Roasted Apple Bulgur Salad with Halloumi & Date Vinaigrette

This roasted apple bulgur salad is such a delicious, seasonal salad that works great as a main meal. It’s full of hearty flavors and ingredients that will leave you feeling satisfied – arugula, bulgur, sesame and maple roasted apples, caramelized fennel, olives, spiced pumpkin seeds, pan-fried halloumi cheese, and a date vinaigrette.

finished roasted apple salad on a plate

apples in a bowl

roasted apple bulgur salad – the details

While I’ve got a couple of go-to fall salads I always rely on like this harvest apple salad or this roasted brussels sprout salad, I wanted to create one that was a little different. One that had a few unexpected ingredients, yet still embodied the fall season.

I knew I wanted to top this salad with pan-fried halloumi cheese, so I went with Middle Eastern-inspired ingredients for the rest of the salad…and the result was delicious.

apples on a sheet pan before roasting

roasted apples on a sheet pan

A few things get cooked in the oven – the honeycrisp apples, the fennel, and the pumpkin seeds. The apples become intensely sweet and tender, with sesame seeds and maple syrup adding extra flavor. The fennel becomes caramelized. And the pumpkin seeds are tossed with smoked paprika and cinnamon before a quick roast.

While all of that is working, you’ll cook off some bulgur until it’s tender and fluffy. I love the addition of bulgur – it’s really satisfying and adds a heartiness that is so wonderful for autumn.

The dressing and pan-fried halloumi cheese are really the stars of this salad. The date vinaigrette is sweet and tangy, which perfectly complements the rich, salty halloumi. I like to add some olives, too, for another layer of flavor.

finished roasted apple salad on a plate

Everything gets tossed together with a little arugula for a peppery bite. Instead of being greens-focused, with the rest of the ingredients speckled in, the bulk of this salad is very much the bulgur and apples.

And as a note…the recipe does have a good amount of steps and will require you to set multiple timers as things roast and cook on the stove, so I definitely wouldn’t consider this a side salad to quickly add on to your main dish.

I would think of this more as a main meal salad, one you could eat as is or maybe with a bowl of soup alongside!

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Roasted Apple Bulgur Salad with Halloumi & Date Vinaigrette

a hearty, seasonal salad with arugula, bulgur, roasted apples, caramelized fennel, olives, and spiced pumpkin seeds tossed in a date vinaigrette and topped with pan-fried halloumi cheese

servings: 4-6

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ½ lbs honeycrisp apples, cored + diced ½”
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, cored + thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • ¼ lb medjool dates, pitted + diced ¼”
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (8 oz package) halloumi cheese, sliced ¼” + pat dry
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ½ cup halved castelvetrano olives

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the apples onto a sheet pan and generously drizzle them with olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread the apples into an even layer. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the sliced fennel onto another sheet pan. Repeat the olive oil/seasoning process and roast for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the bulgur and 3 cups of water to a 2 qt saucepan with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain if needed and fluff the bulgur with a fork.
  3. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and drizzle the maple syrup onto the apples. Toss the pumpkin seeds with the paprika, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. Make room on the sheet pan and add them next to the apples. Roast for another 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a 10” skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender and starting to caramelize. Season with a pinch of salt. Add the dates and apple cider vinegar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Whisk in a ¼ cup of olive oil and stir in the parsley. Add a tablespoon or two of water to thin the vinaigrette out if needed. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Wipe out the skillet and return to medium heat. Add enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, work in batches to fry the halloumi until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side (adjust the heat as needed so it doesn’t burn).
  6. Add the bulgur, apples, fennel, arugula, olives, and date vinaigrette (reserve about ¼ cup). Toss to combine. Plate the salad with the halloumi, pumpkin seeds, and remaining vinaigrette over top. Garnish with any extra parsley leaves.

roasted apple salad on a plate

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