Apple Fall Harvest Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serve my Apple Fall Harvest Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes for a fresh burst of autumn flavor! The sweet potatoes are quickly air-fried and the apple cider vinaigrette dressing comes together in seconds. The pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, quinoa, and pecans add incredible layers of flavor & texture perfect for your family dinners or celebrations.

An easy apple fall harvest salad with air fryer roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, feta cheese, pomegranate seeds, & pecans w/ apple cider vinaigrette

My Apple Fall Harvest Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes is the most healthy and delicious way to enjoy the best flavors of fall! I’m showing how quickly you can roast sweet potato cubes with a hint of cinnamon and garlic in your air fryer or oven to add to this autumn salad. They are toasted on the outside and soft on the inside, adding a delicious sweet and savory flavor to the salad.

Then, we’ll make a simple apple vinaigrette dressing with apple cider and assemble our hearty salad with leafy greens, crisp apples, quinoa, feta cheese, pomegranate seeds, and pecans.

You will feel so proud to serve this easy fall salad at family dinners or celebrations to add to a delicious meal. With simple, fresh ingredients, it makes a festive side chopped salad, delivering all the fall vibes.

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love This Fall Harvest Salad with Apples & Sweet Potatoes Recipe

  • You only need a few major ingredients.
  • It is super easy to make for an impressive result.
  • The flavor-rich ingredients make it taste amazing!
  • All the ingredients are easily digestible for a gentle tummy.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Sweet Potatoes: If you don’t have sweet potatoes or prefer a different type of potato, you can use regular potatoes, butternut squash, or even carrots for a variation in flavor and color.

Light Olive Oil: You can substitute light olive oil with vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil.

Garlic Powder: If you don’t have garlic powder, you can use finely minced fresh garlic cloves. One small garlic clove is roughly equivalent to 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a key flavor, but you can omit it if you’re not a fan or if you have dietary restrictions. Alternatively, you can use a pinch of nutmeg or allspice for a different warm and autumnal flavor.

Maple Syrup: You can omit the maple syrup or replace it with honey or agave nectar in the vinaigrette.

Dijon Mustard: If you don’t have Dijon mustard, you can use regular mustard or mustard powder. It adds a tangy element to the dressing.

Sliced Apples: You can use your favorite kind of apples, including, Honeycrisp apples, pink lady, or fuji apples.

Feta Cheese: If you need a dairy-free or vegan option, substitute with dairy-free feta cheese or a creamy vegan cheese alternative.

Pomegranate Seeds: If pomegranate seeds are unavailable, dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped dried apricots can add a sweet-tart contrast to the salad.

Pecans: Feel free to use other nuts like walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, or hazelnuts if pecans are not on hand or if you prefer a different nut flavor and texture. You can also use roasted pecans as a great option for extra flavor. And they add delicious healthy fats to this healthy salad.

Leafy Greens: You can use any leafy greens, including romaine lettuce, baby kale, baby spinach, curly kale, spring mix, lacinato kale, or arugula.

How to Make My Apple Sweet Potato Harvest Salad Recipe

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

If you’re roasting your sweet potatoes in the oven, preheat it to 400°F.

Step 2: Prepare the Sweet Potato Cubes

Peel and dice the sweet potato into uniform cubes. Aim for 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces for even cooking.

In a mixing bowl, toss the sweet potato cubes with 2 tablespoons of light olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a dash of pepper. Ensure that the sweet potato cubes are evenly coated with the seasonings.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 3: Air Fry or Bake the Sweet Potatoes

AIR FRYER:

Place the seasoned sweet potato cubes in the air fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring they are not overcrowded. You may need to roast them in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.

Set the air fryer to cook at 400°F (190°C) for approximately 10-12 minutes. Shake the basket or toss the sweet potatoes halfway through the cooking time for even browning.

Check for doneness by piercing a cube with a fork. They should be tender on the inside and slightly caramelized on the outside. If needed, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

OVEN:

If using your oven, spread the seasoned sweet potato cubes on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Cook for 30-35 minutes at 400°F or until they are golden brown on the edges.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 4: Prepare the VinaigretteStep 3: Air Fry or Bake the Sweet Potatoes

While the sweet potatoes are roasting in the air fryer, prepare the apple cider vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of light olive oil, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of apple cider, 1 tablespoon of honey (or maple syrup for a vegan option), 1 clove of garlic (minced or 1/2 tsp garlic powder), 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard (or mustard powder), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a dash of pepper. Set aside.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 5: Assemble the Salad

In a large salad bowl, combine leafy greens, cooked and cooled quinoa, apple slices, feta cheese (or dairy-free alternative), pomegranate seeds (or dried cranberries), and toasted pecans (or your preferred nuts).

