This fall harvest salad has all the best flavors of fall--sweet potatoes, maple candied pecans, tart and crunchy apples, dried cranberries, and a maple apple cider vinegar dressing. The halloumi cheese adds a little extra tanginess and is so so good.
This fall harvest salad is great as an entree because the sweet potatoes, apples, and halloumi cheese make it super filling. If you'd like to add a protein, turkey or chicken (even rotisserie chicken would work perfectly!) would be super tasty. I think this would be great at Thanksgiving or Christmas, too!
- Apples- I used two for this recipe, but feel free to add or subtract as you see fit. I used Jazz apples, which are crisp and juicy, with just a hint of tartness. They're the perfect eating apple. Honeycrisp would work really well too, but use whatever apples you have on hand.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Halloumi Cheese
- Dried Cranberries
- Pecans- I use raw, unsalted pecan halves. We use pecans in a lot of stuff, so I buy 2 pound bags at Costco.
- Romaine Lettuce and Spinach or Kale- We used a mixture of romaine, spinach, and kale for this salad, but use whatever lettuce you have on hand or enjoy. Something with a bit of a crunch works well!
- Other ingredients- Oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, coconut sugar (brown sugar would work as well), cinnamon, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
See recipe card for amounts.
What is halloumi cheese?
Halloumi cheese is made from goat's or sheep's milk and has a high melting point, allowing it to be cooked without melting. It has a mellow tangy flavor and tastes great in this salad. If you can't find halloumi in your local grocery store, queso fresco or paneer can also be pan-fried. Feta has a similar flavor, but you'll miss out on the great texture of the halloumi.
Step 1: Cut the sweet potatoes into small cubes--the smaller they are, the faster they'll cook. I don't peel mine, but if you don't care for the skin, feel free to peel yours. Coat the sweet potatoes in oil, then toss them in cinnamon, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Transfer them to a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 400°F for 15 minutes.
Step 2: While the sweet potatoes are cooking, add pecan halves, maple syrup, coconut sugar, salt and cinnamon to a bowl and stir to combine. After the 15 minutes is up, scoot the sweet potatoes to one side of the baking sheet, put the pecans on the other half, and place it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
Note: if the sweet potatoes are still hard after 15 minutes, you should place them in the oven for another 5 minutes BEFORE adding the pecans to the baking sheet. The sweet potatoes should be almost done when you add the pecans.
Once the sweet potatoes and pecans are done, transfer the pecans to a plate or bowl immediately to prevent them from sticking to the pan.
Step 3: Cut the cheese into small rectangles and pat dry with a paper towel (this will reduce grease splatter). Add oil to a pan over medium-high heat and let it heat up for about a minute. Add the cheese to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until slightly browned on the bottom. Then flip the cheese and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the opposite side. Remove the cheese from the pan and set aside.
Step 4: Add apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper to a bowl or small jar and whisk (or shake) until well combined. Then add the oil and mix until fully combined.
Step 5: Add lettuce, apples, dried cranberries, apple slices, sweet potatoes, candied pecans, and halloumi cheese to a large serving bowl and toss to combine. Serve with the dressing and enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
Yes! The fall flavors make this a great Thanksgiving side and it goes perfectly with turkey. As written, this recipe serves 4-6. If you need to serve a bigger crowd, just double or triple it.
You can. I'd recommend leaving all of the components separate until you're ready to eat it. I'd also recommend frying the cheese on the day of, not ahead of time.
You can! If you have a nut allergy or don't like pecans, you can leave them off. Pumpkin or sunflower seeds would be a great substitute too.