What holiday table in the south (or southern minded home) is complete without a bowl of fruit salad? Growing up, this southern apple salad always seemed to grace our Sunday dinners. With pecans and apples in abundance in the fall, this nostalgic apple pecan salad is always a great choice when cooler temps roll around. Be fore warned, when you see the words “southern” and “salad” together in the same sentence, it often isn’t going to be the healthiest of dishes! I’ll go with healthy-ish on this one!
This easy and fresh Southern Apple & Pecan Fruit Salad is the perfect side dish for any holiday table!
Southern Apple Salad
I love making this recipe at my house because it reminds me of my mom. She made this salad for BBQ’s, thanksgivings, and everything in between. She always used granny smith apples as her base because they balance out the sweetness of the grapes and bananas.
But, I like to play around with different flavor combos. I always use green, but I’ll also add red or yellow to the mix. The possibilities are endless when picking from the smorgasbord of apple varieties. So play around with the flavor combos that you like best.
However, when it comes to grapes, my mom always used red, and I stick with this choice. But, feel free to change it up. You could do red apples and green grapes, but I wouldn’t do green apples and green grapes. That might lend itself to being a bit too sour.
Try what you like. Mix it up but keep a balance.
Traditional Apple Salad Dressing
Mayo. Any good southern salad‘s secret typically lies with mayonnaise. This southern style pecan and apple salad recipe is no exception. Mayo is the tie that binds southern recipes together!
Full disclosure: I’m not always a fan of the mayo based salad. But, this one is different. It’s such a fresh salad with so much texture that the mayo doesn’t weigh it down at all. It actually serves as a great compliment to the variety of fruit and ties them all together beautifully.
You can splash in a bit of OJ for just a hint of sweet citrus, squeeze additional lemon juice, or just go strait up mayo. I’ve had all versions, I’ve made all versions, and I love all versions!
This is truly an easy recipe that you can make your own. My only advice is to use less mayo than you think you’ll need. You can always add more, but it doesn’t work the other way around.
- 2 Green Granny Smith Apples
- 2 Fuji Apples
- 2 cups seedless red grapes
- 1-2 Bananas Sliced
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3-1/2 c. Mayo
- 1/2 Freshly Squeezed Lemon
- 2 tablespoons of orange juice (optional)
1. Chop all apples to roughly the same size. Grapes can be sliced in half or kept whole, depending on your preference. Mix together.
2. Add sliced bananas and chopped pecans to the mixture.
3. Squeeze half lemon over all fruit to coat. Stir gently.
4. Add 1/3 c. mayo to the mixture and stir gently to coat. If needed, add remainder of mayo.
5. Taste to see if additional lemon juice is needed, or if a splash of orange juice is needed.
5. Serve immediately or chill till ready to serve.
- The lemon juice is a nice addition because it will stop the apples and bananas from browning too much. Also, a splash of orange juice can add a nice flavor to the mix. But, don't add too much! You don't want it to become watery. A little goes a long way!
Sweet Apple Side Salad
This sweet family recipe has been around for eons! It’s fresh, simple, and always a crowd pleaser. Kids love it, too, which is a lovely bonus at any family meal. This southern apple pecan salad is a must try for your holiday table this year!
We may be social distancing, but we can still connect! I’d love to know if this recipe worked out for you! Drop me a line in the comments below!