This Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad with cranberries simply bursts with flavour! It's a perfect combination of fresh mixed greens, tangy gorgonzola cheese, crunchy walnuts, and sweet dried cranberries, all dressed in a maple balsamic vinaigrette.
❤️ Why you'll love this salad with blue cheese
- Something a little different! With gorgonzola cheese as the star ingredient, this salad has both creamy and crunchy textures.
- Nutritious. It's a great way to eat nutritious greens while still feeling indulgent, making it perfect for lunch, dinner, or a side dish for any occasion.
- Easy to make. Not only is it delicious, but it's also a healthy option that's easy to make.
- Flavourful. Not everyone likes the pungent flavour of blue cheese, but if you're a fan of any of the blue cheese varieties, like Stilton, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Cambozola (and more) you'll appreciate the distinct flavours in this salad.
I'm definitely a fan of blue cheese! If you're looking for more ideas to add blue cheese to salads, you've come to the right place!
You may like my other salads with blue cheese! Try this Green Bean Blue Cheese Salad with Tomatoes, Fennel Celery Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese (you'll be surprised at how delicious it is!), Asian Pear and Cranberry Chopped Salad, and this pretty Honeydew Blueberry Salad with Blue Cheese.
You'll find a complete list of ingredients with amounts in the recipe card below. But before we get to the full recipe, here are a few notes about the ingredients you'll need.
- mixed greens (such as spinach, arugula, and romaine, or baby kale)
- your favourite blue cheese, crumbled, like Gorgonzola cheese or Roquefort
- chopped walnuts
- dried cranberries
- red onion: If you find red onions too sharp, you can remove the "bite" by soaking onion slices in cold water for 15 - 20 minutes, then drain.
- easy maple balsamic dressing: This slightly sweet dressing adds to the ideal balance of sweet and savoury in this recipe.
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make this recipe perfectly. You'll find complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Start by washing and drying your mixed greens.
- Toast the walnuts. (see tips below.)
- Combine the mixed greens, crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola cheese, chopped walnuts, diced red onion, and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the maple balsamic dressing ingredients in a jar or small bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
🔁 Possible Variations
- Add fruit: Make a pear blue cheese salad or an apple blue cheese salad! Add thinly sliced pears or apples to add colour, texture and more natural sweetness to contrast with the sharp cheese.
- Use different dried fruits: Substitute snipped dried apricots, snipped dried figs or chopped dates for the dried cranberries.
- Use different nuts: try toasted hazelnuts or pecans.
- Not sure about using blue cheese? This Arugula Pear and Parmesan Salad with Maple Walnuts is a great choice!
👍🏼 Helpful tips for how to toast walnuts
Taking a few minutes to toast the walnuts will pay off in a big boost of flavour! Toasting will help to release the nuts' natural oils, intensifying their flavour and darkening their colour. If you find that walnuts sometimes taste harsh, toasting will soften that bitterness.
The easiest method for toasting a small amount of nuts for a salad is to use the stovetop. Place the walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat. Shake the pan every minute or so to prevent them from browning too much. When you smell a deep nutty flavour, remove them from the heat and let them cool before adding them to your salad.
Blue cheese is a type of cheese made using penicillium cultures to produce blue veins of mold. It is a popular type of cheese that is enjoyed all over the world. Here are some of the health benefits of blue cheese:
High in calcium: Blue cheese is high in calcium, essential for healthy bones and teeth.
Contains probiotics: The mold in blue cheese contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help improve gut health.
Rich in protein: Blue cheese is a good source of protein, important for building and repairing tissues in the body.
May help reduce inflammation: Some studies have suggested that the compounds found in blue cheese may help reduce inflammation in the body.
Overall, blue cheese can be a nutritious and delicious addition to a healthy diet, but it is also high in saturated fat and sodium, so it should be consumed in moderation.
🍽 What to serve with blue cheese and walnut salad
- Baked Lemon Chicken with Garlic Mashed Potatoes: A simple baked chicken dish is a classic pairing with a hearty salad. Add garlic mashed potatoes on the side to round out the meal.
- Bourbon Maple Glazed Salmon with asparagus: The richness of baked salmon pairs well with the tangy blue cheese in this salad. Add Charred Asparagus and Crispy Lemon Oven-Roasted Potatoes on the side for a healthy and satisfying meal.
- Mushroom Black Bean Burger with Smoky Sweet Potato Wedges: For a meatless option, try a veggie burger with a side of sweet potato fries. The natural sweetness of the fries and the tanginess of the blue cheese balance the savoury burger flavours beautifully.
⏰ Storage Instructions
To store: You can make this blue cheese salad ahead of time. Store it covered in the fridge and add the dressing just before serving.
🗒 More healthy salad recipes
🌟Did you make this recipe?
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Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad with Cranberries
Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad
- 6 cups fresh mixed greens, like spinach, arugula, kale or romaine
- ½ cup blue cheese, or Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted
- ¼ cup red onion, diced or sliced
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
Maple Balsamic Dressing
- 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup olive oil, extra virgin
- ¼ teaspoon each sea salt or Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Toast the walnuts in a small skillet or sauté pan over medium heat on the stovetop for about 7 minutes. Shake the pan every minute or so, watching carefully that the nuts don't brown too quickly. When you smell a deep nutty aroma, remove the pan from the heat and let the walnuts cool completely.
- Wash and dry the salad greens. If using spinach or baby kale, remove the tough stems.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the mixed greens, crumbled blue cheese, walnut halves (or chopped walnuts), diced or sliced red onion and dried cranberries.
- In a separate small mixing bowl or jar with a lid, whisk together the maple balsamic dressing ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss until all ingredients are evenly coated. Serve immediately and enjoy!