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Balsamic Bacon Apple Salad

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Balsamic bacon apple salad may look fancy, but it’s incredibly easy to make.

Romaine lettuce is tossed with fresh apples, crispy bacon, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds. A delicious balsamic dressing is drizzled over top for the perfect healthy side dish for a variety of Fall and Winter meals.

Serve this with roasted turkey, roast beef, pork chops or your favorite chicken recipe.

A bowl of balsamic bacon apple salad with small bowls of pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries in the corner.

Easy Salad with Balsamic

Fall flavors are combined into a delicious salad in this easy recipe.

  • Romaine lettuce is easy and budget-friendly. One head of lettuce is chopped to create this salad. Feel free to substitute with your favorite greens though!
  • The salad and dressing can be prepped in advance if they’re stored separately. Once mixed, this salad should be eaten right away to prevent soggy lettuce.
  • You can add protein including chopped cooked chicken or canned tuna for an easy lunch idea. Canned beans including lentils or chickpeas would also be delicious.
  • A simple, yet flavorful balsamic maple dressing is used in this recipe. It’s easy and affordable. If balsamic isn’t your thing, try one of our six healthy salad dressing recipes.
  • For more Fall salad recipes try our sweet potato kale salad with avocado dressing, our COBB salad, or the Fall harvest salad with squash and pomegranate.
  • Balsamic vinegar adds wonderful flavor to other recipes too, like our balsamic rosemary beets, basil balsamic pan fried tofu and our balsamic glazed chicken wings.
Recipe ingredients on the counter including a head of romaine lettuce, and bowls of olive oil, pumpkin seeds, chopped cooked bacon, dried cranberries, dijon mustard and maple syrup.

Recipe Ingredients

GREENS: One head of romaine lettuce is chopped, washed and dried for the recipe. Kale or spring salad mix can also be used.

APPLES: You’ll need 1-2 red apples. Choose your favorite type of apple, it really doesn’t matter which kind.

DRESSING: The salad dressing is homemade using olive oil, balsamic vinegar, real maple syrup (not maple flavored syrup), dijon mustard, salt and pepper. This is drizzled and tossed on top of the salad.

BACON: It can be cooked in a frying pan or baked in the oven. You can also use store-bought bacon bits to save time.

PUMPKIN SEEDS: I chose unshelled raw pumpkin seeds. You can also use roasted salted pumpkin seeds (unshelled). Or try sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts or slivered almonds.

Four images grouped together showing steps to make the recipe. First is a frying pan with cooked bacon strips. Second is a bowl with various liquids and spices unmixed that are used to make the salad dressing. Third is chopped head of romaine lettuce on a cutting board. Fourth is chopped apple with a knife on a cutting board.

How To Make Balsamic Bacon Apple Salad

This salad couldn’t be easier to make! Here’s a quick overview with full instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Cook bacon and crumble it. Chop the lettuce and apples.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Add lettuce, apples, bacon, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds to a large salad bowl. Toss with the salad dressing. Serve immediately.
Looking down at a large salad bowl with chopped apples, bacon, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries in separate groups on top of a bed of lettuce. Salad dressing with a spoon in a separate small bowl.

Salad Tips

  • Keep the salad ingredients and dressing separate until you’re ready to serve. Otherwise, the lettuce will turn soggy.
  • Avoid brown apples by adding them to a bowl of water with salt. Let them sit for 1-2 minutes. Rinse and pat them dry before adding them to the salad.
  • We chose romaine lettuce because it’s inexpensive and tastes great. However, you can also use any of your favorite salad mixes, chopped kale or baby spinach.
  • I do not recommend storing leftovers. The lettuce will be too soggy after the dressing is absorbed. If you want this salad to last longer, keep the dressing separate and add it to single-serving portions.
  • Kale is a heartier green that can be substituted for the romaine lettuce. It would also help to keep this salad lasting longer. Especially if you want to meal prep it for lunches during the week.
Close up of the balsamic apple bacon salad with pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries.

More Delicious Salad Recipes

These 5 salad recipes are full of incredible flavor.

Balsamic Bacon Apple Salad

The perfect salad to serve with a varitey of Fall and Winter meals.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings



  • Cook the bacon in a frying pan or baked in the oven. Pat dry with a paper towel, then crumble into smaller pieces.
    A frying pan with cooked bacon.
  • Chop the apples into bite-size pices. Wash and chop the romaine lettuce.
    Chopped apples and chopped romaine lettuce on cutting boards with knifes.
  • OPTIONAL STEP: Add the apples to a bowl with enough cool water to cover them. Sprinkle in ½ tsp of sat and stir. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, then rinse and drain. Pat them dry. This will prevent the apples from turning brown (this step is optional).
    Two images. First is apples covered in water in a bowl. Second is chopped apples drying on a kitchen towel.
  • In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
    Two images together. First is a white bowl with oils and spices dumped in. Second is a brown salad dressing mixed together with a small spatula.
  • Assemble the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. First add the chopped romaine lettuce. Add on top the chopped apple, crispy bacon crumbles, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
    Drizzle on the salad dressing and toss everything together. Serve immediately.
    Two images of a large salad bowl. First with salad ingredients divided on top of romaine lettuce. Second is fall apple salad mixed together in the bowl with salad spoons.

Recipe Notes:

  • Do not add the dressing to the salad until just before serving. Otherwise, the romaine lettuce will turn soggy.
  • This salad doesn’t store well when the salad dressing is mixed in. If you want to store leftovers, keep the dressing separate and add a drizzle on individual serving portions.
  • We chose romaine lettuce because it’s the most inexpensive and tastes great. However, you can also use any of your favorite salad mixes, chopped kale or baby spinach.


Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 531mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 6188IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving.

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