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September 12, 2016

by Alyssa

Apple + Pecan Arugula Salad with Herbed Cashew Cheese

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A simple apple and pecan arugula salad is topped with herbed cashew cheese and a creamy vegan maple-tahini dressing! Healthy, flavorful and easy to make!

Apple + Pecan Arugula Salad! topped with herbed cashew cheese balls and a maple-tahini dressing!

With apple season just around the corner, I thought it appropriate to kick off salad week with an autumn-inspired recipe that uses fresh apples and a maple tahini dressing! Two of my favorite ingredients, that always remind me of my roots in Vermont.

For our first full salad recipe of salad week (because yesterday was all about how to make tahini dressing), we're keeping things on the lighter side. It has a simple base of arugula and is then topped with sliced apples, tangy red onions, and pecans for some crunch. For even more flavor, we also have little balls of herbed cashew cheese.

If you're just now joining, all this week we're celebrating #SALADWEEK here on the blog and on my YouTube channel! All week long I'm going to be sharing healthy, flavorful, salad recipes that are simple to make, to give you some inspiration for your meals or office lunches.

All of these recipes you can make big batches of and then use for the week ahead. It helps make meal prep quick, easy and painless. Saves so much time!

How to make herbed cashew cheese!

For this Apple + Pecan Arugula Salad, we're going to want to start with the cashew cheese. We'll begin by soaking some raw cashews overnight, which helps soften them and make them super easy to blend. If you don't have that much time, I recommend that you soak them for at least 1 hour in boiling water–if you have a high powered blender, that should be enough time.

Once they've soaked, you can just blend them up with some lemon juice, herbs, salt, and pepper. It should be a fairly thick mixture, and you can either just use it as is on your salad, or as I did in the video, let it drain overnight to thicken up a little bit.

Honestly, depending on how much water you add, you don't really need to drain it and it will cut down on prep time 🙂

A super simple APPLE + PECAN ARUGULA SALAD topped with herbed cashew cheese and a maple-tahini dressing!

Then really it's just throwing everything into a bowl and digging in!

For toppings, we're using thinly sliced apples and red onions that complement each other nicely; both with a hint of sweetness, a tartness from the apples and a slight bite from the red onions. The pecans are pre-roasted, and add a nutty, buttery quality to the salad and help to make it even more filling and satisfying.

Then there's the goat cheese cashew cheese balls. Reminiscent of goat cheese, but without the dairy which I know for many of you is a no-no. If dairy is okay, feel free to swap in goat cheese and skip the cashew cheese altogether. After all, this is your salad!

A super simple APPLE + PECAN ARUGULA SALAD topped with herbed cashew cheese and a maple-tahini dressing!

So there we have it, friends. A simple apple + pecan arugula salad that is seriously perfect for the fall! (also, I can't believe it's actually Fall…oh boy, that means winter is just around the corner…ugh)

And of course, since we're celebrating Salad Week, I would LOVE to see your pictures on social media! You can use #SALADWEEK in your post (and also tag @simplyquinoa if you want!), and that will help me easily find your recipes and give you some love in return. Because you deserve some lovin' for all the hard work you do <3

xo Alyssa

A super simple APPLE + PECAN ARUGULA SALAD topped with herbed cashew cheese and a maple-tahini dressing!

More Amazing Salad Recipes to try:

Apple + Pecan Arugula Salad

A simple salad that is seriously perfect for the fall!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Resting time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 414kcal
Author Alyssa Rimmer
Print Pin
A super simple APPLE + PECAN ARUGULA SALAD topped with herbed cashew cheese and a maple-tahini dressing!
5 from 1 vote


  • 8 cups arugula
  • 3 medium apples thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced (shallot will also work)
  • 1 cup roasted pecan halves or raw pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1 batch Herbed Cashew Cheese broken into pieces (recipe below)
  • 1 batch Maple Tahini Dressing
  • for the cashew cheese:
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked overnight
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons water


  • Start with the cashew cheese. Drain and rinse your soaked cashews and add them to the jar of a high powdered blender (or food processor). Add the lemon, salt, herbs and spices and 1 tablespoon of water. Blend and add another tablespoon of water if needed. If draining, add the contents of the blender to a nut milk bag and squeeze the contents into a ball. Wrap the end of the bag around a chopstick and secure with a binder/chip clip. Set over a bowl and let drain overnight.
  • Assemble the salad. Divide the arugula into 4 bowls. Top with 1/4 of the rest of the ingredients. Crumble the cashew cheese on top and and drizzle with the tahini dressing.



Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 385mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 1060IU | Vitamin C: 17.5mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 2.7mg


Catch up on all the videos from #SALADWEEK!


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A super simple APPLE + PECAN ARUGULA SALAD topped with herbed cashew cheese and a maple-tahini dressing!

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

Interested in Healthy Eating? Grab our 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan!

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