lunch Sides and Snacks

Autumn Avo Salad with Pumpkin Spice Apple Chips and Rosemary Thyme Walnuts

How many #basic buzzwords can one fit in a salad recipe? This one will test the limits– with avocado, pumpkin spice, salad, goat cheese and even more deviousness. Jokes aside, Autumn, you’ve met your avocado salad match!

I love a good salad. Nothing brings me more joy in the middle of a hectic workday than taking 30 minutes for lunch to experiment with a new salad recipe. In the summer, this usually involves an avocado, but as we’ve neared the corner sharply into Fall, I’ve found myself yearning for the days of summer salads. So, I asked myself, how does one make an avocado autumnal? Enter the Fall salad starter pack: pumpkin spice, goat cheese, walnuts, and balsamic. This salad became one of my favorites upon first bite, and I think it works just as well as a happy desk lunch, as it does a holiday side dish.


(Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side)

  • 1/2 apple (I used honeycrisp)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts, chopped roughly
  • 1/8 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme 
  • 3 heaping handfuls of greens 
  • 1.5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado, sliced 
  • Drizzle of honey 
  • Drizzle of balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar 
  • Drizzle of olive oil 
  • Sprinkle of fresh pepper


  1. Chop apple into tiny bits and toss with 1 tsp olive oil and pumpkin spice seasoning. Mix walnuts with the other tsp of olive oil and rosemary and thyme. Bake for 40 min at 250F.
  2. Place greens, cheese, and avocado in bowl. Top with walnuts and apple chips, then drizzle with honey, balsamic, olive oil, and pepper. Enjoy!


On the walnuts: The rosemary thyme walnuts could be a recipe unto themselves. They are FABULOUS. If you like snacking on nuts, I’d actually recommend making extra to enjoy separately!

On the balsamic: You’ll notice it says either balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar. Balsamic glaze is simply a bit thicker and sweeter than balsamic vinegar, and either would work well in this recipe. I buy balsamic glaze at Trader Joe’s so typically have it on hand in my fridge, but any supermarket should sell it. Alternatively, you can make your own by reducing balsamic vinegar, but if you don’t have it on hand, I’d recommend just using balsamic vinegar 🙂

What if I want a fabulous lunch salad but not this one?

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