Apple Manchego Salad Recipe

This apple manchego salad is a stunner! Matchsticks of apple and cheese tossed with olive oil make for an unexpected sweet and savory apple salad recipe.

Apple manchego salad | Apple salad recipe

We love every recipe we post on this site, but sometimes, one comes along that outshines the rest. This apple manchego salad is a copy of a salad we had while in Minnesota to visit my family. To celebrate the recent retirement of both of my parents (Congrats, Mom and Dad!) we ventured out to Cafe Lurcat, a lovely restaurant in Minneapolis. The food was excellent — and in particular, this apple manchego salad stood out as a surprisingly delicious recipe.

Related: 25 Best Salad Recipes

Why to make this apple manchego salad recipe

This apple manchego salad is made simply of apples and manchego cheese cut into matchsticks, with a bit of olive oil and some sliced chives. Nothing pretentious — just pure ingredients combined in a simple way to make each shine. While manchego cheese is a bit more expensive than your normal cheese, it’s worth buying for the recipe. It has a unique flavor that can’t fully be substituted (and for me, it has sentimental value as it reminds me of my time studying abroad in Spain). The way the apples and cheese are cut makes it hard to distinguish between the two – making it all the more fun to guess what will be part of each bite!

We picked up some Jonathon apples from Wild’s Apple Farms at the Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market, and they were perfectly tart and crisp. I can’t say enough about the Jonathan apple – I’m a convert! Thanks to Cafe Lurcat for the delicious apple salad recipe inspiration. If you’re in the Minneapolis area, check them out and order this salad! You won’t be disappointed.

Looking for simple salad recipes?

This apple manchego salad is one of our favorite apple recipes and perfect for entertaining. It’s great as a fall salad or winter salad when apples are plentiful, but you can eat it anytime. Here are a few other simple salad recipes you might enjoy:

Looking for more healthy side dish recipes?

This apple manchego salad is a delicious healthy side dish recipe; here are a few more side dish recipes on A Couple Cooks:

This apple manchego salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free.

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Apple Manchego Salad Recipe

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (30 votes, average: 4.13 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


This apple manchego salad is a stunner! Matchsticks of apple and cheese tossed with olive oil make for an unexpected sweet and savory apple salad recipe.


  • 4 firm tart apples (Jonathon, honey crisp or Granny Smith)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 ounces Manchego cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pinches kosher salt


  1. Slice the apples into matchsticks (slice them into slices, then lay the slice down and cut into thin long rectangles). Toss the apples with a bit of fresh lemon juice.
  2. Cut the cheese into matchsticks.
  3. Thinly slice the chives.
  4. Toss all ingredients with the olive oil and kosher salt. Serve immediately.


Inspired by a similar salad at Cafe Lurcat

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Apple Manchego Salad, Apples, Manchego, Chives, Apple Salad Recipe, Vegetarian, Gluten Free

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Josie Lee Suska
    September 26, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Looks so good and simple that I might even manage it before the manchego disappears via my hand-to-mouth manchego addiction. Thanks for the post!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

    When I saw the photo, I thought, “that looks familiar.” And of course, it is — I have eaten it at Cafe Lurcat several times. The restaurant’s salad is as good as you say. Thank you for sharing your version.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2012 at 11:55 am

    This looks wonderful! I love that you can’t really tell the difference between the cheese and the apple.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I really love manchego cheese and have yet to try it with apple! Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    There’s something about the ‘stick’ look of the salad that I like…’s different looking yet very enticing! yum!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Brilliant! Totally making it this weekend:)

  • Reply
    September 29, 2012 at 9:43 am

    This is such a pretty salad! And it looks scrumptious. I love recreating dishes I’ve had at great restaurants.

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    September 29, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I’m going to have to check out Cafe Lurcat next time I’m in Minneapolis. This looks wonderful! :)

  • Reply
    October 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Whaaaaaaaaat? You didn’t tell me you made this? Yummmmmmmmmm. I want to try but I think I can only get processed cheese here.

  • Reply
    October 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Made this tonight as an app salad before a nice steak dinner… and it was wonderful. I will definitely make this again many times. Very refreshing and light. Great use of one of my favorite cheeses!

    • Reply
      October 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I CANNOT believe I just came upon this! We too LOVE this salad at Cafe Lurcat and now I can make it at home! Yea!!!!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Looks great.
    Would try to make it. But I don’t have access to a lot of variety of items.
    Will find a crisp and tart apple but don’t know what Machengo cheese tastes like. I am guessing from the picture that it’s a hard cheese but with mild color and flavor.
    Please suggest one or two widely available alternatives. Thanks.

    • Reply
      December 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      You pretty much have the texture and taste figured out! It’s an aged semi-firm cheese with a mild but very distinct taste. Although not quite the same, I think an aged white cheddar would go nicely with this salad.

  • Reply
    June 6, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    I make this recipe for every gathering I host or am a guest at! Every single time, people RAVE about it!!!! I live in Minneapolis and have loved this salad for a very long time now! Try it – guaranteed hit!!!!

    • Reply
      November 27, 2018 at 8:35 am

      Can you make this one hour in advance ?

      • Reply
        November 27, 2018 at 12:38 pm

        Yes you could definitely make this salad one hour in advance! The lemon juice could keep the apples from browning. You may want to refresh with a squeeze of lemon just before serving. Let us know how it goes!

  • Reply
    June 30, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    First time making this and was surprised it was easy to make and OMG delicious!

  • Reply
    August 31, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Wow…what a great recipe! Thank you! I altered it just a bit by using white balsamic vinegar in place of lemon juice. The chives were gorgeous, and I placed the apple/cheese mixture on a bed of baby greens.

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