Salty, Sweet, and Crunchy Apple and Carrot Salad With Maple Vinaigrette
Crisp, crunchy, sweet, and bursting with flavor. That’s what apple and carrot salad tastes like with every bite. Instead of a slaw-like mayo dressing, we created a simple maple vinaigrette that brings all of the flavors together in this apple salad. You probably already have most of the ingredients on hand, and you can make it ahead of time for those busy, chaotic days.
Salads are easy meals to throw together during the summer when fruits and veggies are in season and abundant. You don’t have to heat up your home by using an oven. Just chop and toss!
This recipe is sponsored by Envy™ Apple.
Apple salad is an easy throw-together side or snack that doesn’t have any greens in it. If you have picky eaters at home that you’re trying to sneak more salads into their meal plan, this is a great recipe to start with.
It’s got lots of sweet ingredients balanced with tangy, acidic flavors that everyone in your house will enjoy.
What Is Apple and Carrot Salad?
This isn’t your traditional apple salad with greens and slices of apples and carrots tossed in. Instead, the produce is your salad. You’ve got crisp apples, crunchy carrots, tangy blue cheese crumbles, tart cranberries, and a balanced maple dressing. Most of the ingredients are tossed in the bowl with minimal prep work and then coated in your tangy vinaigrette.
Serve your apple salad as a side, a snack, or eat it by itself for a light lunch or dinner.
We love using up ingredients that you already have, so we try our best to use everyday ingredients. We believe delicious food doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need much to make apple and carrot salad. But there are a few things that really take this salad up a notch. You’ll love these ingredients as much as we do.
Envy™ apples of course are the star of this dish. They are unique in flavor, texture, and color. Envy™ apples are vibrant, bright red on the outside with white flesh on the inside. When you cut your apples into matchsticks (instructions are on the recipe card below), your apples actually stay white. Just to err on the side of caution, we still coated the apples with lemon juice to add some acidity to the apple salad.
These apples can elevate an ordinary dish! Envy™ apples are beautifully balanced with sweetness and have an uplifting fresh aroma. Plus, you can’t deny the delightfully satisfying crunch These apples are a key ingredient to making your salad the talk of the day for years to come.
Matchstick carrots add the perfect sweet, woody, and earthy flavor to your salad that pairs well with apples. Unlike apples, you don’t have to cut your carrots into matchsticks unless you prefer it that way. Grocery stores usually carry them pre-cut in a plastic bag by the salad. All you have to do is dump them in your mixing bowl, and your carrots are done. Don’t you love it when that happens?
Carrots have 210% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin A, which is super important for good vision. Vitamin A helps your eyes form the pigment you need to see at night and see color1. That’s good news for you and your kids.
Salty, bright, and kind of funky (in a good way), blue cheese adds a creamy element to your salad. Since we’re not using yogurt or mayo in this recipe, this apple salad needed something pungent to balance the sweetness from the apples, carrots, cranberries, and maple syrup. It creates an elevated richness to this simple salad.
Blue cheese is dairy and has calcium, so it’s good for your bones and teeth. But it also has fat in it. Fats help you feel full longer to prevent your littles from snacking all day long. It won’t prevent all snacking, but hopefully, it can help cut down on your summer trips to the grocery store while your kids are at home.
Dried cranberries are tart and slightly sweet. They look similar to raisins, but they have a deep red color. You should be able to find them in a plastic, resealable bag in the baking aisle. Cranberries are high in antioxidants and are considered to be a superfood.
Cranberries can be eaten raw, just as they are. So go ahead and dump them into your salad bowl and mix them in. You definitely won’t use the entire bag of dried cranberries in your apple salad, so feel free to use them in other recipes like oatmeal, cookies, and salads.
Authentic maple syrup is very sweet and has a woodsy kind of flavor. It’s made from the sap of trees and is much less processed than regular sugar. Since it’s less processed, it has more vitamins and nutrients. Maple syrup is a whopping three times sweeter than sugar, and it’s totally natural — not processed and has no additives.
Look for pure maple syrup in the baking aisle. It may be by the sweeteners. You only need two tablespoons to make your dressing, so you’ll have plenty left to use in other recipes or to double this one.
These are the ingredients that really make a difference in how this apple salad turns out. Of course, if you don’t like a specific ingredient, feel free to swap it out for something similar. If you don’t like cranberries, try raisins. If you don’t like blue cheese, try feta.
We want you to LOVE your apple salad.
How to Make Apple and Carrot Salad
Add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to a mason jar and shake to mix. Set aside.
Wash and cut your apples into matchsticks (instructions in recipe card).
Add your matchstick apples to a large mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice.
Add carrots, blue cheese, and cranberries, and toss to mix.
Add the vinaigrette and mix. Top with chives and pepitas and serve!
Can You Make This Salad Ahead of Time?
Sure! You can make the apple and carrot salad and the maple vinaigrette ahead of time. Since you’re using Envy™ apples coated in lemon juice, your matchstick apples won’t turn brown. However, all salads taste best when they’re fresh. Feel free to prep the salad and the dressing separately but wait to toss them together until you’re ready to serve it.
When the dressing and salad are mixed together too early, it sucks the moisture out of the carrots and the apples. The longer they sit, the runnier it gets. It still tastes refreshing on a hot summer day, but we prefer the freshness on the first day.
Ultimately, it’s completely up to you how far ahead you want to make your apple salad. Mix it up and see what you like best.
Why We Love Envy™ Apple
Envy™ is all about adding to your experiences through food. Their apples are known for their satisfying crunch, fresh aroma, and balanced sweetness. They use natural plant breeding methods to create a cross between Braeburn and Royal Gala. That’s how they can extract such incredible sweetness and crunch into their unique, hybrid apples.
Because of a higher amount of vitamin C, the flesh of Envy™ apples stays white even after they are cut into slices or matchsticks. That’s enough to make any mama happy because you really can prep apples ahead of time for snacks, salads, and desserts.
Try Envy™ apples and make all your adventures a little sweeter.
More Envy™ Apple Recipes
Stacked Apple Waldorf Salad – an elegant twist on a classic salad
Apple Berry Fruit Salsa – fresh salsa that comes together in minutes for a snack or sweet addition to savory recipes
Mexican Apple Salad – sweet, creamy, and refreshing
Apple Blondie Cupcakes – moist and fluffy muffins for all of your special occasions
Blood Orange & Apple Tortilla Pinwheels – an easy lunch idea your kids will want on repeat
Apple & Carrot Salad
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Envy™ Apples cored and cut into matchsticks
- 3 cups matchstick carrots
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1.4 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/4 cup chives
- Add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to a small mason jar. Put the lid on tight and shake the jar to mix your dressing ingredients. Set the dressing aside on the counter for later.
- Use a knife to cut off each side of the Envy™ Apples so only the core is left. Cut each apple piece into thin slices. Keep your slices together and turn them on the side so they are stacked on top of each other. Cut thin slices through your stack of apples to make matchsticks.You should get about three cups of matchstick apples.
- Place your matchstick apples in a large bowl and toss them with lemon juice so they don't turn brown.
- Add the matchstick carrots, blue cheese crumbles, and dried cranberries and toss to mix.
- Add the vinaigrette and use tongs to mix until the salad ingredients are lightly coated with dressing.
- Top the salad with chives and pepitas.
- Serve and enjoy!