Crunchy Celery Apple Salad, a light and refreshingly simple celery salad with crisp apples, radishes, red onion, fresh parsley and mint, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds. The perfect way to use up leftover celery!
UPDATE: This recipe was originally posted in September 2018 and was updated with new photos and instructions in October 2020.
Have you ever noticed that when celery is used in a dish the recipe always calls for “1 stalk of celery”…and then you’re stuck with a huge bunch of celery and you have no idea what to make with it? If so, I have the PERFECT salad for you.
If you’re on the fence about making a salad out of celery, let me tell you the reasons you should change your mind:
- It’s crunchy. Move over sad, wilty salads. This celery, apple, and radish salad is full of texture.
- It’s easy. Simply chop vegetables, fruit, and herbs and toss with an easy vinaigrette dressing.
- It’s full of flavor. The mixture of tart celery and radishes, sweet apples and cranberries, and fresh mint and parsley combine to create a bold, fresh salad.
Ready to learn how to make this super simple, super flavorful celery apple salad? Let’s do it!
🥗 How to make a celery salad (step-by-step photos)
1️⃣ Step One: Prepare salad ingredients
First chop celery, apple, radishes, and onion into small pieces. The key to a good mixed vegetable salad — especially a salad with very crunchy ingredients — is to cut each vegetable and fruit into uniformly sized pieces so they’re easier to chew.
Next chop parsley and mint, then add the celery, apple, radish, onion, and herbs to a large mixing bowl.
2️⃣ Step Two: Prepare lemon vinaigrette dressing
In a small glass mixing bowl or in a glass jar, combine lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper and whisk or shake until well combined.
3️⃣ Step Three: Add dressing to salad before serving
When you’re ready to serve, drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad ingredients and toss until the salad is coated in the dressing.
👉 Pro tip: If you’re planning to serve your salad later, add the dressing right before serving so the ingredients keep their crunch and don’t get soggy.
🍏 Ingredient substitutions + variations
There are endless ways to customize this celery apple salad! Here are a few tips and variation ideas:
- Celery is a must. While most other ingredients in this salad are exchangeable, celery is a foundational ingredient and provides the base for this crunchy salad.
- Use apples, pears, or other crunchy fruits. Apples are a perfect match for celery’s bite, but pears are a great option as well.
- Dried cranberries can be switched with raisins, prunes, or apricots. Don’t care for the tang of craisins? Try a sweeter dried fruit like raisins, prunes, or apricots.
- Fresh herbs. While mint is highly recommended, you could substitute parsley with cilantro for a different flavor.
- Any nuts or seeds will do. We like sunflower seeds, but pumpkin seeds or nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pistachios would also be delicious in this salad.
- Get creative with dressings. Any light dressing that doesn’t overpower the salad flavors will do. Try our fall-inspired Maple Bourbon Vinaigrette for a different flavor.
♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips + tricks
Make this salad with leftover celery. Have leftover celery stalks that need to be used up? This salad is a great food waste recovery recipe that turns those sad stalks into a tasty salad.
Choose pure organic maple syrup. Always choose organic maple syrup from brands free from additives, chemicals, and pesticides from brands committed to harvesting maple syrup sustainably.
Make enough for meal prep. Because this salad features crunchy produce and no wilted leafy greens, it’s a great choice for meal prep if you add the dressing just before serving. Make once and eat all week!
🌱 More simple plant-based salad recipes
Craving more simple salads that are full on flavor? Try out these favorites:
- Leftover Broccoli Stem Salad
- Simple Cranberry Arugula Side Salad
- Roasted Fennel Beet Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
- Winter Beet Butternut Squash Salad
FREE MeAL PLANNING GUIDE
Crunchy Celery Apple Salad Recipe
- 4 cups sliced celery from about 6 celery stalks
- 1 medium apple thinly sliced
- 1 cup sliced radishes from about 4 radishes
- ½ cup sliced red onion
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- ½ cup mint leaves chopped
- ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- Prepare salad ingredients: Toss chopped celery, apple, radishes, onion, parsley, and mint leaves in a large mixing bowl.
- Make lemon vinaigrette dressing: Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl or jar and whisk or shake until well combined.
- Add dressing to salad before serving: Drizzle vinaigrette dressing over salad and toss to combine.
- Recipe notes: Because of the crunchy nature of celery, apples, and radishes, this salad is a great make-ahead option for outdoor parties and picnics.
- Recommended tools: Knife set, cutting board, glass mixing bowls
- Prep ahead: Because of the crunchy nature of celery, apples, and radishes, this salad is a great make-ahead option for outdoor parties and picnics. Slice these ingredients and make the dressing up to two days ahead of time, but don’t add dressing to the salad until just before serving.
- Leftovers & Storage: This salad will last up to two days in the refrigerator with the dressing already added, but up to 4-5 days if dressing is kept on the side and added only before eating.
- Nutrition: This salad is a a great side dish meant to be paired with your choice of protein and / or whole grains. It is low in saturated fat, high in fiber, and packs an antioxidant punch from the array of fresh vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.
- Recipe Inspiration: Recipe inspired by and adapted from Well + Good's celery salad.