Cherry salad with feta and walnuts is a quick and easy recipe packed full of flavor. With fresh greens, cherries, and a sprinkle of feta cheese and walnuts to provide tang and crunch, it's a refreshingly delicious salad perfect for summertime.
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This simple, easy-to-make salad not only promises crisp and delicious flavors, but also is an amazing way to incorporate seasonal produce into your meals.
I have to confess that it's never really occurred to me to add cherries to a green salad before seeing it in a random internet search - I'm not sure why, maybe because we don't see it very often? All I know now is that I LOVE it - and so did everyone I served this salad to!
The cherries add a subtle fruit flavor - they blend well with the other ingredients, not dominating but definitely adding a wonderful, light sweetness.
And oh my gosh, it's like summertime on a plate!
I'm literally adding the cherries from our tree to almost all my salads while they are ripe (sadly, it's a very fleeting season - only about 2-3 weeks, depending on the amount of cherries we have that year...and when the birds find them, lol).
The cherry tree we have produces Royal Anne/Queen Anne type cherries that are yellow with a blush of red as they ripen. Any type of cherry will work for this recipe, though, so definitely experiment with whatever varieties you can get.
While it's not the everyday norm for me to add fruit to a salad, I do have a couple of favorites that I make regularly, including Orange Almond Salad and Kale Cranberry Salad with Feta. Now I'm adding this one to the list for summer meals.
While this salad will go with just about any protein main dish, I also think it would be wonderful topped with a piece of grilled chicken as a main dish salad served with a loaf of easy artisan bread, don't you?
You'll need just five ingredients for the salad and then the balsamic vinaigrette as the dressing:
- Lettuce mix of your choice
- Sweet onions
- Feta cheese
- Balsamic vinaigrette - you can use a purchased bottle, but it literally takes 5 minutes to make this balsamic maple vinaigrette with ingredients you probably already have!
Years ago I invested in a multi-cherry pitter, even before we had a cherry tree because it's just so.much.easier. The four-slot pitter I have that's shown above isn't available anymore, but you can get this OXO brand that will pit six cherries at a time here.
How to Make Cherry Salad with Feta
Detailed quantities and instructions are included in the full recipe box below, but here are a few extra tips to help with each step of this simple salad:
You can layer the salad on individual plates, in a large bowl, or my favorite - on a large platter that shows off all the ingredients (no need to dig down like a bowl and all the toppings don't fall to the bottom).
Pit and slice the cherries as you place them on the layers of greens and onions - while you can find specific measurements in the recipe card, this is a salad where you can use what you have, too. Top with feta and walnuts.
To Make Ahead
You can make this several hours before you want to serve it. Simply layer all the ingredients but DON'T add the dressing.
Cover and refrigerate until needed and drizzle with the dressing right before serving.
Salad Variations and Substitutions
Here are some other variations that you’re welcome to try with this cherry salad recipe:
- Diary - instead of feta cheese, try crumbled goat cheese, cotija cheese, blue cheese or gorgonzola - or go dairy free with a plant-based cheese.
- Greens - add massaged kale or spinach, arugula, or a few leaves of spicy mustard greens.
- Nuts - this is also good with chopped pecans, sliced almonds, or chopped cashews.
- Main Dish Salad - add grilled shrimp, chicken or sliced steak to the salad before dressing with the vinaigrette.
More Cherry Recipes
Looking for more cherry recipes to try? Here are a few favorites:
- Smokey Cherry BBQ Sauce Recipe - Easy & Honey Sweetened to Can or Freeze
- Homemade Dried Cherries Two Ways - Which is Best?
- Spicy Honey Sweetened Cherry Chutney Recipe
Cherry Salad with Feta and Walnuts
- Chef's Knife
- Cutting Board
- Cherry pitter, optional
- Large platter or bowl
- 4 cups chopped lettuce (or other favorite greens)
- 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced sweet onions
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette dressing like this easy maple balsamic version
- Prep lettuce, cherries, onions, feta and walnuts as needed.
- Layer on a large platter, individual plates or large bowl: lettuce, onions, cherries, feta and walnuts.
- Whisk together balsamic dressing ingredients, if using, and pour dressing over salad layers.
- Serve immediately.*
- Substitute feta cheese with goat cheese, cotija cheese, blue cheese or gorgonzola.
- Use chopped pecans, sliced almonds, or chopped cashews instead of walnuts.
- Add grilled shrimp, chicken or sliced steak to salad before dressing to make a main dish salad.