Sweet, smoky and savoury flavours contrast in this easy Smoked Salmon Salad with apple and cheddar cheese. Crisp apples, sharp cheddar cheese, maple pecans and smoked salmon are all tossed with fresh greens and the most delicious maple dressing!
❤️ Why you'll love this smoked salmon salad recipe
No cooking required! This salad makes a complete, satisfying meal without the need to turn on the oven or fire up the grill!
Today's salad features flavours you can enjoy any time of the year: sweet crisp apples, sharp cheddar cheese, toasted maple pecans, smoked salmon and a maple dressing which is a favourite of my readers.
It will serve four as a side salad or two as a main.
If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know that I love creating salads.
In fact, I have more than 85 salads here on Flavour and Savour, many of which make a whole meal! It's definitely my favourite way to eat.
Let's combine all these fabulous flavours into one healthy, easy, smoked salmon salad! Here are the ingredients you'll need.
- lettuce or fresh mixed greens: use garden lettuce, massaged kale, spinach or your favourite spring mix.
- cucumber: optional. Sometimes I add in slices of an English cucumber for extra crunch. Add a few radish slices if you'd like, too.
- apple: A sweet variety of apple like Gala, Honeycrisp, or Fuji works well in this recipe. I wouldn't choose a tart Granny Smith apple for this salad.
- smoked salmon: I used hot smoked salmon, but lox will work, too.
- cheddar cheese: aged, old, or sharp cheddar is best to give that boost of strong flavour to contrast with sweet apples. Feel free to substitute your favourite cheese. I'd suggest trying Gruyére or Swiss, or feta or goat cheese.
- pecans: glazed with maple syrup (yum). No pecans? Walnuts are good, too.
- herbs: for garnish. I usually use fresh chives. Sometimes I add a few basil leaves.
- Maple Dressing: maple syrup, extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sea salt.
- Start with a bed of washed and dried mixed greens.
- Toast pecans in a skillet, then toss with maple syrup and a sprinkle of sea salt. Let them cool completely before adding them to the salad.
- Cut the cheese into small cubes, cut the smoked salmon into small chunks (or thin bite-sized pieces if you're using cold-smoked salmon or lox),slice the cucumber into half moons, and slice or dice the apple.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar with a lid. Shake to emulsify it.
- Arrange the ingredients on top of the greens, then drizzle and toss once or twice with Maple Dressing. If you toss it too much, the heavier items will all sink to the bottom of the bowl. Garnish the salad with a sprinkling of freshly snipped chives, if desired.
Hot-smoked salmon is made by brining salmon in a mixture of water, salt, brown sugar and sometimes other ingredients like garlic and soy sauce. Brining helps to draw moisture from the fish and helps to preserve it. After it is brined, it's smoked for 6 to 12 hours at temperatures between 120°F and 180°F, often over wood chips in a home smoker.
Cold-smoked salmon, or lox is cured in salt for up to 24 hours before smoking at a lower temperature for 6 or more hours. It is translucent and is usually served in thin sheets or strips. It has a silk-like texture with a delicate melt-in-your-mouth quality.
Hot-smoked salmon has a firmer and flakier texture similar to cooked fish. It holds its shape well and is often served in chunks or slices, making it a good choice for a salad.
Hot smoked salmon does not have to be eaten hot. In fact, it's most commonly eaten cold with a cracker and cream cheese, in a delicious dip, on crostini or in a stuffed mushroom.
What to serve with smoked salmon salad
I usually make a quick batch of my favourite Herbed Gluten-Free Baking Powder Biscuits to go with this salad.
These Blueberry Buttermilk Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins are delicious with it, as well. Or try this Gluten-Free Cheesy Herb Cornbread for a change.
Storing leftover salad
You'll enjoy this salad most on the day it's made, as the apples may begin to oxidize and turn brown. However, you can toss the apples with a little lemon juice to prevent browning if you want to prepare this salad ahead of time.
The dressing will solidify in the fridge because of the olive oil, so bring to room temperature before serving.
Enjoy every crunchy, sweet 'n smoky bite!
🗒 More ways to enjoy smoked salmon
- Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
- Easy Make-Ahead Smoked Salmon Dip
- Smoked Salmon Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese
- Smoked Salmon Cucumber Bites
- Asparagus Salad with Smoked Salmon and Sesame Miso Vinaigrette
- Smoked Salmon Zucchini Cakes
- Spinach Frittata with Smoked Salmon
🗒 More healthy salad recipes
🌟 Did you make this apple and cheddar smoked salmon salad?
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Apple Cheddar Smoked Salmon Salad
- 4 cups mixed greens lettuce, baby spinach, etc.
- 1 small apple, a sweet variety
- ½ cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 oz smoked salmon
Maple Glazed Pecans
- Dry roast pecans in a skillet over medium heat. Watch carefully, stirring occasionally. When they start to brown and smell fragrant, remove the skillet from the heat. Toss with 1 tablespoon maple syrup, sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt, if desired. Spread out on a sheet of parchment paper to cool completely.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar with a lid. Shake to emulsify.
Apple Cheddar Smoked Salmon Salad
- Add washed and dried mixed greens in a large serving bowl. Toss with apple cubes or slices, smoked salmon chunks, cubes of cheddar cheese and maple-glazed pecans. Garnish the salad with a sprinkling of freshly snipped chives. Toss with Maple Dressing just before serving.