This oh-so-elegant pear salad recipe is easy to make and totally delicious.
It has the perfect blend of fresh greens, sweet ripe pears, crunchy nuts, and creamy cheese tossed in a tangy vinaigrette!
Perfect as a starter or an easy side dish, it’s a favorite.
A Perfect Pear!
- This lovely salad is as pretty as it is delicious, perfect to a holiday or special occasion but simple enough for a weeknight meal!
- This salad recipe is easy to mix and match ingredients with what’s on hand; and the dressing goes with everything!
- Serve pear salad as a side dish or make it an entrée salad with grilled salmon, chicken, or shrimp.
Ingredients for Pear Salad
Greens – Assorted mixed greens can include red leaf lettuce, arugula, or spinach. Finely chopped kale or sliced Brussels sprouts can be added for more texture and nutrients.
Pears – Use a colorful combination of Asian, Bosc, or Red Anjou for extra color. Canned pears can be used and should be drained and patted dry before using. Sliced apples are a good stand-in if you don’t have pears.
Nuts & Cheese – Feel free to get creative here! Pecans, walnuts, or pistachios can be used. Gorgonzola, goat cheese, feta, and parmesan are dry tangy alternatives that fit the flavor profile of this recipe.
Dressing – This sweet-tart dressing balances all the flavors of pear salad. Honey can be used instead of maple syrup and red wine or balsamic can take the place of the lemon juice as long as it’s used in the same amounts. For a different and simple dressing (and marinade!) try this easy Dijon vinaigrette.
Variations – This is a great recipe for special touches like pomegranate arils. Add cooked and chilled farro, quinoa, or couscous for more texture and a big boost of nutrients! A handful of homemade croutons will add to the crunch.
Lightly roast nuts in a sauté pan and cool them completely before using them in recipes. This makes them extra crunchy and intensifies their flavor! Toasted sunflower, pumpkin, or chia seeds can be used if nut allergies are a concern.
How to Make Pear Salad
- Add dressing ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well & refrigerate until ready to use.
- Combine the greens, parsley, and red onion in a large salad bowl (per recipe below). Drizzle with a bit of dressing to lightly coat.
- Slice the pears as directed in the recipe below and arrange them on top of the salad.
- Sprinkle the remaining ingredients on top and drizzle with more dressing. Serve immediately.
Pears oxidize quickly so they’re best sliced just before serving. The rest of the salad can be prepared ahead of time.
Serving Pear Salad
Prep the dressing and salad up to a day ahead and keep them separate until ready to toss and serve. Leftover pear salad can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Toss before serving.
Did your family love this Pear Salad? Leave us a rating and a comment below!
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley coarsely chopped
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- 2 ripe pears
- ¼ cup slivered almonds toasted*
- ¼ cup dried cranberries optional
- 2 oz blue cheese or feta cheese
- In a small jar with a lid, combine the vegetable oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Shake until fully combined and refrigerate.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the mixed greens, chopped parsley, and sliced red onion. Add ¼ cup of the dressing (or adjust to taste) and toss to coat.
- Cut the ripe pears in half lengthwise. Use a spoon or small knife to remove the core and seeds. Slice the pears into thin 1/8-inch slices.
- Arrange the sliced pears on top of the salad. Sprinkle with toasted slivered almonds, dried cranberries, and crumbled blue cheese (or feta cheese).
- Drizzle additional dressing over the salad if desired.
- Serve immediately.
- *For extra flavor, toast the slivered almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly golden and fragrant before adding them to the salad.
- The dressing can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week in advance. Shake well before using.
- For a sweeter dressing, increase the maple syrup.
- Pears can be prepared up to 1 hour ahead of time, but toss the slices with lemon juice to prevent browning from oxidation.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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