Chopped Autumn Salad
on Oct 14, 2021, Updated Oct 19, 2023
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This autumn salad has everything you want from a chopped salad with classic seasonal ingredients. It has roasted sweet potatoes, diced apples and pears all tossed in a mix of kale and romaine. Crumbled blue cheese and pumpkin seeds finish this crisp, fresh salad that’s a recipe to bookmark for Thanksgiving.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Chopped salads give you something tasty and different in each bite. I’ve never met a chopped salad I didn’t like or pretty much love. What’s there not to get excited about when everything is cut into perfect fork-sized bites? A good chopped salad packs in A LOT of things into a single bowl. Embrace this fall-themed ingredient list because it will be worth it. Trust me.
This fall salad is perfect for weekdays or even holidays like Thanksgiving. Because so many fruits and veggies are in season right now, I think you’re obligated to find a way to use both. That’s why I include sweet potatoes, apples and pears in this salad. I roast the sweet potatoes, and I leave the apples and pears raw, just dicing them.
You will love the balance of savory and sweet. The best fall salads have an assortment of tastes and textures, and this salad recipe does that with fruits and vegetables. Then there are extras thrown into the mix like crumbled blue cheese and pumpkin seeds.
Why Two Kinds of Lettuce are Better than One
Don’t call it indecision. I use two kinds of greens in the salad. Romaine hearts are the lighter green, more yellow inner leaves of a head of romaine. Most often you see them in Caesar salads.
To go with the romaine hearts, I chop lacinato kale. The bitter dark green kale leaves are a sturdy base for the weight of the sweet potatoes, apples and pears. Hearts of romaine are a touch sweet, so they balance out the bitterness of the kale.
These are the ingredients for this fall salad:
- Sweet Potatoes: The recipe calls for 2 medium sweet potatoes, which is about a pound. You can use cubed butternut squash instead.
- Apples: The crisper the apple, the better. Just think about the crisp, fresh lettuce. Some of my go-to varieties include Pink Lady and Honeycrisp.
- Pears: In a way, pears are more mellow than apples. I love how they go together as the sweet elements in the salad.
- Romaine: I use hearts of romaine for their crisp texture—you can probably tell now that there’s a theme with this chopped salad!
- Kale: The combination of lacinato kale with the romaine and the sweet potatoes, apples and pears tastes very appropriate for the season.
- Pumpkin seeds: Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds add crunch. You can substitute with chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Blue cheese: Pungent blue cheese offsets the sweetness of the fruit. If blue is to much for your tastes, you can swap it for goat cheese or feta cheese.
- Scallions: Sliced scallions add subtle onion flavor. If you want something stronger, use 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions.
- Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley gives the salad something herby.
- Sherry vinaigrette: The dressing is a simple mix of sherry vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. You can substitute with apple cider vinegar.
How To Make This Autumn Salad
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
1. Roast the sweet potatoes. Toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper on a sheet pan.Spread them into a single layer. Roast until tender and lightly browned at the edges. This will take 25-30 minutes.
2. Make the vinaigrette. Whisk the garlic, mustard, honey sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
3. Combine the salad in a large bowl, including the romaine, kale, scallions, apples, pears, pumpkin seeds, blue cheese, parsley and sweet potatoes.
4. Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad. Toss everything to combine.
As mentioned, this would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving spread. With roasted turkey and everything else, you might forget about a salad. But having a fresh salad is a must-have side dish for big holiday meals.
This salad is worthy of a main dish fall lunch or dinner. Don’t hesitate to add a protein like chicken, salmon or tofu if you want a little something more.
- You can roast the sweet potatoes up to 2 days in advance. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Then let them sit out at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, so they aren’t as cold as when you initially take them out of the fridge.
- You can make the vinaigrette up to 3 days ahead of time. Keep it in the fridge in an airtight container. Take it out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before you’re going to stir it into the salad. Oil has a tendency to harden in cold temperatures. You can also gently shake the jar with the dressing. Just make sure the lid is on tight.
Leave out the cheese or use a plant-based substitute. Also use maple syrup in the vinaigrette instead of honey.
Yes, if you want more fall sweet flavors, dried cranberries are a great addition. Just make sure to pull them apart because they tend to stick together in clumps in the bag.
More Fall Salad Recipes
Kale Apple Salad
Apple Cabbage Salad
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
Sweet Potato Kale Salad
Fig Arugula Salad
Kale Fingerling Potato Salad
Pear Arugula Salad
Roasted Squash Salad
Chopped Autumn Salad
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, about 1 pound, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 hearts romaine, chopped
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves finely chopped
- 1 crisp apple diced
- 1 pear diced
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper on a sheet pan and spread into a single layer. Roast for 25-30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender and slightly browned at the edges.
- In a large bowl, combine the romaine, kale, apples, pears, pumpkin seeds, blue cheese, scallions, parsley and sweet potatoes.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, mustard, honey, sherry vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette in the salad, tossing to combine.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.