Creamy Apple Salad with Celery and Fennel

We love this fresh and easy apple salad recipe made with crisp apples, celery, fennel, and an easy creamy dressing.

Who said you need lettuce to make a salad? This easy apple salad with celery and fennel is crisp, fresh, creamy, and delicious. Serve this on the side or as a bed for grilled or roasted meats or to keep it vegetarian, try topping with roasted root vegetables or squash. We love using a crisp apple like Granny Smith, Fiji, or Honeycrisp. Taste the apples you are using first, if it seems on the tart side, consider adjusting the dressing with a little more honey or maple syrup.

Makes 4 servings


2 medium apples, cored and thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, peeled and sliced, see notes
1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
1 scallion or 4 chives, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts, lightly toasted, see notes


1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or substitute sour cream, mayonnaise or plain yogurt, see notes
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


  1. In a large salad bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and honey or maple syrup until blended. Gradually add the oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing looks well blended and creamy.
  2. Whisk in the crème fraîche, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper. Taste, and then adjust with additional salt, vinegar or sweetener.
  3. Add the sliced apples, celery, fennel, scallions or chives, dill, and the nuts. Toss well.
  4. If you have any fennel fronds — the wispy tops of the fennel stalk that look similar to dill — scatter a few over the salad, and then serve.