Spiralized Apple Salad with Citrus Dressing

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Healthy spiralized apple salad made in only 15 minutes! A refreshing salad topped with oranges, pecans, cheddar cheese, cranberries, sunflower and chia seeds. 

Spiralized Apple Salad with Citrus Dressing - Healthy and refreshing salad made in only 15 minutes! Topped with oranges, pecans, cheddar cheese, cranberries, sunflower and chia seeds. | jessicagavin.com

Crunch, crunch, crunch! Oh don’t mind me, I’m just enjoying this incredibly refreshing apple salad. I never thought I would be digging a fork into a bowl of apples. They usually aren’t the star of the dish, but this time I’m putting the spotlight on one of my favorite fruits!

The naturally sweet and savory combination of ingredients married together in this salad will make your taste buds smile. This spiralized apple salad is packed with nutritious ingredients bursting with flavor and irresistible textures. The best part is it all comes together in 15 minutes so that you can nourish your body and get back to rocking your day.

Let’s have a little fun, break out your spiralizer and let’s build an epic tasty salad together!

Green apple being spiralized

It’s not often that I get to play with my food, but sometimes I just need to break loose a bit. One of my favorite ways to do so is with my spiralizer. If you haven’t tried creating vegetable and fruit “noodles” yet, you are missing out!

For about a year I used a very simple handheld spiralizer, but for my birthday I asked for an upgrade. Once I opened up my Inspiralizer, there was no turning back! Within minutes I could make bountiful wholesome plant-based shaped noodles, I was in food heaven!

What is Spiralizing?

  • Basics: You can instantly turn fruit and vegetables into ribbons or thinner shaped strands of “noodles.”
  • Options: Choose fruits or vegetables that have a firm, solid flesh, void of seeds, and are not hollow. It’s best to have an ingredient that is 1.5 inches in diameter and at least 2 inches long for spiralizing. Some good candidates are apples, butternut squash, broccoli, beets, zucchini, melon, sweet potato, and cucumber.
  • Meals: It gives you the option to create gluten-free and low carb pasta and soups that are paleo and vegan-friendly. Make fresh salads, wraps, breakfast, and even desserts with spiralized ingredients. Leave the noodles raw or lightly cook them until just tender. Each plant “noodle” has more nutrition like vitamins, minerals, and fiber in each serving.

I used two types of apples for this spiralized salad; green tart Granny Smith and sweet juicy Honeycrisp. They give a nice balance of color and flavors for the salad.

Bowl of apple salad topped with walnuts and sliced oranges

To keep this spiralized apple salad light and bright, a tangy citrus vinaigrette was quickly blended to drizzle on top of the salad. I added some olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice, their zest, and just a touch of honey to my Vitamix to create a simple dressing. You can also whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, or shake in a jar. Cook’s choice!

Top view of a spiralized apples salad with nuts, orange slices, and cubes of cheese

Let’s talk toppings! Ok, I’m a 100% Libra, so I need balance in all aspects, especially when it comes to food. The salad base is naturally sweet from the apples, so I wanted to add some small pieces of sharp cheddar cheese for a little savory flavor and protein.

The pecans and sunflower seeds add a nice crunch and richness to the salad. Some dried cranberries mirror the green and red apples’ sweet and sour notes. Fresh orange segments add a juiciness to the salad. The final topping is a sprinkle of chia seeds for extra fiber and crunchiness in each bite. A drizzle of the homemade citrus dressing and you are ready to dig in!

Fork holding up strings of spiralized apples

Trust me friend, all of the flavors and texture of the salad are out of this world! Once you take your first bite, you just get more enticed to devour the entire bowl. If you want to make this more of an entree type salad, feel free to add some baby spinach and chicken or salmon. I can’t wait to hear what think of this spiralized apple salad! What dishes have you created with fruit or vegetable noodles?

More Salad recipes

Tips for  Spiralizing Apples

When spiralizing the apples, select larger symmetrical fruit, with no bruises. I removed the stem of the apple before slicing, then place it into the spiralizer with the bottom of the fruit getting sliced first. I used the spaghetti noodle shape setting to achieve the thinner strands for the salad. I found that sometimes you have to stop and remove some seeds. Just be careful when clearing the seeds from the blade, and just keep turning! If you are not using the apples immediately, place them in a bowl covered with water and a squeeze of lemon, so they don’t brown as quickly. Drain well and eat raw or cook them in your favorite recipe!

