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Harvest Salad with Applesauce Vinaigrette

Combine all the flavors of Autumn in one big bowl with this delicious harvest salad with applesauce vinaigrette. Roasted winter squash, pecans, wild rice, and apples make a hearty fall salad.

A white bowl full of harvest salad with a napkin and fork to the right, a small pitcher of dressing behind it with a wicker cornucopia and text overlay stating: harvest salad applesauce vinaigrette.

Highlight all the flavors of seasonal fall foods in one easy to make bowl. This fall salad takes a few steps of cooking to pull together but does store well and can easily be made a day ahead.

Rice Blend

Use any rice you like for this salad. The wild and brown rice combinations sold in many grocery stores is quite nice.

However, all wild rice or all brown rice will also work quite easily and well.

Simply cook a big batch of rice when making dinner and save some to make this salad tomorrow.

Roasted Squash

This recipe was tested with acorn squash with the peel left on. However, feel free to roast any winter squash you have on hand. Peel, if desired and necessary.

Roasted sweet potatoes would also likely work, though I didn’t test it.

Treat Apples for Browning

Because the salad can sit before serving, treat the apples to prevent browning.

Do this simply by adding 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of water. Soak the chopped apples in the water for about 5 minutes, the drain and add to your salad.

A white bowl full of harvest salad with a napkin and fork to the right, a small pitcher of dressing behind it with a wicker cornucopia.

Any Apple will Do

Use any apple you have on hand. Something firm and tart is especially nice but there’s no reason to go buy something special.

Peeling is completely optional. If you leave the peels on the squash you might want to remove them on the apples. If you remove peels on the squash, leave them on the apples as an example. Leaving peels on everything is just fine.

Other Optional Additions

While the salad is quite tasty as it is written, there are some ways to bulk it up if desired:

  • Toss in 1 cup of dried cranberries for added texture
  • Add 1 cup of pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • Some pears in addition to or in substitution of the apples would be tasty
A white bowl full of harvest salad with a napkin and fork to the right, a small pitcher of dressing behind it with a wicker cornucopia.

The Dressing

The applesauce vinaigrette is quite a lovely addition but feel to use any dressing you quite like here. A balsamic vinaigrette or something quite herbal would be very nice as well.

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Serve with Greens

Stretch the salad even further by tossing it with some fresh greens. Microgreens would also work for a tender bed under the hearty harvest salad.

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Yield: 6 Servings

Harvest Salad

A white bowl full of harvest salad, with a glass pitcher of applesauce vinaigrette behind it.

A hearty and flavorful salad perfect for fall harvests.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


Roasted Squash

  • 1 Pound Acorn Squash, seeded & chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Rice Salad

  • 2 Cups Cooked Rice
  • 1 Large Apple, Diced
  • 1 Cup Pecans, chopped
  • 1 Cup Celery, chopped

Applesauce Vinaigrette

  • 6 Tablespoons Applesauce
  • 6 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste


Roast the Squash

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, tossing to coat.
  3. Roast in the squash in the oven for about 20 minutes or until it softens and turns slightly golden.
  4. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Make the Vinaigrette

  1. Whisk together the applesauce, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar.
  2. Add the ginger, salt, and pepper. Whisking well.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Assemble the Salad

  1. In a large bowl, combine the rice, apple, pecans, roasted squash, and celery.
  2. Toss everything together to mix well.
  3. Refrigerate to keep cool until serving.
  4. Toss with the dressing just prior to serving.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 315Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 77mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 4g

Other Things to Do With Apples

Apples are an iconic fall fruit and while they are wonderful eating fresh, they can also be preserved and cooked. To help you eat more apples during the fall season, here are some of our favorite apple recipes.

Thanks for sharing!


Friday 25th of September 2020

I never had a wild rice salad before but it sounds delicious! I will try this recipe soon.

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