The Ultimate Fall Crunch Salad #MeatlessMainDay

4 comments Fall Favorites, vegetables and salad, vegetarian I may earn money from products/companies mentioned in this post. This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission, at no extra charge to you, when you shop through my links. You're support is greatly appreciated!

Well, folks, my plans to share this Ultimate Fall Crunch Salad recipe with you all are officially over one year in the making. Completely forgetting to share a recipe for (just slightly over) 365 days is one way to build up the anticipation, right?! I first mentioned my Ultimate Fall Salad back in this post for our favorite creamy apple cider vinegar salad dressing I posted in September of 2019.

By the way, that apple cider vinegar salad dressing is still one of our all-time favorites and it’s also still the perfect accompaniment for this salad!

How to make an ultimate fall crunch salad

This hearty salad has all the fall feels: sweet bits of fresh apple, colorful carrots, flavorful dried cranberries, toasted pecans, pepitas, and sunflower seeds (a.k.a. the crunch) all served on a mixture of crisp lettuce and shaved Brussel sprouts! Every bite of this salad has a lovely harmony of sweet, tangy and earthy flavors.

I’m going to go ahead and mention it, however, I think you can see for yourself that this autumn-inspired salad is also pretty easy on the eyes!

I nearly always keep this Ultimate Fall Crunch Salad vegetarian, but it certainly can be a light and flavorful way to use up some leftover turkey from a holiday dinner. Adding a bit of chopped, roasted, or smoked turkey to the bowl would be a scrumptious addition to the flavor profile in this colorful dinner salad!

I’m hoping to squeeze in another post before the big turkey day 2020, but just in case I don’t:

Happy Thanksgiving and happy eating, y’all!

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The Ultimate Fall Crunch Salad

Recipe by Marcelle at A Little Fish in the Kitchen Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Chockful of fresh apples, sunflower seeds, pecans, dried cranberries and flavorful greens, this colorful Ultimate Fall Crunch Salad is earthy, sweet and a bit tangy. Please note: This recipe is meant to create a single serving of this Ultimate Fall Crunch Salad, so please double or otherwise increase the ingredients as needed for serving.


  • 1 tablespoon raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted sunflower seeds

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped pecans or another nut of your choice

  • 2 cups Romaine or red leaf lettuce, chopped or torn into bite-size pieces

  • 2 fresh Brussel sprouts, rinsed and thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons julienned or thinly sliced carrot

  • 1/4 of a sweet apple, rinsed and diced (skin on)

  • 1-2 tablespoons reduced sugar dried cranberries (I used Craisins brand)

  • thinly sliced red onion, optional


  • Heat a dry skillet to medium heat. Add the pepitas, sunflower seeds, and pecans to the pan and lightly toast them (this should take only 1-2 minutes. (Stir the nut mixture very often and don’t walk away from the pan, they can burn quickly!) Remove the nuts and seed from the skillet and set aside.
  • To serve, add the torn lettuce to a bowl and layer with thinly sliced fresh brussel sprouts (see notes below), julienned carrots, chopped apple, and finally the dried cranberries. (Refer to the recipe video for a full demonstration, if needed)
  • Top the salad with the toasted pecan and seed mixture. As a final ingredient, add some sliced red onions, if desired.
  • This salad is excellent served with this tangy, Creamy Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing, or substitute in another salad dressing that you prefer!

Recipe Video


  • Raw Brussel sprouts are known to give some people tummy trouble. If this is the case for you or a guest, but you want to include them in this salad, prepare Brussel sprouts by sauteing them in a bit of olive oil and allow them to cool completely before adding them to the salad. Cooking them may reduce any stomach discomfort they may typically cause.
  • Recipe from A Little Fish in the Kitchen blog at All content is owned by Marcelle G. Bolton. Please contact the author for permission to republish.ย 


  1. Flavorful, colorful AND with great texture – what more could anyone want? BTW – love your apple cider vinegar dressing. We used it a lot this summer.

  2. This is fun. I like the crunch and the freshness, and I like your vinaigrette as well. Wasnโ€™t sure what made it creamy, but i like the mayo as an ingredient!

  3. Fun looking salad — definitely worth waiting for! I’m a fan of Brussels sprouts wherever I can find them, so happy to see they make an appearance here. Good stuff — thanks.

  4. It looks so fresh, crunchy and tasty!

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