Cranberry Pecan Salad with Tahini Balsamic Vinaigrette

Cranberry Pecan Salad with Tahini Balsamic Vinaigrette


This oil-free salad dressing is the perfect addition to a green winter salad. 

What is the strategy for creating the PERFECT green salad?

To make the perfect green salad, first add an abundance of fresh greens. Add a variety of greens like romaine for some crunch, add in arugula for some spiciness, and add in some red romaine for a pop of color. Next, add very flavorful salad dressing, so a little bit goes a long way. Pour on the salad dressing just before serving so the lettuce leaves stay fresh longer. Finally, I love to add chopped granny smith apples to a winter salad. They are full of flavor and add a wonderful crunch. 

This balsamic dressing is full of flavor and is oil-free and low in sugar. The tahini in this dressing makes it creamy and delicious. A healthier alternative to traditional candied pecans is to use a bit of maple syrup instead of sugar and oil or butter.

This green salad is a perfect side to holiday dinners or just to enjoy yourself. You can double the dressing recipe and save some for making salads throughout the week. 

If you are looking for some more salad recipes be sure to check out my Thai peanut tahini cabbage salad and my oil-free blackberry vinaigrette.

Cranberry Pecan Salad with Tahini Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: oil-free dressing, salad
Servings: 6 people
Author: Plantiful Picnic


For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or preferred sweetener
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the rest of the salad:

  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • large bag of mixed greens
  • 1/2-3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1-2 granny smith apples
  • 2-3 small radishes


  • To make the dressing, add all of the dressing ingredients into a jar and whisk with a fork until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add chopped pecans into a small bowl and drizzle with maple syrup. Stir to evenly coat the pecans. Spread out the pecans onto a prepared baking tray and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 8 to 9 minutes.
  • Pour the dressing over the mixed greens and toss the salad. Add on thinly sliced apples and radishes, dried cranberries, and pecans. Lightly mix salad again.

If you try this recipe let me know how it goes! Leave a comment and tag @plantifulpicnic on Instagram. 


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