Wholesome Apple Pecan Salad Recipe from USA

Apple Pecan Salad

Wholesome Apple Pecan Salad Recipe from USA
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4


Apple Pecan Salad
Apple Pecan Salad

The Apple Pecan Salad is a delightful blend of crunchy textures and sweet and savory flavors, making it a perfect dish for any season. This salad combines the crispness of fresh apples and celery with the rich, nutty taste of pecans, all brought together with a creamy dressing. It's a versatile recipe that can serve as a refreshing side dish or a light main course.


The origins of Apple Pecan Salad can be traced back to the early 20th century, where it emerged as a popular dish in the southern United States. Apples and pecans are both abundant in the region, making this salad a natural creation. Over the years, it has evolved, with various versions incorporating different ingredients, but the core elements remain the same, celebrating the produce of the season.


How to prepare

  1. Combine the apples, lemon juice, celery, pecans, mayonnaise, and salt. Stir well to blend the ingredients.
  2. Cover the mixture and refrigerate it until about 1 hour before serving.
  3. Fold in the whipping cream.
  4. Return the salad to the refrigerator until it is time to serve.


  • For a healthier version, substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise and add a touch of honey for sweetness. You can also add dried cranberries or raisins for extra texture and a burst of sweetness.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best flavor and texture, use crisp, slightly tart apples like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. Tossing the chopped apples in lemon juice not only adds a zesty flavor but also prevents them from browning. For the pecans, toasting them lightly before adding to the salad can enhance their nutty flavor. When folding in the whipped cream, do so gently to keep the salad light and fluffy.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is best served chilled, making it a refreshing choice for warm weather. It can be served on its own for a light lunch or as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish for a more substantial meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is the gentle folding of ingredients to maintain the lightness of the whipped cream and the integrity of the fruit and nuts.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a dairy-free version, use a vegan mayonnaise and coconut cream instead of whipped cream. Almonds or walnuts can be used in place of pecans for a different flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

This salad can be prepared up to a day in advance, with the exception of the whipped cream, which should be folded in an hour before serving to maintain its texture.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the salad in a clear glass bowl to showcase the layers, or use individual serving cups for a more elegant presentation. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped pecans and a thin apple slice.

Pairing Recommendations

This salad pairs well with white wines such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, which complement the creamy texture and nutty flavors. For a non-alcoholic option, a crisp apple cider is a perfect match.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

This salad is best enjoyed fresh and does not reheat well due to the whipped cream and fresh apples. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Apple Pecan Salad contains approximately 200-250 calories, making it a light and nutritious option for a meal or side dish.


This salad is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary source being the apples. A serving contains approximately 15-20 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carb intake.


The fats in this salad come mainly from the pecans and mayonnaise. Pecans are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats, while mayonnaise contributes some saturated fats. Overall, a serving contains about 10-15 grams of fat, with a significant portion being heart-healthy fats.


This dish is not high in protein, containing about 2-3 grams per serving. The small amount of protein comes from the nuts and the trace amounts in the other ingredients.

Vitamins and minerals

Apples and celery contribute vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. Pecans are rich in magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin E, making this salad a good source of essential nutrients.


The primary allergens in this recipe are nuts (pecans) and dairy (mayonnaise and whipped cream). Those with nut allergies or dairy sensitivities should avoid this dish or seek alternative ingredients.


Overall, Apple Pecan Salad is a nutritious dish that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. It's relatively low in calories and can fit into various dietary preferences with some adjustments for allergens.


Apple Pecan Salad is a timeless dish that combines the crispness of apples with the richness of pecans, all tied together with a creamy dressing. It's a versatile recipe that can be adapted to suit various dietary needs and preferences. Whether served as a refreshing side or a light main, this salad is sure to delight with its blend of flavors and textures.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is one that will always stay with me. It was a sunny autumn day, with leaves falling gently from the trees and a crisp breeze in the air. I was visiting my dear friend Sarah, who was known for her delicious homemade meals. As soon as I walked into her kitchen, I was greeted by the sweet aroma of apples and pecans roasting in the oven.

Sarah was busy chopping up fresh greens and tossing them in a tangy vinaigrette. I watched in awe as she skillfully combined the ingredients, creating a beautiful salad that was as pleasing to the eye as it was to the palate. I asked her what the secret was to making such a delectable dish, and she smiled and handed me a worn recipe card.

"This is my grandmother's recipe for apple pecan salad," she explained. "She used to make it for us every fall when the apples were in season. It's a family favorite."

I held the card in my hands, feeling a sense of nostalgia wash over me. I remembered my own grandmother, who had passed away many years ago. She was a wonderful cook and had taught me everything I knew about food and flavors. I felt a pang of longing for her presence, wishing she were here to share in this moment with me.

Sarah must have sensed my emotions, for she laid a comforting hand on my shoulder. "Why don't you take this recipe home with you and give it a try?" she suggested. "I'm sure your family will love it just as much as mine does."

I thanked her profusely and tucked the recipe card into my purse, vowing to make the salad for my loved ones as soon as I returned home. As I drove back, the memories of my grandmother flooded my mind. I remembered the countless hours we had spent together in the kitchen, her teaching me the art of cooking and baking with patience and love.

When I arrived home, I wasted no time in gathering the ingredients for the apple pecan salad. I carefully followed the instructions on the recipe card, chopping the apples, toasting the pecans, and mixing the vinaigrette. The familiar scents wafted through the air, bringing back memories of autumns past and the warmth of my grandmother's kitchen.

When the salad was finally ready, I presented it to my family with a sense of pride and anticipation. They took their first bites, their faces lighting up with delight. The flavors of the apples and pecans, combined with the tangy dressing, created a perfect harmony of sweet and savory.

As we sat around the table, enjoying the salad together, I felt a sense of contentment wash over me. I realized that I had not only discovered a new recipe, but had also unearthed a piece of my past. The apple pecan salad had brought me closer to my grandmother, allowing me to carry on her legacy through the joy of cooking and sharing meals with loved ones.

From that day on, the apple pecan salad became a staple in our household, a dish that was lovingly prepared and enjoyed by all. Whenever I made it, I felt my grandmother's presence in the kitchen, guiding my hands and infusing the food with her spirit. The recipe had become more than just a collection of ingredients – it was a link to the past, a connection to my roots and the traditions that had shaped me into the cook I was today.

And so, whenever I make the apple pecan salad, I do so with a heart full of gratitude and love. For it is not just a dish on the table, but a symbol of the bond between generations, a reminder of the joy that comes from sharing food and memories with those we hold dear. And I know that as long as I continue to cook and share my recipes with others, my grandmother's spirit will live on, forever present in the flavors and aromas that fill our homes and hearts.


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