Blue Cheese, Apple, Grape and Walnut Salad Recipe

4 servings
25 min

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My blue cheese, apple, grape and walnut salad is hearty, healthy and flavourful. You'll love this yummy mix of tastes and textures with sweet red grapes, salty blue cheese, crunchy apples and walnuts. I've also incorporated pearled spelt to ensure that the salad is a filling and satisfying meal rather than a side dish.

What's more, this salad is so easy and quick to prepare. You just need to follow a few steps of simple prep, throw the ingredients together and it will be ready in under 25 minutes. Store the salad in the fridge for up to three days - ideal for meal prep and packed lunches.

How to make blue cheese, apple, grape, and walnut salad:

1. Pearled spelt

Cook the pearled spelt according to packet instructions, this usually takes around 10 minutes. Set aside and leave to cool when ready.

2. Toast the walnuts

Place the walnuts in a frying pan on a high heat until they start to brown. Stir after a couple of minutes to ensure they are evenly toasted. The walnuts should be toasted in less than 5 minutes.

3. Make the dressing

Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and honey.

4. Mix everything together and enjoy!

Add the cooled pearled spelt, salad leaves, apples, grapes, blue cheese and walnuts to a large salad bowl and pour on the dressing. Toss everything together and serve.

3 tips for the perfect blue cheese, apple, grape and walnut salad:

  1. Cook the pearled spelt in advance - pearled spelt should be cool when the salad is served. Cook it at least an hour before you plan to eat the salad or the night before.
  2. Don't turn your back on the walnuts - it only takes a few minutes to toast the walnuts so they can easily burn if you leave them on the stove too long. Keep an eye on them and give them a stir after a couple of minutes so they toast evenly.
  3. Ensure the dressing is of a thick but pourable consistency - I've listed water as an optional ingredient because the amount you'll need to add / whether you need any at all depends on the type of balsamic you are using. My balsamic is very thick and gloopy so I add 1 tbsp of water to bring it to a pourable consistency. If your balsamic is thinner you won't need to add a whole tablespoon of water and you may not need any at all.

Can you substitute any of the ingredients in blue cheese, apple, grape and walnut salad?

The answer is yes - this salad is pretty flexible. Most ingredients can be swapped for other options if you don't have all the ingredients listed or are unable to find some of them.

  • Pearled spelt - farro, quinoa and pearl couscous are all good alternatives
  • Walnuts - swap for pecans, almonds or pistachios
  • Blue cheese - any type of blue cheese will work in this salad but feta is another option if you're not a fan of blue cheese
  • Apples - try swapping for pears, they'll also bring a crunchy sweetness to the salad
  • Grapes - substitute for cherries
  • Dressing - if you don't have all the dressing ingredients a simple mix of olive oil and balsamic will do the job
Other modifications to try:

  • Add meat - small pieces of crispy bacon/pancetta or pieces of chicken breast will taste yummy with the ingredients in this salad
  • Make it a side dish - the blue cheese, apple, grape and walnut salad recipe should provide a balanced and satisfying meal in itself. Omit the pearled spelt if you wish to serve it as a side dish.

How long will the salad keep for?

The blue cheese, apple, grape and walnut salad will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Avoid soggy leaves by refrigerating the dressing separately and ensure other ingredients are covered to keep everything fresh.

More light vegetarian recipes:

Blue Cheese, Apple, Grape and Walnut Salad Recipe
Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 25 min
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  • 200g / 1 cup + 2 tbsp pearled spelt
  • 80g / ⅔ cup walnuts - roughly chopped
  • 150g / 5oz  blue cheese - chopped and crumbled
  • 2 apples - cored and thinly sliced
  • 150g / 5oz red grapes - cut into thirds
  • 200g /70z  mixed salad leaves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp water (optional)

Cook the pearled spelt according to packet instructions and set aside to cool - do this in advance if you can so it has time to cool. (note 1)
Place a small frying pan on a high heat and toast the walnuts until brown. Give them a stir after 2 minutes to ensure they are toasted evenly. (note 2)
Make the dressing by mixing the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard and water (if needed) until combined. (note 3)
Place all ingredients into a large salad bowl, pour the dressing on and toss until all ingredients and dressing are combined.
  • 1. Pearled spelt normally takes around 10 minutes to cook but can take up to an hour to cool. 2. Walnuts will take less than 5 minutes to toast, keep an eye on them and don't let them burn!3. If you are using a thick and gloopy balsamic vinegar it's likely you'll need to add 1 tbsp of water to get the dressing to a pourable consistency. If you're using a thinner/more watery balsamic add less or no water.
Helen | Knife & Soul
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  • LYNDA LYNDA on Jun 24, 2022

    what is spelt?

    • See 1 previous
    • Helen | Knife & Soul Helen | Knife & Soul on Jun 24, 2022

      Hi Lynda, it's a type of wheat grain. If you can't get hold of it you can swap it for another grain of your choice. Brown rice, quinoa and pearl couscous would all work well. You can also omit it altogether and make less dressing if you want to enjoy it as a side salad.

  • LYNDA LYNDA on Jun 24, 2022

    Thanks for information