Apple Pecan Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing

By Maria Lichty

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This Apple Pecan Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing is a fall favorite and always a hit at potlucks, Thanksgiving, and dinner parties!

Apple Pecan Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing

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Apple Pecan Salad

Let me introduce you to the BEST fall salad recipe. I can’t take credit for this amazing recipe, it is my friend Taryn’s famous salad, but she is allowing me to share it with you guys because she is a good friend like that. I told her my people NEED this salad in their lives. Every time she brings this salad to a party, it is the HIT of the night! The flavors and textures are pure deliciousness!

This Apple Pecan Salad is made with apples, candied pecans, white cheddar cheese, and a creamy lemon dressing that will blow your mind! I promise you will fall in love with this dreamy salad after one bite. Everyone does!

Apple Pecan Salad Recipe

The Best Lettuce to Use

Since this dressing is so creamy, I suggest using Romaine lettuce. This is a heartier lettuce that will hold dressing rather than collapse underneath it. If you’re a kale person, that would also be a great option in this Apple Pecan Salad!

Creamy Lemon Dressing

This dressing is super creamy and bursting with bright flavor! You can use creme fraiche or plain Greek yogurt, both are good options. Creme fraiche can be hard to find, but if you can it is the decadent way to go. It’s SO good! If you want to keep things healthier, plain Greek yogurt works really well.

Because the dressing is so creamy, I wait until right before serving to toss everything together. You can prep everything ahead of time, just wait to toss it all together until right before you eat!

Creamy Lemon Dressing for Apple Pecan Salad

Picking Apples

I love this salad for fall because apples are in season and SO good! Fall is the best time to find juicy, crisp apples. I always use Honeycrisp apples because is there a better apple? I don’t think so:) They are my favorite and one reason fall is my favorite season. Bring on the apples!

After you slice the apples, drizzle them with fresh lemon juice. This will prevent them from browning and will add an extra lemon zing!

Candied Pecans

Using candied pecans is a great way to make a salad feel a little extra special. The candied pecans add great texture and sweetness! I use my homemade candied pecans, they are easy to make and your entire house will smell amazing. You can make them in advance. I always have a jar in the pantry.

If you don’t have pecans, you can use walnuts! They are good too! Follow the candied pecan recipe, just use walnuts.

White Cheddar Cheese

For this salad, I like to splurge a little and use a GOOD aged white cheddar cheese. White cheddar and apples are a match made in heaven! Visit the cheese counter at your grocery store and have them help you if you aren’t familiar with white cheddar. Most grocery stores should have it!

To get longer shavings (and more cheddar in every bite–yum!) I use a peeler or a grater and a block of cheddar rather than a bag of pre-shredded cheese. Getting those bigger chunks of cheese adds more cheddar flavor throughout the salad!

Fall Apple Pecan Salad

Perfect Fall Salad

When you have all of your ingredients ready to go and you are ready to serve your salad. Toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and serve immediately. This salad is best when served soon after being tossed.

I highly recommend you make this Apple Pecan Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing for your next dinner party, potluck, Thanksgiving, or even weeknight dinner. It is SO good!

More Salad Recipes:

Easy Apple Pecan Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
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Apple Pecan Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing

This Apple Pecan Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing is a fall favorite and always a hit at potlucks, Thanksgiving, and dinner parties!
4.70 from 33 votes


For the Creamy Lemon Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup crème fraiche or plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Salad:

  • 2 heads Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 large Honeycrisp apples, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup candied pecans
  • 4 oz. aged white cheddar cheese, grated with a potato peeler or large grater
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives


  • To make the dressing, combine the crème fraiche or Greek yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set aside. The dressing can be made up to 2 days in advance.
  • To assemble the salad, place the lettuce in a large bowl. Drizzle lemon juice over the apple slices and toss to prevent them from browning. Add the apple slices, candied pecans, grated cheese, and chives to the salad bowl.
  • Add the creamy lemon dressing and toss until salad is well coated. Serve immediately.


This salad is best when assembled and tossed right before serving. You can prep ingredients in advance but don’t toss until ready to serve.


Calories: 185kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 296mg, Potassium: 112mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 793IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 138mg, Iron: 1mg
Keywords gluten free, vegetarian

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @twopeasandpod and hashtag it with #twopeasandtheirpod

Photos by Dishing Out Health

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. 5 stars
    Outstanding burst of flavor from the lemon cream dressing! I’d give it ten stars if I could! Can’t wait to make it for guests when COVID is over.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m resubmitting this review since the previous review showed only three stars, even though I selected five stars. Maybe the admin can correct it and have just one review showing. That would be the one with five stars.

    This IS a delicious salad. I made it as written. All of the ingredients taste so good together, and the “lemon” flavor is refreshing. I will say, however, as others have mentioned, those candied pecans are addicting, but they are OH SO GOOD!

    1. Hi Janice-I am so glad you loved the salad! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We appreciate it!

  3. 5 stars
    I have had to bookmark the link to this recipe on my phone because every time I take it to an event I get tons of requests for it. Yes! It is THAT good! One little thing I do, that I think adds just a little something special, I put a dash of cinnamon in the pan when I candy the pecans. Something about a tiny hint of cinnamon goes so well with the apples and the lemon. That’s another amazing recipe Maria!

  4. Can’t wait to make!!! I’ve gotta know, what’s your secret to getting those applies sliced so perfectly thin?!

  5. 5 stars
    The combination of ingredients in the salad is delicious plus I added bacon crumbles. But what sets this apart is the dressing! The gentle lemony creamy goodness works beautifully with the salad, even the honey crisp apples!! My guests loved it and I will use the dressing on other salads. Thank you, Maria, for these creative, fresh recipes!!

  6. This is an absolutely wonderful salad!!! The dressing is rich creamy and bright lemon!!!! I had it with fish twice and it’s perfect! I had so many compliments!!
    This is my favorite salad!!! Thank you so much!!

  7. 5 stars
    My friend brought dinner to me after surgery and this was the salad! It is divine! I’ve made it several times since… the combination of ingredients is perfect. Highly recommend.

  8. 5 stars
    Fantastic. The absolute best salad I’ve ever eaten. TY for the recipe. The creaminess of the cheese, the crunch of the pecans with the romaine and apples topped with the the most wonderful lemon dressing. It was heaven and to think I made it myself. Amazing. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this recipe. I will be enjoying this salad for many years to come.

  9. Could you post your recipe for the candied pecans please? I would love to try the apple pecan salad with lemon dressing.

  10. 5 stars
    This is a totally delicious salad! I’ve never once thought about using creme fraiche in a salad dressing (in scrambled eggs, on top of blueberries, yes). My husband said it was “refreshing”. I couldn’t talk because I kept eating this creamy delightful salad! Thank you, thank you!
    Patti R

  11. 5 stars
    Making this a salad for dinner tonight. Made candied almonds because that’s what I had on hand.
    Apples from our tree.
    Dressing tastes lovely.