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Spinach, Arugula, Cranberry and Walnut Salad

This Spinach Cranberry Salad loaded with sweet cranberries, goat cheese, walnuts, spinach and arugula makes a gorgeous addition to your holiday table!

Let’s be honest, when it comes to holiday meals, a lot of them are on the heavy side. There are decadent desserts. Hearty sides. Not to mention the show stopping mains. And while all of it is delicious,  it’s also nice to have a dish that lightens things up a bit without sacrificing the holiday flavors we are all used to. Salads are great for that! 

Overhead photo of spinach cranberry salad up close.

Take this Spinach Cranberry Salad for instance. It’s loaded with dried cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese, spinach and arugula. But the holiday flavor doesn’t end there, it’s also all tossed in a tangy cranberry vinaigrette. The result is a flavorful, gorgeous. salad that will be the perfect addition to your holiday table. 

What ingredients do you need? 

Overhead photo of salad ingredients.

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: Always a must for vinaigrettes in my opinion. 

WHITE WINE VINEGAR: It has a light fruity flavor that is perfect in the cranberry dressing. 

DRIED CRANBERRIES: These are tart yet sweet. And the pop of red color is gorgeous. 

SPINACH: Baby spinach works great. 

ARUGULA: One of my favorite greens to add to salads. It adds a slight peppery flavor. 

WALNUTS: These add a great crunch to the salad. 

GOAT CHEESE: One of my favorite cheeses! It’s tangy and creamy,  I love it in salads! 

Step by Step Photos and Instructions: 

STEP #1: Combine olive oil, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries in a small food processor. Pulse until cranberries are small and dressing is emulsified. Allow to set at room temperature for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Whisk once more before using. 

Cranberry vinaigrette in a food processor.

STEP #2:  Pour dressing into the bottom of the bowl and add in remaining salad ingredients.

Pouring dressing into a bowl.

STEP #3:Toss to coat all ingredients in the dressing. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve immediately. 

Side view of spinach cranberry salad.

If you want to make this salad a head of time that’s fine. Instead of putting the dressing the bottom of the bowl, simply assemble the salad and pour the dressing over the top right before you’re ready to eat. 

Guys, I love, love LOVE this Spinach Cranberry Salad. And so did my family! You’re going to want to add it to your holiday table. Trust me. 

Looking for more holiday side dishes? Check these out: 

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

The BEST Easy Stuffing 

Southern Style Green Beans 

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese 

Love salads? Me too!  Here are some of my favorite salad and dressing recipes:  

Spinach Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette 

Italian Chopped Salad 

Garlic Vinaigrette 

Thousand Island Dressing

Homemade Caesar Dressing

Note: This recipe and post was originally written in 2009. It was updated with new step by step photos, instructions and nutrition information in 2020. 

Spinach, Arugula, Cranberry and Walnut Salad Recipe

Serves 4 Prep Time:
5 based on 1 reviews

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dried sweetened cranberries
  • 3 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt

Instructions

1

Combine olive oil, vinegar and 2 tablespoons cranberries in a food processor. Process until berries are finely chopped, about 30 seconds. Allow to set for 30 minutes at room temperature.

2

Pour dressing into the bottom of a salad bowl. Add in remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

3

Toss to combine and coat in dressing.

Notes

This salad is quick, easy, flavorful and best of all might bring a little more pretty to your Thanksgiving table than say, a log of cranberry "sauce". I'm just sayin'. Enjoy!

Nutrition information

Calories: 165 , Total Fat: 13.6g , Saturated Fat: 2g , Cholesterol: 1mg , Sodium: 77mg , Carbohydrates: 9.3g , Fiber: 2.2g , Sugar: 3.9g , Protein: 3.6g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    Mom
    November 16, 2020 at 10:32 am

    Yum that looks really good and healthy too!!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    March 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I just made this salad, and it was so easy and tastes awesome! I’ve had this sort of salad in restaurants, and I actually like this version better. I’ve had it with chicken or steak before, but like it as is. I have had a similar salad with strawberries/blueberries, so just a change up, add those and it’s just as good, and awesome in summer. Thank you for posting this, I highly recommend it.

  • Reply
    michelle
    November 18, 2009 at 6:30 am

    This looks great and so simple! I love how easy it is to make the cranberry dressing.

  • Reply
    Soma
    November 15, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    A perfect lunch for me!

  • Reply
    Anita
    November 12, 2009 at 1:18 am

    What a pretty salad. I like the idea of a cranberry dressing too

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.