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Apple, Beet & Fennel Salad

Apple, Beet & Fennel Salad with candied walnuts and simple balsamic vinaigrette is a sweet and savory flavor combination that is 100% crave-worthy and so easy to make!


Earthy beets, sweet apple, and the unmistakable flavor of fennel all dressed with a flavorful vinaigrette and topped with homemade candied walnuts.

This is one of those unusual dishes that turned out fantastic. It’s a must-try when beets and fennel are in high season!

The dressing is made with 4 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper) and is a delicious addition to the Apple, Beet and Fennel Salad.

candied nuts

Apple, Beet & Fennel Salad

Having fennel and beets sitting in the fridge, I set out to use them. A quick Google search brought me to a few various recipes, some of which included my favorite apple, the Fuji. And so this salad was born!

Ingredient Notes

  • Beets – Use red, or yellow for a less messy prep.
  • Apple – I love Fuji, but you opt for your favorite.
  • Fennel – Use the bulb, saving some of the delicate fronds for the salad.
  • Mint – Adds a nice cool flavor, but can be omitted.
  • Nuts – Either walnuts or pecans will be great.
  • Vinaigrette – A simple dressing made with evo, dijon, pure maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar (plus salt and pepper).

When I’m looking to add beets to my meal rotation, this is my go-to salad. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I did. Cheers :)


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5 from 3 reviews

Apple, Beet, and Fennel Salad features earthy beets, sweet apples, and the unmistakable flavor of fennel all dressed up with a flavorful maple-dijon balsamic vinaigrette and topped with crunchy candied walnuts. It’s a delicious flavor sensation!



Candied Walnuts

  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup


  • 1 red beet (uncooked), peeled and julienned (or grated)
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (save a few fronds reserved for garnish, if any)
  • 1 Fuji apple, or hard crisp apple or pear of choice, cored and diced (or grated)
  • small handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • arugula or spinach, to serve (optional)

Balsamic Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon or stone ground mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste


Roast the walnuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Place nuts in the center, drizzle with maple syrup, and using your finger, mix well to coat. Place in a single layer. Cook for about 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. The maple will caramelize on the nuts, and your home will smell oh-so good at this point!

Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinaigrette ingredients, whisk until well blended, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble: Prepare your vegetables, fruit, and herbs. Place them in a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the vinaigrette, and mix well.

Serve: Place individual servings on a small bed of arugula or spinach and garnish with nuts and a few fennel fronds. Enjoy this nutritious and delicious salad!

Serves 2 – 3


Since red beets tend to be pretty messy to work with, you may like to use golden beets instead. You may also consider using apple cider vinegar in place of the balsamic so the dark color of the balsamic doesn’t discolor your lighter-colored beets.

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  1. I have loved your site for years and last Christmas my mom needed a salad idea so I started reading off your recipes. She was sold on the first one so we made the Beet and Fennel for our family. This year the APPLE, BEET & FENNEL SALAD returned to dinners at both sides of the family (to all of our excitement). Thanks for up keeping such an amazing blog, your truly and inspiration and bring people AMAZING food that they can feel good about. Thank you!!!!!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you so much the kind words! I’m so happy everyone enjoyed this recipe. It’s so simple, and delicious!

      Happy Holidays to you and yours! Cheers :)

  2. We are in HEAVEN with this fabulous salad! Instead of doing up the nuts with maple syrup, I just added two handfuls of raw pumpkin seeds. It was still delicious.I love your site Julie, lots of great recipes and so easy to make.

  3. sonworshiper says:

    i made this last weekend for my dad- he loved it! i am not a fan of beets or arugula, but ate a full bowl of this tasty salad! i did not make the dijon vinegrette-i simply used oil and vinegar-but it was yummy all the same. thanks for inspiring me to make things i normally would not touch!ps- i used fresh beets, and they were a challenge to peel and grate-and they stained everything-so be sure to quickly wash all utensils and counters!!

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      I'm so glad you gave this a try! I'm going to have to make it again soon myself, it is so delicious!

      Red beets are very messy. I would also suggest using golden beets instead for less of a mess. :)

  4. minicourtney says:

    How do you prepare the beet?

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      I peeled and grated it. Feel free to dice it up as well…will be less messy!

  5. I've always wanted to try fennel on my salads, it's so pretty if nothing else. This may be the salad I finally try it on! Love the idea of grating the beets too. Great post!

    1. Thank you Angela. I agree that fennel is so pretty…I love the way its looks, green and white with its light and airy fronds. Hope you get a chance to try this one…I was pleasantly surprised myself. The first I had it I just added a bit of salt, pepper and a drizzle of maple syrup, I thought it was good that way too but the extra ingredients really add different levels and are tasty. It may even be good with just the olive oil and balsamic too. Lots of ways to vary it up and make it to your liking. Cheers to good eats :)

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