Candied Walnut, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing [Gluten Free & Dairy Free]

Are you looking for a healthy salad recipe that everyone loves?  This candied walnut, apple and goat cheese arugula salad is a family favorite!  It meets our gluten free and dairy free dietary needs by being served with the toppings on the side.

My older daughter loves it all and eats it as is.  My younger daughter eats the salad toppings separately and adds ranch to her arugula (we consider this a victory).  We all add chicken to make it a balanced, healthy meal.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the homemade dressing.  It is super easy to make and is healthier and tastier than store bought.   You can also save money by making your own candied nuts using my how-to video.  See how I like to serve this healthy salad for dinner parties and groups here


Yield: 4 servings

Candied Walnut, Apple and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing

candied walnut salad served on salad platter
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


For Salad

  • 1 Large Shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Medium Apples – diced 1/2″
  • 4 oz Plain Goat Cheese
  • 16 oz Arugula
  • 2 cups of Candied Walnuts (see Recipe)

For Dairy-Free Candied Walnuts

  • 2 cups of walnuts
  • 1 T butter replacement (I prefer Melt Organic)
  • 1 t Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup

For Maple Dijon Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 T Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 medium sized Clove of Garlic – pressed
  • 1 T Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients for dressing and whisk together in a small bowl or dressing container
  2. Prepare candied walnuts
    Melt butter substitute on skillet at low heat. Add walnuts (you can also use pecans), stir to cover with butter substitute. Increase heat to Medium high. Add remaining ingredients. Stir constantly so nuts and sugar don’t burn. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Continue stirring until the sugar thickens. Spread and separate nuts on parchment paper or aluminum foil. Allow to cool before using.
  3. Prepare all ingredients for salad
  4. Toss together, with dressing

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 368Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 298mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 6gSugar: 24gProtein: 13g

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