Once the sweet potato cubes are perfectly roasted, add them to the salad.

Drizzle the apple cider vinaigrette over the salad ingredients.

Gently toss all the ingredients together until well combined and coated with the dressing.

Plate your delicious fall harvest salad and enjoy the combination of flavors and textures!

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Fall Harvest Salad Recipe Notes

Preparation Tips: Before you start, make sure to wash and peel the sweet potato (if desired) and cut it into uniform cubes. This ensures even roasting.

Roasting Sweet Potatoes: You can roast the sweet potato cubes in either an air fryer or oven. In an air fryer, they typically take around 10-12 minutes at 375°F (190°C). In the oven, preheat to 425°F (220°C) and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and slightly caramelized. Be sure to toss them halfway through the cooking time for even browning.

Vinaigrette Variations: The apple cider vinaigrette is a versatile dressing. Adjust the sweetness with honey or maple syrup to suit your taste. You can also add a pinch of ground cinnamon or a squeeze of lemon juice for extra flavor. You can also use your own dressing, store-bought dressing, or a citrus vinaigrette.

Quinoa Preparation: Cook the quinoa according to package instructions and allow it to cool before adding it to the salad. You can prepare quinoa ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for convenience.

Choosing Apples: Use a crisp, sweet variety of apple like Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Gala for a nice contrast to the savory roasted sweet potatoes and tangy vinaigrette. Slice or dice the apple as you prefer.

Pecans and Nuts: Toasting the pecans in a dry skillet or oven for a few minutes can enhance their flavor. Be careful not to over-toast them, as they can burn quickly.

Assembly: When assembling the salad, start with a bed of leafy greens, followed by the cooled quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, apple slices, pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries, feta cheese or a dairy-free alternative, and toasted pecans. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top.

Make-Ahead Option: You can prepare components of this salad in advance. Roast the sweet potatoes, cook the quinoa, and make the vinaigrette ahead of time. Store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator, and assemble the salad just before serving to maintain freshness and texture.

Serving Suggestions: This salad can be a complete stand-alone meal paired with grilled chicken breast, roasted turkey, or baked salmon to make it an entrée salad.

Customization: Feel free to customize this salad with additional ingredients like dried apricots, chopped kale, spinach, or arugula. Adjust the quantities to your preference to create a salad that suits your taste.

Refrigeration: Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s essential to keep the salad chilled to maintain freshness and food safety.

Component Separation: If possible, store the components of the salad separately, especially if you’ve dressed the entire salad with vinaigrette. This helps prevent the salad from becoming soggy. Keep the roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, apple slices, cheese, pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries, and nuts in separate containers.

Sweet Potatoes: Roasted sweet potatoes can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave or briefly in the air fryer to regain their crispiness before adding them to the salad.

Quinoa: Cooked quinoa can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Ensure it’s cooled completely before storing.

Vinaigrette: The vinaigrette can be stored in a separate container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Give it a good shake or whisk before using it again.

Apples: If you’ve already sliced or diced the apples, toss them with a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning. Store them in an airtight container for up to a day.

Feta Cheese: If using dairy-based feta cheese, it should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Dairy-free alternatives may have different storage requirements, so follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Pomegranate Seeds or Cranberries: These can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. Pomegranate seeds can also be frozen for longer-term storage.

Nuts: Nuts, especially toasted nuts, should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for short-term use. For longer storage, keep them in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain freshness.

Assembly Before Serving: To enjoy the salad at its best, assemble it just before serving by combining all the components. This ensures that the ingredients retain their individual textures and flavors.

Meal Prep: If you’re planning to meal prep this salad, consider storing the components separately and assembling individual portions the day you plan to eat them to maintain freshness.

Can I make this salad ahead of time for meal prep?

Yes, you can prepare several components of this salad in advance, such as roasting the sweet potatoes, cooking the quinoa, and making the vinaigrette. Store them separately in the refrigerator, and assemble the salad just before serving for the freshest results.

Can I use a different type of potato for roasting?

