You know what? I used to be a blue cheese hater. An “ew, blue cheese,” kind of person. A “could you sub cheddar for the blue cheese,” at restaurants kind of person. And I actually remember the first time I ever had a salad with blue cheese that I liked. It was at my old job in NYC, and it was a salad with spring mix, candied pecans, strawberries, blue cheese, and honey mustard dressing. So time after time, I’ve recreated similar salads, and I’ve discovered my magic formula for liking, even craving, blue cheese on a salad.
The magic blue cheese on a salad formula:
It’s ALL about the combo of savory and sweet flavors + creamy and crunchy textures.
Include some kind of crunchy nuts (amazing contrast with the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth cheese)
Include some kind of fruit: apples and strawberries are my go-tos. Dried fruit like cranberries or raisins are also great additions (the sweet/tart fruit complements the sharp/salty cheese).
And if you really JUST CAN’T do blue cheese… sub feta or goat cheese! But you might be surprised if you give it a shot.
A few notes before we dive in:
Feel free to add protein to make this salad into a more filling meal: rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, leftover roasted turkey, or garbanzo beans! On its own, its the perfect light lunch or side salad.
I used spring mix but you can use whatever greens you like!
I’ve listed ingredients per salad serving, but as always, add as much of all ingredients as you like!
MEAL PREP TIPS: Put greens on the bottom and top with the rest of the ingredients. Store the dressing separately to keep the salads crisp and fresh.
Blue Cheese, Apple, Almond Salad
8-12 cups mixed greens
1 honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced and chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup slivered or chopped almonds
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Your favorite vinaigrette (I recommend my Everyday Applesauce Vinaigrette!)
Divide mixed greens between plates.
Top with apples, almonds, blue cheese, and dried cranberries.
Drizzle dressing over the salads and dig in… OR toss salad with dressing in a large bowl, then serve!
MEAL PREP TIPS: If you plan to make ahead of time and store for lunches…
Layer greens on the bottom then the rest of the toppings on top. If you’re worried about the apples browning, give them a quick soak in a water/lemon juice mixture (1 Tbsp lemon juice to 1 cup water). Store dressing separately. Seal, grab, and go!