with room left to spare in the pan for the water to boil.
  3. Put the lid on your pan and place the pan on the stove over high heat to bring to a boil.
  4. Once the water starts to boil, remove the lid, reduce the heat a bit, and let it continue on a low boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Once the 5 minutes is up, turn off the heat, put the lid back on the pan, and remove the pan from the heat. Let it sit covered and off the heat for another 5 minutes.
  6. After that, create a water bath (like how you might blanch vegetables — just water and ice in a large bowl).
  7. Remove the eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon, and place them in the water bath. Let them cool there until they are no longer warm.
  8. Peel the shell and slice the eggs for the salad or to store in the refrigerator for later.
hard boiled eggs

4. Chop the Other Harvest Salad Recipe Ingredients

While the bacon is cooking and the eggs are boiling, it’s time to clean and chop the vegetables and nuts for this harvest salad recipe.

In this particular recipe, we will need to slice up some carrot, dice a shallot (very fine, like super tiny), and chop up some toasted pecans as well. Just set them aside once you’ve got that done.

Now it’s time to cut up the apples and pears. Do this last so they don’t brown while you’re working on the other steps. You can julienne them, cube them, or just cut into slices as I did.

sliced apples

For this salad, I personally used a Honeycrisp apple. I find them to be sweet and delicious, and downright irresistible. But feel free to use a Fuji, a Gala, or even a tart Granny Smith. Whatever suits your taste!

5. Assemble this Harvest Salad Recipe

Now that everything is cooked and chopped, it’s time to assemble this delicious autumn harvest salad! Start by putting the mixed greens in a bowl (or in individual bowls if you like). Top with the bacon crumbles, chopped carrots, chopped pecans, cranberries, egg, apples, pears, and feta cheese crumbles.

6. Finish the Dressing

Now it’s time to wrap up that dressing recipe. You have the maple syrup mixture from before, and now we’re going to add to it.

First, sauté the diced shallot in 2 tablespoons of the remaining bacon grease. Just cook until the shallot softens a bit. Whisk while slowly pouring in the maple mixture from earlier. Simmer a few minutes or until slightly thickened.

And that’s it! You can dress your salad and enjoy.

autumn harvest salad recipe with apples and pears

CARBS FOR THIS HARVEST SALAD RECIPE

This is definitely a delicious and balanced recipe, but there are still carbs to consider. Most of the carbs are in the fruit used in this harvest salad recipe, and also in the dressing because of the maple syrup.

With the specific ingredients and brands of ingredients I used for this recipe, the entire recipe totaled 231g. Because this recipe makes 4 servings, that’s right at 57g of carbs per serving.

Be sure to work these into your diet how you best manage your diabetes. And be sure to count the total carbs (or net carbs) in the specific products you use. Different brands vary in ingredients, so be doubly sure of the nutritional information in what you’re eating.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH This Autumn Harvest Salad Recipe

This autumn harvest salad recipe can be served as a meal on its own or as a side to something else. Here are some ideas to get you started thinking if you’re looking for a yummy side dish:

  • half a grilled sandwich (try a turkey, apple, cheese combination)
  • whole grain crusty bread
  • a cup of soup (something lighter like a french onion maybe)
  • a cornbread muffin

WHY IS THIS Fall Salad Recipe A Favorite OF MINE?

I feel like it might be obvious from above, but it’s literally the flavor combinations in this sweet and savory salad that make it a favorite for me. I eat it for lunch on its own and that’s it. It’s crunchy and creamy, salty and sweet. I want to eat it right now, quite frankly, and I’m writing this post at 7am!

Other favorite salads of mine are my BBQ Chicken Salad and Blueberry Pineapple Spinach Salad.

VARIATIONS ON THIS hearty Fall Salad

There are so many variations you could choose for this particular salad recipe. You could easily adjust with to use of the following:

  • use a different blend of lettuce, romaine, arugala, or kale for good fiber
  • make it more of a heart-healthy salad by skipping the bacon and using a different dressing
  • add granola for additional fiber and crunch
  • include roasted butternut squash for even more fall flavor
  • add in some pomegranate seeds
  • sub the feta for blue cheese or goat cheese, whatever you prefer
  • skip either the apples or pears to help lower the carb count
  • sub in some walnuts for the pecans
  • omit the cranberries to lower the carb count

You get the idea. This recipe is super flexible for what you need in your diet.

baking and cooking

Storing This Salad Recipe for Later

I would suggest against combining all the ingredients together if you’ll be storing this salad for later. If you’ll be enjoying it another day, I would prep what you can ahead and store it separately. But be sure to cut your apples and pears the same day to prevent browning. Here are some ideas of what you can do ahead:

The rest will need to be done day-of to prevent the ingredients from browning or becoming soggy. No one wants a soggy salad.

And now for your free recipe:

Autumn Harvest Salad Recipe with Apples and Pears

Autumn Harvest Salad Recipe with Apples and Pears

a delicious fall salad for lunch or dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Dressing

  • 1/3 c. pure maple syrup
  • 3 T. dijon mustard
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 T. leftover bacon grease
  • 1 small shallot

Salad

  • 6 thick strips bacon
  • 10 oz. mixed salad greens
  • 1 c. carrots
  • 3/4 c. toasted pecans
  • 3/4 c. feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 small pears
  • 2 small apples
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 3 eggs

Instructions
 

  • Combine the maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Hard boil the eggs and cook the bacon (reserving the grease).
  • Crumble the bacon into pieces.
  • Chop vegetables and nuts.
  • Add the salad greens to a bowl (or multiple bowls).
  • Top with bacon, carrots, pecans, cranberries, egg, and feta cheese.
  • Add pears and apples if serving immediately.
  • Saute diced shallots in 2 T. of reserved bacon grease until softened.
  • Stir while pouring in the maple syrup mixture.
  • Simmer for a few minutes or until slightly thickened.
  • Serve with dressing drizzled over the top.

Notes

Autumn Harvest Salad Recipe with Apples and Pears nutrition facts
Keyword fall recipe, gluten free, homemade

DID YOU MAKE this recipe?

If you’ve made this recipe, would you please leave a comment? I would love to hear from you!

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NOTE: I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietician. Nothing here should be taken as professional medical advice. Any nutritional information provided should be used as a general guideline and estimate only. For the most accurate information, please calculate based on the specific ingredients and brands you use, as well as any changes you make to the recipe.

Pin for Later

Autumn Harvest Salad with Apples and Pears

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COUNT CARBS and Nutrition Facts EASILY

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I love how this template makes counting nutrition facts SO easy. You literally list the total grams from each ingredient, total it at the bottom, and divide by the number of servings. Voila! 

This recipe template walks you through every step. And you can keep it for future reference. Just calculate it once and you’re done!

Check my Etsy store for an instant download that includes a cover page, section header pages for different kinds of recipes, section tabs, and this recipe template.

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