Autumn Chopped Salad


Autumn Chopped Salad highlights delicious fall flavors like pears, apples, roasted peanuts, and dried cranberries.

Got room for one more fall recipe? :)

Say hello to my little giant friend, the Autumn Chopped Salad!

Chopped salads are big, entree-sized salads where all the ingredients have been, you guessed it, chopped into bite-sized pieces, then tossed with dressing until every morsel is uniformly coated and ready to be shoveled into your face. I mean, eaten. Delicately, eaten.

Autumn Chopped Salad is a chopped salad that contains all the ingredients that make autumn wonderful, including sweet pears, crisp apples, crunchy roasted peanuts, chewy dried cranberries, and bacon. I suppose bacon isn’t inherently autumnal (love that word,) but hello, it’s bacon. Do we need an excuse to throw it into a salad? The answer is no. No. We. Don’t!

You may have seen the recipe for Autumn Chopped Salad from the doll that is Madison of Espresso & Cream floating around Pinterest for the past couple of years – and for good reason. The toppings-to-lettuce ratio is off the charts (a MUST for any entree-sized salad,) and the combo of sweet and salty is so satisfying. Plus, I repeat, there’s bacon. You will love this quick and filling salad recipe!

Start the Autumn Chopped Salad by adding 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce in a big bowl. A VERY BIG BOWL. The biggest one you’ve got!

Then microwave 3 slices center-cut bacon until crisp. Here’s my muss/fuss-free way to microwave bacon with perfect results every time:

Lay bacon strips on a folded paper towel on a microwave-safe plate, then cover with another folded paper towel. Microwave for 1 minute then rotate the plate 1/4 turn and microwave for 30 more seconds. Continue rotating and cooking in 30 second increments until the bacon is nice and crisp, about 2-3 minutes, then let it cool and chop it up. Done!

While the bacon’s cooling, start chopping the rest of the autumnal (there’s that word again!) toppings for the salad, including 1 pear. Whatever variety is your fave – bartlett, bosch, asian, etc. – is perfect.

Next chop up 1 apple. This here is an organic Pink Lady. A juicy Honeycrisp would be the ULTIMATE, but they’re still $3.99/lb around here which I’m not desperate enough to pay…yet.

To the lettuce, pear, and apple, add 1/4 cup each dried cranberries, chopped peanuts, and crumbled feta cheese.

Toss in the slightly cooled bacon, then it’s time to get dressed!

Madison recommends dressing the salad in a mixture of poppy seed salad dressing and balsamic vinaigrette, which I thought was brilliant – I always forget about PSD! I didn’t have any balsamic vinaigrette in the house, so I just threw a shot of balsamic vinegar into the mix, and it turned out awesome.

Give the salad a thorough toss to coat every bite in the dressing mixture (this is where having a BIG bowl comes in handy!) then divide between 2 big plates and shovel enjoy. :)

Autumn Chopped Salad

Serves 2


Autumn Chopped Salad highlights delicious fall flavors like pears, apples, roasted peanuts, and dried cranberries.


  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 3 slices center-cut bacon
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Poppy Seed Salad Dressing (or more or less)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or more or less)


  1. Lay bacon strips down on a folded paper towel on a microwave-safe plate, then cover with another folded paper towel. Microwave for 1 minute then rotate the plate 1/4 turn and microwave for 30 more seconds. Continue rotating and cooking in 30 second increments until the bacon is crisp, then let cool and chop up.
  2. Add cooled bacon, romaine lettuce, pear, apple, peanuts, dried cranberries, and feta cheese into a very large bowl, then add salad dressing and balsamic vinegar to taste. Toss well then serve immediately.


Barely adapted from Espresso & Cream

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

A feast for the eyes, and the stomach! Ben and I licked our bowls clean when I made this for dinner the other night, although we both had different ways of getting there…

Ben eats all his toppings first then uses the lettuce to “fill in the cracks”, while I prefer to eat all the lettuce first and save all the yummy toppings for “dessert”. To each their own, I suppose. Either way, enjoy!


