Simple Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries

This Simple Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries is my FAVORITE go-to salad! With creamy goat cheese, crunchy red onions, candied pecans and tart cranberries, it truly is the ultimate sweet and savory combo. Serve as a side at dinner, the holiday table or pair it with your favorite protein to make a complete meal!

Simple Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries in a serving bowl with salad tongs

Dare I say this is my new favorite salad!? I know i’ve probably said that before…but guys, we need to reevaluate. Because this delicious salad with goat cheese and cranberries has it ALL.

Fresh greens, creamy goat cheese, crunchy candied pecans, red onions to give it a little bite, all tossed with the most luscious and flavorful balsamic dressing. It’s a light and refreshing salad that has a delicious touch of sweetness! So many amazing sweet and savory combos going on.

This simple salad with cranberries and goat cheese makes the perfect side salad for the holiday table or any night at the dinner table! Serve it alongside some Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders, steak, or salmon. Or top it with some Air Fryer Grilled Chicken Nuggets to make an entree salad. The perfect salad for any occasion!

Simple Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries in a serving bowl with salad tongs

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS SALAD WITH GOAT CHEESE AND CRANBERRIES

  • Fresh goat cheese + candied pecans + dried cranberries – I mean what is not to love?
  • Sweet + savory flavor explosion – your taste buds will be dancing!
  • Simple and easy to make – as the name suggests, this salad is simple and effortless to come together.
  • Works as a side dish or entree salad – serve alongside dinner as a side or top with protein to make it a meal.
  • 5 star keeper – truly one of the most delicious salads you’ll ever make. I can guarantee you’ll make it again!
Ingredients for Simple Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SALAD

  • Mixed greens – or spring mix, arugula, baby spinach, kale, any mix greens of choice works!
  • Red onion – for the delicious fresh crunch.
  • Dried cranberries – I used reduced-sugar.
  • Candied pecans – I used store bought this time for connivence but you also make your own.
  • Goat cheese – use the log! The pre-crumbled kind is always going to be drier than the log of goat cheese. Make sure you get the log!

FOR THE SALAD DRESSING

  • Balsamic vinegar – can sub with white balsamic vinegar if needed.
  • Mayonnaise – regular, light, reduced-fat – they all work. For the healthiest option, grab some reduced-fat mayo made with olive oil or one made with avocado oil.
  • Maple syrup – I used pure maple syrup. Just a little is used for this recipe so I wouldn’t recommend subbing for sugar-free pancake syrup for this recipe unless you needed to for health or dietary reasons (it hardly changes the nutrition information anyway).
  • Olive oil – make sure it’s extra-virgin (not light olive oil). Extra-virgin works best for dressing and marinades! You could also use avocado oil here.
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper – the freshly cracked black pepper makes such a difference here!
Simple salad with goat cheese and cranberries served in small bowls with forks

HOW TO MAKE SIMPLE SALAD WITH GOAT CHEESE AND CRANBERRIES

  1. For the salad dressing: Add all the ingredients for the dressing to a bowl or jar. Whisk (or shake) until all ingredients are mixed together well. Season dressing with more salt or pepper if needed.
  2. For the salad: Add the mixed greens to a large bowl. Add the sliced red onion, dried cranberries, candied nuts and goat cheese to the bowl on top of the greens. If serving immediately, go ahead and toss with dressing. If not, you can store dressing separately so salad keeps fresh longer. 
  3. Toss everything gently together. Divide into four serving bowls or plates. Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper and serve!

HOW TO STORE

Store salad with dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days.

If you wish to make this salad last longer, you can store the dressing in a separate container from the salad. Then just add the dressing whenever you’re ready to eat! Storing separately, the salad will stay fresh for 4-5 days.

Simple Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries in a serving bowl with salad tongs

FAQ: GOAT CHEESE SALAD RECIPE

Can I use a different cheese than goat cheese?

Sure! I think a crumbly cheese holds up best in this recipe. So if you wanted to use something different, feta cheese or blue cheese crumbles would work!

What to eat with salad with goat cheese and cranberries?

Serve along a juicy steak, chicken breast, salmon fillet, chicken nuggets or chicken tenders. Or make it into an entree salad by adding grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken on top.

How much salad dressing does this recipe make?

Enough to lightly dress the entire salad. If it’s not enough dressing for you, feel free to make more. A lot of times I’ll double or triple the recipe just to use and to have the extra stored on hand!

How long does this salad stay fresh for?

If tossed with dressing it will stay fresh 1-2 days. If salad is stored separate from dressing, salad will stay fresh 4-5 days. This all depends on the freshness level of the greens you used too.

Simple Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries in a serving bowl with salad tongs

WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?

If you try this Simple Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries and love it, please give this recipe a star rating! 

You can also tag me on Instagram or TikTok, @LaurenFitFoodie. It makes my day seeing your yummy recreations!

Yield: 6 servings

Simple Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries

Simple Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries

This Simple Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries is my FAVORITE go-to salad! With creamy goat cheese, crunchy red onions, candied pecans and tart cranberries, it truly is the ultimate sweet and savory combo. Serve as a side at dinner, the holiday table or pair it with your favorite protein to make a complete meal!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 8 cups baby mixed greens or spring mix, arugula, spinach (about 5 oz.)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (120g)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (40g) - I used reduced sugar
  • 1/3 cup candied pecans (40g)
  • 4 oz. goat cheese - use the log

Creamy Balsamic Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (30g)
  • 3 Tbsp light mayonnaise (45g)
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (15g)
  • 2 tsp olive oil (10g)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients for the dressing to a bowl or jar. Whisk (or shake) until all ingredients are mixed together well.
  2. Add the mixed greens to a large bowl. Add the sliced red onion, dried cranberries, candied nuts and goat cheese to the bowl on top of the greens. If serving immediately, go ahead and toss with dressing. If not, you can store dressing separately so salad keeps fresh longer.
  3. Toss everything gently together. Divide into four serving bowls or plates. Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper and serve!

If you wish to make this salad last longer, you can store the dressing separate from the salad. Then just add the dressing whenever you’re ready to eat. Storing separately, the salad will stay fresh for 4-5 days.

Notes

MFP entry: LFF Simple Salad with Goat Cheese

MFP entry: LFF Simple Salad with Goat Cheese (Salad only)

1/6 portion (80g)
Nutrition per serving: 148 calories 13.5C / 8.4F / 4.6P

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1/6 portion (100g)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 11.7gSaturated Fat: 3.8gCarbohydrates: 17.4gFiber: 4.6gSugar: 7.8gProtein: 4.6g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @LaurenFitFoodie! 

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