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What better way to celebrate fall than with a hearty, warm Goat Cheese Salad? Inspired by a recent trip to Quebec, this salad is made with lettuce, arugula, crispy apples, toasted pecans, and fresh blueberries. Drizzled with a lemon-maple vinaigrette, it is then topped with crunchy sourdough bread and goat cheese toasts (the way we love to make goat cheese salad in France). For all the wine lovers out there, this recipe is begging to be paired with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc! Simply delicious.

goat cheese salad with arugula, apple, blueberries and pecans in a serving plate with blueberries and goat cheese on the side

Why you should try this recipe

  • Insanely flavorful – you’ve got the creamy goat cheese, the peppery arugula, the sweet apple, the crunchy pecans, and that zesty maple-lemon vinaigrette. A flavor combo that just works.
  • Wholesome and nutritious – not only is this salad delicious, but it’s also packed with healthy greens, vitamins, and antioxidants. It’s a win-win!
  • Versatile and fresh – whether you want a starter, side dish, or main course, this salad’s got your back. It’s fresh, vibrant, and perfect for fall gatherings. Plus, it’s a real crowd-pleaser… just try it out and you’ll see!
  • A recipe for goat cheese fans – another addition to the goat cheese series on this blog, alongside Asparagus, Burrata and Goat’s Cheese Crostini, 5-Ingredient Goat’s Cheese Broccoli Quiche and Goat’s Cheese Popovers with Lemon Chives Butter!
lettuce, arugula, apples, blueberries, pecans, goat cheeses, rosemary and a load of bread on a wooden table

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The ingredients you’ll need

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the end of the post.)

  • Goat cheese – semi-soft goat cheeses work best for this salad. I chose crottins de chèvre (a semi-soft goat cheese from France) but any kind of semi-soft goat cheese works!
  • Sourdough bread – the French way to make warm goat cheese toast!
  • Dried rosemary (optional) – to sprinkle on top of the goat cheese toasts.
  • Lettuce – such as red leaf lettuce, butterhead lettuce, or romaine lettuce.
  • Arugula – adds pepperiness to the salad.
  • Apples – after many trials, I find that Gala or Honeycrisp apples work best in this salad. Pink Lady, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith are also great options!
  • Raw pecans – for some delicious nuttiness and crunch.
  • Blueberries (fresh) – add floral and woody flavors to the salad.

For the lemon-maple vinaigrette:

  • One lemon – preferably organic, as this recipe uses both zest and juice.
  • Maple syrup – adds sweetness and complexity to the vinaigrette. Plus, it pairs so well with apples, pecans, and goat cheese!
  • Good quality extra-virgin olive oil – contributes to both the flavor and consistency of the vinaigrette.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper – to season.

olive oil, maple syrup, a lemon, salt and pepper on a wooden surface

How to make Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula, Apple, and Pecans?

(Note: please see the recipe card below for the complete written instructions and measurements.)

Start by making the lemon-maple vinaigrette.

  • In a jam jar or bowl, combine extra-virgin olive oil, maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Shake to emulsify (or stir dynamically with a small whisk or a spoon if using a bowl).
  • The vinaigrette is ready. Set aside. 

lemon-maple vinaigrette in a jam jar

Prepare the goat cheese toats.

  • Preheat the oven to 410°F (210°C).
  • Slice the sourdough bread into four ½-inch (1 cm) slices. Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Generously line the sourdough sliced with 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick pieces of goat cheese.
  • Sprinkle with optional dried rosemary.

  • On the same sheet pan, line the raw pecans to toast alongside the goat cheese toasts.
  • Place it in the oven to bake for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the pecans from the tray and bake the toasts for another 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the bread is golden around the edges.

Meanwhile, assemble the salad.

  • Cut the apples thinly into ⅛-inch (3 mm) slices.

  • In a large serving dish or bowl, combine the lettuce leaves and arugula.
  • Add the sliced apples, toasted pecans, and blueberries.
  • Drizzle with the lemon-maple vinaigrette.