More Entree Salad Recipes You’ll Love!

Earth Bowl Salads with Smokey Candied Walnuts and Basil Dressing >


Warm Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates, Almonds, Crispy Shallots and Parmesan >


Chicken Power Bowls with Crispy Baked Garbanzo Beans >


Avocado and Chicken Caprese Salad >

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  1. […] Four: Bunless Burger, and my take on the Autumn Salad from Iowa Girl Eats…I used TJ’s Pear Gorgonzola Champagne dressing, I subbed out low-fat gouda for the […]

  2. j 11.19.2012

    What would you add to up the protein, other than chicken (can’t have)?

  3. […] Autumn Chopped Salad  (slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats) […]

  4. […] inpirée de: Vinaigrette inspirée de: […]

  5. Abby G 02.15.2013

    I just devoured a generous serving of this for lunch. The teachers in the lounge were oogling it. I made it with spring mix, and also added spinach and kale. And used walnuts instead of peanuts because that’s what I had on hand. Thanks for an awesome recipe! I can’t wait to eat the leftovers :)

  6. jen 02.28.2013

    I’m pretty sure I pinned this some time ago, and possibly even commented. Amazing salad, and just so my style. I love making my own dressings and vinaigrettes, but haven’t tried poppy seed because I love Brianna’s so much what is the point?? Here is my chopped salad w/poppy seed dressing, although I might just adopt yours for keeps ;)

    Greens of choice, cucumber, mandarin oranges, pecans, bacon, and feta or sometimes bleu. So easy. I was running late to a potluck once upon a time and stopped at Hy-Vee (yes, that’s right), grabbed the goods, and tossed it up at the party. It was such a hit I have to make it every time I see those ppl now :) I am going to switch things up w/this one next time. Thanks a bunch!

  7. […] begin with the first course! AUTUMN CHOPPED SALAD (click the title to see […]

  8. Liz 09.18.2013

    Nice salad. Thanks Kristin.

  9. Sandy 09.19.2013

    This looks so delicious, I can’t wait to try it. A good friend is coming over next week, so think I will serve it for lunch, she will love it.

    BTW, congratulations on your beautiful new baby boy, he is so adorable :)

  10. Jena 09.19.2013

    I had to make this salad as soon as I saw it! Had it for dinner last night and then lunch again today! It is soooo good! Most of the items I had on hand, just had to get the dressing and the bacon.

  11. Sofie 09.19.2013

    This salad looks like the best salad I’ve ever seen. I am definitely going to try this. If not tomorrow then the day after. It absolutely looks delicious, can’t say that enough! I love nuts and (dried) fruits and salads are my favourite, I could eat it every day! Thank you so much for this great idea/recipe.

    Sofie x

  12. Leanna 09.19.2013

    I cannot wait to try this recipe. Anything ‘salad’ is my kinda food! Honey crisp are only $1.99/lb this week ;) Do you ever post calorie/serving? I’m sure I can figure it out but curious if that is something you choose to include.

  13. […] Apples, pears, dried cranberries and cough BACON (how’d that get in there?) make this Autumn Chopped Salad a little sweet, a little salty, and totally […]

  14. Lisa 09.24.2013

    Thanks for posting this wonderful recipe! I made this for my brother’s wedding for about 80 people and it was the one thing completely gone! Sooooo many people asked for the recipe. While I am sure it is amazing as written, I did make a few modifications: I used Brianna’s Brand Blush Wine Vinaigrette for the dressing, used glazed walnuts instead of the peanuts, and omitted the bacon (gasp!)for the vegetarians in the group. Thanks again!

  15. This looks wonderful. I hope you won’t mind my sharing the link in a favorite fall ideas post I’m doing tomorrow 9/27/13.

