Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette

In case you were thinking that I currently live on meatballs and grilled cheese sandwiches, I thought I should assure you that, well, I don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I love indulgent food but to tell you the truth: I don’t eat that kind of stuff all that often. What I really eat on a day-in and day-out basis are recipes like this winter salad. I’m not kidding you – we have eaten this salad, or one very similar to it, at least three times per week for the past three weeks. I just can’t get enough of the cheddar-apple combination.

Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette

My husband wasn’t so convinced that salads are a winter thing. Let’s just say he wasn’t totally on board with me calling this a winter salad. But I can justify…apples and cranberries – typically fall and winter fruits, right? And who doesn’t love nice sharp white cheddar with a tart Granny Smith apple? Add some warm toasted walnuts and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette…you’ve got yourself a winter salad.

I’m still not sure he was convinced about this idea. And judging by the way he cleans his salad plate, he’s on board with the flavors and so am I!

Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette

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Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: 2 main-dish salads

Total Time: 15 min

A simple winter salad recipe with homemade balsamic-feta vinaigrette, cheddar cheese and Granny Smith apples.


for the balsamic-feta vinaigrette:
1 Tbs. feta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

for the salad:
3 cups mixed greens
1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and chopped
2 Tbs. dried cranberries
2 Tbs. golden raisins
3 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup toasted walnuts


Mix all of the ingredients for the dressing in a quart-sized jar. Close the jar and shake vigorously until the dressing is mixed very well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Divide the greens, apple, cranberries, golden raises, cheddar cheese and toasted walnuts between two large plates. Drizzle with the vinaigrette to serve.

Cassie's Notes:
I chose to use dried cranberries because that's what I had on hand. This salad could be made even more winter-y by using fresh cranberries!

If I don't have apples on hand, I use pears in this salad. When I use pears, I use feta cheese and leave out the cheddar.

Cheddar & Apple Winter Salad with Balsamic-Feta Vinaigrette