Dressings and Sauces Salads

Fall Spinach Salad (vegan)

I’m obsessed with this nourishing Fall Spinach Salad. The fresh apples add a nice tartness, there’s fluffy quinoa, the pecans are perfectly crunchy, and the vegan warm sweet allspice dressing really pulls off cozy fall vibes.

A big blue bowl of fall-inspired salad with a warm nutty dressing

Let’s talk about the wholesome ingredients you will need. ♡

What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Fall Spinach Salad?

ApplesYou will need one apple, core removed, thin-sliced, and the skin left on. Granny smith, fuji, or macintosh apples will all work well.
SpinachWill be the base of the salad. Add as much of the spinach to your serving dish as you like. You really can’t go wrong here!
Chia- QuinoaA combination of cooked quinoa with a healthy sprinkling of chia seeds. After the quinoa has cooked, add the chia seeds. Give a quick mix and place it into the fridge until the next day. This will ensure the quinoa gets nice and cold for the salad.
Pecansare the perfect fall nuts.
Cranberriesadds a nice tartness. Orange-flavored cranberries would also work well in the salad.
For the dressing:apple juice, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, pure maple syrup, allspice, nut butter, kosher salt, and of course, pepper.

This Healthy Fall Spinach Salad is all about that warm, nutty, and sweet dressing.

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How to Make the Warm, Nutty Dressing

This fall-inspired dressing is sweet and nutty. The allspice adds a nice fall flare, and the warmness adds an outstanding contrast between the cold spinach leaves.

  • First, add all of the dressing ingredients into a bowl. Mix well until a thin-like dressing forms.
  • Then, pour the dressing into a saucepan over medium heat. I like to use a whisk at this point. Do not abandon the saucepan. Keep string and mixing for about 5 minutes or so, just until it reduces and thickens.
  • Finally, transfer the warm dressing into a mason jar. Set aside until we build the salad.

Note: when you first make the dressing you will have about 3/4 cup of fresh dressing. After you reduce it for 5 minutes, you should have a smidge above 1/2 cup.

How Do I Make Chia Quinoa for The Fall Salad?

To make chia quinoa, add 1 cup of quinoa to a pot along with 2 cups of water, and a pinch of kosher salt.

Cook the quinoa until the water is gone and the quinoa is nice and fluffy, about 15 minutes on medium heat. This will yield 3 cups of quinoa and you will certainly have extra after making this fall salad.

After the quinoa is fully cooked, add about 1/4 cup of chia seeds. Give a quick mix with a fork to ensure the chia seeds are evenly distributed.

Finally, transfer the chia quinoa into a container with a lid and place it into the fridge until it’s nice and cold about 3-6 hours minimum.

Read the recipe from start to finish. You will better understand the flow of the recipe and identify any unfamiliar words or methods.

Shop for the ingredients beforehand. When you shop ahead, you are less likely to swap out ingredients for what you don’t have, thus creating a complete recipe fail!

More Deliciousness

a big blue bowl of vegan fall salad with apples and pecans.

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment below and an honest rating. ♡

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Fall Spinach Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins

Healthy fall spinach salad with fluffy chia quinoa, apples, pecans, and a warm fall-inspired sweet nutty dressing. It’s the perfect autumn salad!

Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Keyword: quinoa, salad, spinach
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 756 kcal
Jillian: Jillian
  • For the warm dressing
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest about the zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp and 1 tsp lemon juice about the juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp nut butter like peanut cashew, or pecan butter
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp allspice I bet swapping for pumpkin spice would taste delicious
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper or to taste
  • For the salad
  • This is a two-person serving suggestion which is why the ingredients are divided in half.
  • 4 cups spinach divided in half
  • 1 cup of chia quinoa divided in half
  • ½ cup pecans divided in half
  • 1 apple core removed, thin-sliced, dived in half
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries divided in half
  1. In a mixing bowl, add all of the warm dressing ingredients. Mix well. Transfer the thin dressing to a saucepan over medium heat. Then, use a whisk to stir off and on for 5 minutes. Finally, the sauce should reduce and slightly thicken. 
  2. When ready, transfer the warm dressing to a mason jar or heat-safe container and set aside. 
  3. Build the salad
  4. Grab two of your favorite bowls. Add about two cups of spinach ( or more if you like) to each bowl.
  5. Next, spoon on chia quinoa on the corners and in the center of each bowl. Try to avoid sprinkling the quinoa on. Spoon the quinoa in place for a nice presentation.
  6. Then add the thinly sliced, pecans, apples, and cranberries. 
  7. Finally, drizzle as much of the dressing onto each salad. Enjoy immediately. 
Recipe Notes

How long does the warm salad dressing last?  Stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition Facts
Fall Spinach Salad
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

1 Comment

  1. Tiffany says:

    The nutty dressing is the best part. I used cashew butter instead.

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