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Apple Fennel Arugula Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Apple Fennel Arugula Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Hey Everyone! Can you believe that it’s already November? It’s less than two months until 2020 and I can’t quite wrap my head around it.

With that said, I’m oddly excited to decorate for Christmas, but it’s too soon for me. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy this salad that features the classic Christmas colors of red, white, and green with a golden dressing to top it with!

It’s lovely to serve for the upcoming holidays or throughout the fall and winter season. Plus, it’s a quick, throw-together recipe that can be served as a fast lunch or as a side dish.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Apple Fennel Arugula Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette!

What’s in this tasty side dish?

A large bowl of apple fennel arugula salad, a small bowl of walnuts, and three gala apples in a blue bowl.

In the salad, there is:

  • Arugula (aka rocket): This vegetable has small, vibrant tender green leaves that taste peppery and mildly bitter.
  • Fennel bulb: Crunchy and white. It has a slightly sweet anise (licorice) flavour.
    • Look for firm, small or medium white bulbs that are heavy for its size and free from cracks and brown spots.
  • Gala apples: Sweet and crisp. Not only are they currently in season (they taste extra delicious this time of year), but they are readily available at the grocery store.
    • Substitute with any sweet apple of your choice such as Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, or Fuji apples.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: Salty and pungent. The more aged the cheddar, the more complex the flavour.
  • Walnuts: Crunchy with slightly sweet and astringent notes that add to the overall taste and texture of this salad.

The fuss-free olive oil-based vinaigrette is bright with fresh lemon juice and sweet with pure honey. A little Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper give this dressing a hint of spicy bite.

How do you make this salad recipe?

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions available in the recipe card down below)

A small mason jar containing honey lemon vinaigrette.

Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar, seal with a lid, and shake until it is fully combined. Set aside.

  • You can also use a small bowl and whisk it together using a whisk or a fork.
Apples, arugula, and a fennel bulb with the core removed.

Prepare the ingredients for the salad.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Remember to remove the tough core of the fennel bulb before slicing the fennel into even sticks. I used a sharp knife to cut a “V” around the core and pull the tough piece out.
  • Crumble the cheddar cheese with warm, clean fingers (that what I like to do) or use a vegetable slicer to make shaved pieces.
  • Slice the apples last, just prior to serving, or toss the apple slices in a small amount of lemon juice to help prevent browning.
A big wooden bowl containing fennel arugula salad with apples and walnuts.

Place all the salad ingredient in a bowl and pour as much vinaigrette on top as you like. Toss to combine. Best served right away. Enjoy!

  • A little dressing goes a long way. It’s easier to add a little, toss, and then add more to suit your preferences.
Apple fennel arugula salad in a brown bowl with a fork on top.

Here are four more quick and easy salad recipes that you need to try!

In summary, this apple fennel arugula salad is:

  • Delicious: A wonderful combination of sweet and savory flavors that complement one another.
  • Texture-rich: Tender and crunchy bites made this salad so satisfying to eat.
  • Fast and uncomplicated to make: It takes fifteen minutes or less and requires only a few kitchen tools.
  • Adaptable: Add or decrease the amount of each ingredient to suit your personal taste.
  • Scalable: This recipe can easily be halved, doubled, or more.
  • Vegetarian and gluten-free too!
Apple fennel arugula salad with honey lemon dressing in a brown bowl.

Did you make this easy winter salad recipe? Leave me a rating and comment down below or tag me on any of my social media. I’m @yay_for_food on Instagram. Please share your recipe pictures!

Apple fennel arugula salad with honey lemon vinaigrette in a large wooden bowl.

Apple Fennel Arugula Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main dish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Get ready for the holiday season with this colourful apple fennel arugula salad recipe. Easy to make and full of fresh, delicious ingredients.


For the salad:

  • 4 cups arugula (rocket)
  • 1 fennel bulb, core removed and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 gala apples, cored and sliced
  • 3 oz. sharp cheddar, crumbled (using fingers)
  • ¾ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

For the vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp pure honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


    1. Place the vinaigrette ingredients into a mason jar. Seal with a lid and shake until well combined. Or place the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed together. Taste and adjust the dressing to your preference.
    2. Place the salad ingredients into a large bowl. Drizzle the desired amount of vinaigrette on top. Toss to combine. Best served immediately.


  • If you are planning to have leftovers, keep the salad separate from the vinaigrette and cover both in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Re-whisk and pour dressing over salad just prior to eating.
  • Nutritional information represent one serving for a total of four servings.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 263mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 4gSugar: 20gProtein: 9g

Nutritional values are estimated based on the ingredients used by the author; your ingredients may differ. These values are calculated using Nutritionix.

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Saturday 7th of December 2019

Fennel and apples are a classic combination made in heaven and then drizzled with a honey dressing, and adding nuts and cheese must be delicious. Perfect for adding to the holiday menu is elegant and has all the ingredients that are available now.

Marie | Yay! for Food

Saturday 7th of December 2019

It is so delicious! Thanks for the kind words, Adriana!

Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry

Saturday 7th of December 2019

This looks like such a healthy and delicious salad. The vinaigrette sounds so tasty!

Marie | Yay! for Food

Saturday 7th of December 2019

Thank you Bintu!


Saturday 7th of December 2019

Ran out of sharp cheddar, so I used goat cheese instead, and this still tastes wonderful. :)

Marie | Yay! for Food

Saturday 7th of December 2019

So glad you enjoyed it!

Sandhya Hariharan

Saturday 7th of December 2019

This is such a wonderful recipe . Love the lemon dressing that goes with it.

Marie | Yay! for Food

Saturday 7th of December 2019

Thank you! The dressing really brightens the flavours of the salad.

Jacqueline Debono

Saturday 7th of December 2019

I love the apples in this salad! I don't know why but I rarely use them salads! Such a delicious idea!

Marie | Yay! for Food

Saturday 7th of December 2019

Thanks! The apples give such great sweet flavour and a nice crunch too!

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