  • Top with warm goat cheese toasts and serve immediately with a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Enjoy!
goat cheese salad with arugula, apple, blueberries and pecans in a serving plate with blueberries and goat cheese on the side

Nim Keys – Useful Tips

  1. When assembling this salad, I like using the whole leaves of lettuce. However, you can shred or tear them apart if you prefer!
  2. The proportions of this recipe are for a starter for four people. For a light lunch or dinner, I recommend doubling the goat cheese toast proportions and serving two toasts per person.

goat cheese salad with arugula, apple, blueberries and pecans in a serving plate with blueberries and goat cheese on the side

Wine Pairing for Goat Cheese Salad🍷


SAUVIGNON BLANC

The natural acidity of Sauvignon Blanc will compliment the tanginess of goat cheese, apple, and lemon while balancing the sweetness of blueberries and maple syrup. A must-try!

WINE APPELLATION SUGGESTIONS

  • Menetou-Salon (Loire Valley, France)
  • Pouilly Fumé (Loire Valley, France)
  • Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma (California, United States)

close-up shot of a goat cheese toast with arugula, lettuce, pecan and blueberries

FAQ

Goat cheese is not for me, what can I substitute it with?

Brie cheese! So delicious too!

I don’t have pecans on hand, what else can I use?

Walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts will work great here too.

Other Delicious Cheesy Recipes


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goat cheese salad with arugula, apple, blueberries and pecans in a serving plate with blueberries and goat cheese on the side

Goat Cheese Salad With Arugula, Apple and Pecans

What better way to celebrate fall than with a hearty, warm Goat Cheese Salad? Inspired by a recent trip to Quebec, this salad is made with lettuce, arugula, crispy apples, toasted pecans, and fresh blueberries. Drizzled with a lemon-maple vinaigrette, it is then topped with crunchy sourdough bread and goat cheese toasts (the way we love to make goat cheese salad in France). For all the wine lovers out there, this recipe is begging to be paired with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc! Simply delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Starter
Cuisine French
Diet Vegetarian
Servings 4

INGREDIENTS
 

For the lemon-maple vinaigrette

  • cup (80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup (or honey)
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For the goat cheese salad

  • 6 ounces (170 g) semi-soft goat cheese (I used crottins de chèvre, but any type of semi-soft goat cheese works)
  • 4 slices sourdough bread about ½-inch (1 cm) thick
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary optional
  • 3.5 ounces (100 g) lettuce about 2 cups, (red leaf lettuce, butterhead lettuce, or romaine lettuce), washed and spinned
  • 4 cups (80 g) arugula washed and spinned
  • 2 medium apples Gala, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or any variety of your liking
  • ½ cup (65 g) raw pecans
  • ½ cup (100 g) fresh blueberries rinsed

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by making the lemon-maple vinaigrette.

  • In a jam jar or bowl, combine extra-virgin olive oil, maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Shake to emulsify (or stir dynamically with a small whisk or a spoon if using a bowl).
  • The vinaigrette is ready. Set aside. 

Prepare the goat cheese toats.

  • Preheat the oven to 410°F (210°C).
  • Slice the sourdough bread into four ½-inch (1 cm) slices. Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Generously line the sourdough sliced with 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick pieces of goat cheese. Sprinkle with optional dried rosemary.
  • On the same sheet pan, line the raw pecans to toast alongside the goat cheese toasts.
  • Place it in the oven to bake. After 5 minutes, remove the pecans from the tray and bake the toasts for another 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the bread is golden around the edges.

Meanwhile, assemble the salad.

  • Cut the apples thinly into ⅛-inch (3 mm) slices (see pictures above in this post).
  • In a large serving dish or bowl, combine the lettuce leaves and arugula.
  • Add the sliced apples, toasted pecans, and blueberries.
  • Drizzle with the lemon-maple vinaigrette.
  • Top with warm goat cheese toasts and serve immediately with a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy!

NIM KEYS - USEFUL TIPS

  1. The proportions of this recipe are for a starter for four people. For a light lunch or dinner, I recommend doubling the goat cheese toast proportions and serving two toasts per person.
  2. When assembling this salad, you can either use whole leaves of lettuce, or tear them apart if you prefer.
  3. Substitution tip: goat cheese can easily be swapped with Brie cheese!

NUTRITION

Calories: 614kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 17gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 697mgPotassium: 381mgFiber: 6gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 1107IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 154mgIron: 4mg
Keyword French goat cheese salad, goat cheese on toast, goat cheese salad, warm goat cheese
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