You’ll be sure to impress your family and friends with this amazing Pear Salad recipe! A tasty treat that is perfect for the holiday table or even just a light lunch!
Fall fruit is upon us and I am forever trying to find new, inventive ways to use them. The taste of sweet, juicy pears in a fall salad is one of my favorites.
I feel like salad recipes can get redundant and boring. Chopped lettuce tossed with the same chopped veggies and then doused with your favorite bottle of dressing.
But this pear salad recipe is anything but! Thinly sliced sweet pears atop a bed of leafy greens and sprinkled with toasted walnuts. The flavor combinations are out of this world, and it’s elegant enough for the holiday season or Christmas dinner.
What's In This Article
These pear salad ingredients are really quite simple. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have the makings for a delicious salad!
- Spring mix lettuce blend – I feel like spring mix not only provides a variety of texture and flavor, but also a variety of colors making it perfect for a holiday meal.
- Fresh pears – I used forelle pears, but you can use other varieties. I like the colors, shape and size. Perfect for a side salad! Other options include bartlett pears or anjou pears. The only thing I don’t suggest using is a can of pears.
- Candied walnuts – You can buy them this way from the grocery store, or also learn how to make your own candied walnuts with my easy recipe.
- Dried cranberries – These can easily be found near the raisins at the store. They also have other fun flavor varieties like blueberry or pomegranate.
- Goat cheese – A white, crumbly cheese works best with this wonderful salad. But check the section below for other options of cheeses.
How to Make a Pear Salad
- Top lettuce with ingredients. Evenly divide the lettuce blend over 4 plates or place it all on a large, shallow serving dish. Top bed of lettuce with thinly sliced pears and sprinkle evenly with the walnuts, cranberries and goat cheese.
- Make dressing. In a small bowl, make the honey balsamic dressing (follow link). Mixture might have a few little chunks. I find it easiest to do in a small food processor or bullet style blender.
- Emulsify. Slowly add the olive oil to emulsify.
- Add to salad. Drizzle over the salad and serve.
Pear Salad Variations
- Cheese – Not a fan of goat cheese? No problem! You can easily substitute with another kind, or leave the cheese off altogether. Some recommendations would be: gorgonzola cheese or any type of blue cheese, cheddar cheese, feta cheese or mozzarella cheese are all great options.
- Dressing – You can really top this salad with your dressing of choice. Poppy seed dressing, bleu cheese dressing, lemon vinaigrette, or even red wine vinegar and olive oil.
- Color – The dried cranberries add a bit of color and flavor, but if you’re looking to add even more, here are a few suggestions: pomegranate seeds, strawberries or blueberries.
- Lettuce – You don’t have to use spring mix; you can use any type of salad greens you prefer. Baby spinach, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, baby arugula or any type of mixed greens work really well for this delicious pear salad.
- Extra veggies – Feel free to add more veggies if you’d like. Red onion or grape tomatoes would look and taste great on top of the salad and pair wonderfully with the sweetness of the pears.
Make Ahead and Storage
Make ahead: Most salads do not hold up well when made in advance. If you are trying to prep for a dinner party and need to prep in advance, Just don’t add the dressing or pears to the salad yet. You can try to stop the oxidation of the pears by spritzing them with lemon juice, but I advice to not slice until you are ready to serve.
Storage: Any leftover pear salad will not hold up well, so they should be eaten or tossed. The greens will become soggy from the dressing and the pears will start to brown.
More Pear Recipes and Salads
Pear Salad Recipe with Candied Walnuts
- Evenly divide the lettuce blend over 4 plates or place it all on a large, shallow serving dish. Top with thinly sliced pears and sprinkle evenly with the walnuts, cranberries and goat cheese.
- In a small bowl, make the honey balsamic dressing (follow link). Mixture might have a few little chunks. I find it easiest to do in a small food processor or bullet style blender.
- Slowly add the olive oil to emulsify.
- Drizzle over the salad and serve.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.