  16. […] Autumn Chopped Salad from Iowa Girl Eats looks […]

  17. […] Iowa Girl Eats’ Autumn Chopped Salad (Click here for the original blog post and recipe) […]

  18. […] I am bringing an Autumn Chopped Salad to go along with what Steph […]

  19. […] Autumn chopped salad {Iowa Girl Eats} […]

  20. […] Day 6-  Autumn Chopped Salad […]

  21. […] Autumn Chopped Salad – Iowa Girl Eats […]

  22. […] Autumn chopped salad and grilled cheese. (Easy make ahead meal for Halloween […]

  23. […] I could get at a restaurant. Well, this past week I set out to change that. I saw this recipe for Autumn Chopped Salad and decided I wanted to make something very […]

  24. Sherry 11.06.2013

    This was a great salad! I modified it for two people, as a smaller side salad. We enjoyed a turkey/cranberry panini with it and it paired nicely! The two dressings mixed together was a twist that made it taste amazing! I anticipate taking it to our next pitch-in and hope they like it as well as we did! Thanks for sharing!

  25. Jodi 11.06.2013

    I made this for dinner on Sunday evening and we absolutely loved it!! Thanks for sharing!!

  26. […] Recipe adapted from: […]

  27. […] Photo and Recipe credit: […]

  28. […] Autumn Chopped Salad from Iowa Girl Eats […]

  29. az mama 11.26.2013

    My niece brought this salad over and I’ve been searching for the recipe. It was so flavorful and refreshing…..will be a delightful addition to our thanksgiving meal. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  30. Katie 05.13.2014

    I just made this for dinner tonight using Granny Smith apple and bosc pear, I did add some red onion but this was so wonderful and all the flavor combinations-peanut, cranberries etc. it was delectable. Thank you

  31. […] Get the recipe here […]

  32. Holly 07.30.2014

    Am I the only person who saw this recipe and immediately thought of the Sims 3?

  33. […] Adapted Slightly From Iowa Girl Eats […]

  34. […] Autumn Chopped Salad […]

  35. […] Saturday (G): Autumn Chopped Salad […]

  36. […] Monday (W): Autumn Chopped Salad […]

  37. […] having a salad at Thanksgiving to contrast the heavy turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes. This Autumn Chopped Salad from Iowa Girl Eats has a great combination of flavors–apple, pear, cranberry, feta […]

  38. […] salad recipes. She has a lot of really good ideas for ways to make salads super delicious. The Autumn Chopped Salad  is one of my […]

  39. Alex Pearsons 11.23.2014

    Hi Kristin!

    Perfect timing: I’ve been wondering what to whip up for Thanksgiving here in Australia for HUGE American family. Mind you, some of them are vegans, so I’ll have to make two separate dishes: one without the bacon and cheese, and the other with it.

    It’s awesome of you to put up this entry/recipe: I’ve been running out of ideas on what to make up! You’ve gained a regular subscriber!

  40. Lisa 12.18.2014

    ABSOLUTELY THE MOST DELICIOUS SALAD! Served it at a luncheon and got lots of requests for the recipe….I always know its good when people ask for the recipe!

  41. […] Autumn Chopped Salad […]

  42. sharleen 01.04.2015

    I can’t count how many times I’ve made this salad since you have posted it!! It has all my flavor faves and my family loves it as well!!! Sometimes I add grilled chicken to make it filling enough for dinner on its own. Soooooo good and simple, thank you!

  43. […] with Cilantro Dressing Layered salad // Autumn Chopped Salad // Italian chopped salad // Copycat Applebee’s oriental chicken salad // Strawberry spinach […]

  44. sylvie 02.26.2015

    I won’t wait for Autumn to make it per sure !

  45. […] My Favorite Salad This is great with Bosc pears in the fall and all apple in the summer. Probably be even better with homemade poppyseed dressing. […]

  46. […] chops and apples? Yes, please. Serve it up with this salad or a butternut squash soup and green beans and you’ve a perfect Sunday […]

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