Absolutely! You can substitute sweet potatoes with regular potatoes, butternut squash, or even carrots for a different flavor and texture. Adjust the roasting time accordingly.

What can I substitute for feta cheese if I’m lactose intolerant or vegan?

If you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, you can use dairy-free feta cheese or a vegan cheese alternative. There are many plant-based cheese options available in stores.

Can I use other nuts besides pecans?

Yes, you can use a variety of nuts such as walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts in place of pecans to add a different flavor and texture to the salad.

Can I use something other than apple cider vinegar for the vinaigrette?

While apple cider vinegar complements the flavors in this salad, you can substitute it with white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar for a slightly different tangy note.

How do I prevent the apples from turning brown once sliced?

To prevent apples from browning, you can toss them with a bit of lemon juice before adding them to the salad. This helps maintain their fresh appearance.

Is this salad suitable for a potluck or a picnic?

Yes, it’s an excellent choice for a potluck or picnic. You can assemble most of the ingredients ahead of time and then combine them just before serving to maintain the best texture and flavor.

Can I make a larger batch of the vinaigrette for future use?

Absolutely! You can double or triple the vinaigrette recipe and store the extra in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just give it a good shake or whisk before using it again.

Can I make this salad gluten-free?

Yes, this salad can be made gluten-free by ensuring that the ingredients you use, especially the quinoa, are certified gluten-free.

Can I customize this salad with additional ingredients?

Yes, feel free to customize this salad to your liking. You can add ingredients like dried apricots, chopped kale, spinach, arugula, or other seasonal fruits and vegetables.

An easy apple fall harvest salad with air fryer roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, feta cheese, pomegranate seeds, & pecans w/ apple cider vinaigrette

Apple Fall Harvest Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato

Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
Serve my Apple Fall Harvest Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes for a fresh burst of autumn flavor! The sweet potatoes are quickly air-fried and the apple cider vinaigrette dressing comes together in seconds. The pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, quinoa, and pecans add incredible layers of flavor & texture perfect for your family dinners or celebrations.
5 from 5 votes
Servings 2
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
  

Roasted Sweet Potatoes:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper

Apple Cider Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 clove of garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard (or mustard powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa (cooked and cooled)
  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (or dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup pecans

Instructions
 

  • If you're roasting your sweet potatoes in the oven, preheat it to 400°F.
  • Peel and dice the sweet potato into uniform cubes. Aim for 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces for even cooking.
    In a mixing bowl, toss the sweet potato cubes with 2 tablespoons of light olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a dash of pepper. Ensure that the sweet potato cubes are evenly coated with the seasonings.
  • AIR FRYER:
    Place the seasoned sweet potato cubes in the air fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring they are not overcrowded. You may need to roast them in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.
    Set the air fryer to cook at 400°F (190°C) for approximately 10-12 minutes. Shake the basket or toss the sweet potatoes halfway through the cooking time for even browning.
    Check for doneness by piercing a cube with a fork. They should be tender on the inside and slightly caramelized on the outside. If needed, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
    OVEN:
    If using your oven, spread the seasoned sweet potato cubes on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Cook for 30-35 minutes at 400°F or until they are golden brown on the edges.
  • While the sweet potatoes are roasting in the air fryer or oven, prepare the apple cider vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of light olive oil, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of apple cider, 1 tablespoon of honey (or maple syrup for a vegan option), 1 clove of garlic (minced or 1/2 tsp garlic powder), 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard (or mustard powder), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a dash of pepper. Set aside.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine leafy greens, cooked and cooled quinoa, apple slices, feta cheese (or dairy-free alternative), pomegranate seeds (or dried cranberries), and toasted pecans (or your preferred nuts).
    Once the sweet potato cubes are perfectly roasted, add them to the salad.
    Drizzle the apple cider vinaigrette over the salad ingredients.
    Gently toss all the ingredients together until well combined and coated with the dressing.
    Plate your delicious fall harvest salad and enjoy the combination of flavors and textures!

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Calories: 474kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 11gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 1427mgPotassium: 632mgFiber: 8gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 8135IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 155mgIron: 3mg
Keyword apple, apple cider, autumn, fall harvest, feta cheese, leafy greens, pecans, pomegranate seeds, quinoa, roasted, salad, sweet potatoes, vinaigrette
Did you make this recipe?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

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