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Spiralized Apple Salad with Citrus Dressing

Healthy spiralized apple salad made in only 15 minutes! A refreshing salad topped with oranges, pecans, cheddar cheese, cranberries, sunflower and chia seeds.
4.83 from 40 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Salad
Cuisine American


Citrus Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, plus zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey, or maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper, as needed

Apple Salad

  • 1 large red apple, honey crisp, pink lady, or gala
  • 1 large granny smith apple
  • 1 large orange, peeled and segments removed
  • 2 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • cup pecans
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds, optional


  • Add all citrus dressing ingredients together in a jar or blender.
  • Shake until well combined, or blend for about 10 seconds.
  • Taste and add pepper as needed. Set aside.
  • Spiralize all of the apples. I used the "D" setting on my Inspiralizer (or noodles) and it yielded about 6 cups total of spiralized apples.
  • Add to a large bowl or separate into smaller bowls based on how you will serve.
  • Top apples with orange segments, cheese, pecans, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds.
  • Whisk or shake the dressing right before adding to the salad if it separated. Drizzle citrus dressing on top.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 394kcal (20%)Carbohydrates 28g (9%)Protein 5g (10%)Fat 31g (48%)Saturated Fat 6g (30%)Polyunsaturated Fat 3gMonounsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 15mg (5%)Sodium 159mg (7%)Potassium 139mg (4%)Fiber 4g (16%)Sugar 21g (23%)Vitamin A 300IU (6%)Vitamin C 14mg (17%)Calcium 140mg (14%)Iron 0.4mg (2%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

22 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Judy says

    Hi Jessica,

    This sounds wonderful. Crispy and refreshing. I like the sharp white cheddar cheese a lot so was glad to see it in the recipe. I always picture you laying in bed at night with all these ideas popping into your head. Thank you for another beautiful recipe.


    • Jessica Gavin says

      You are the sweetest Judy! When I was making the recipe I thought, something is missing. The cheddar cheese was the perfect savory addition to the salad! You are right, I do think about the next recipe before bed, all the time really! haha.

    • Arlaine Richards says

      I made this only didn’t have cheddar so substituted feta and it was delicious. I will definitely make it again.

  2. Carol says

    Okay, this looks so beautiful and creative that I followed the amazon.com link and purchased the spiralizer. I’ll be making this as soon as it comes in!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yay Carol! I’m so happy to hear that you are ready to start spiralizing at home! Please let me know how you like the recipe and what other things you try 🙂

  3. L Taylor says

    This looks delicious! Quick questions- how do you store the leftovers so apples don’t brown? How long will they keep fresh? Thanks!

  4. Lisa R says

    This sounds delicious. I’ll have to try it soon. Can you tell me if it will keep well in the refrigerator? I don’t think my hubby and I would finish it all in one sitting.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Lisa! The ingredients are pretty hearty in texture so it should hold up well for a day. I would just lightly toss the apples with some of the dressing to reduce the browning of the apples once cut and exposed to oxygen. The acid in the dressing should help with reducing the browning (oxidation).

  5. julie mcintyre says

    Hi Jessica,

    tonight we had this salad with bbq pork rashers. it was quick and easy to make and was refreshing alternative to serve with pork

  6. Jessica says

    Looks great except for the oil and honey. With a fruit salad you do not need added sweet and oil is empty calories, there is no good oil! I hate the saying … but it’s good fat… no oil is good, get fat from REAL FOOD, add more nuts!

  7. Charlotte says

    Great recipe! I love the addition of the white cheddar- really makes it. The only change I made was using a lot less of the dressing. I probably used 1/4 of it and that was more than enough. The leftover dressing was great on a salad the next night though!

  8. Stephanie D. Jones says

    THIS SALAD IS IT!! I made this salad today (8/13/2020) for lunch. I only used 4 tbsp. of olive oil. Anyway, my daugter and grandchildren tore that salad up! It was so good! I didn’t even use cranberries…and I couldn’t find my chia seeds. But this salad is AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMAZING!!

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