Perfect for fall, when pears are fresh and delicious, this Pear Salad is fresh, sweet, and savory, with a homemade balsamic dressing, crunchy walnuts, tangy feta cheese, and tart dried cranberries.
I just love making new and exciting salads! I get bored with the same old greens and veggies, and this Pear salad is anything but boring.
Use your favorite lettuce, greens, or spinach. Add in ripe, thinly sliced pears and a divine combination of nuts, cheese, and cranberries. Finish it off with a simple homemade dressing featuring balsamic vinegar, honey, and garlic.
You might forget that you’re eating a salad – Pear salad is that good!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Fresh Pears – Pears are one of those ingredients that I don’t use as often as I should! They are a delicious fruit, juicy, and flavorful, with a texture a bit softer than apples. Pears are wonderful in salads.
- Easy Homemade Salad Dressing – There’s no need to buy expensive bottled dressings when you can make your own and it tastes this good! I like to shake up this dressing in a mason jar. It’s more fun that way.
- Versatile Recipe – The ingredients in this recipe work really well together, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t adjust them to your own tastes. Try a little bit of sliced red onion to give it a kick, or swap out the feta cheese for blue cheese or goat cheese.
Ingredients In Pear Salad
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Salad Mix: You can use baby spinach and make a pear spinach salad, or use a bag or box of spring mix. Any type of soft salad greens that you enjoy will be delicious here.
- Pears: Choose pears that are ripe, but not overripe. You want them to be juicy but not falling apart. We’ll coat the pear slices in lemon juice to keep them from browning.
- Walnuts: This salad is delicious with either plain roasted walnuts, or candied walnuts.
- Sweetened Dried Cranberries: I eat these by the handful sometimes, I love the sweet and tart flavor they have.
- Feta Cheese: This adds creaminess and tanginess to the salad. You can also use crumbled blue cheese if you prefer a stronger flavor.
- Homemade Pear Salad Dressing: A simple mixture of extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt and pepper.
How To Make This Pear Salad Recipe
- Make the Dressing: In a bowl or a small jar combine the olive oil with balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk or shake to combine until the dressing is emulsified and creamy.
- Slice the Pears: Thinly slice the pears, and toss them with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Set them aside while you assemble the rest of the salad.
- Toss: To a large bowl, add the salad leaves, half of sliced pears, half of the walnuts, and half of the feta cheese. Add all of the dressing, and toss gently to combine.
- Serve: Transfer the dressed salad to your serving bowl and top with the remaining pears, walnuts, feta, and cranberries.
Have fun artfully arranging the ingredients on the top of the salad before you serve it. A good looking salad will always taste better!
- Don’t forget to wash your lettuce! I love this salad spinner. It gets the job done and it’s fun to use.
- Buy feta cheese as a block, and crumble it yourself. The flavor is so much better than that of pre-crumbled cheese.
- Not a fan of walnuts? Swap them out for sliced almonds, pecans, pepitas, or sunflower seeds.
- Instead of dried cranberries, try raisins or fresh pomegranate seeds.
- Add Protein: Turn this salad into a full meal by adding more protein to it. Try shredded chicken or crispy air fryer chickpeas!
If you think you’ll have leftovers, it might be best to leave half of the salad undressed. Salad stored with the dressing on it will wilt, and won’t be very good the next day.
As with most salads, it’s best to make this one right before you plan to serve it.
What To Serve With Pear Salad
This salad is a wonderful accompaniment to any meal you’re serving this fall or winter.
Almost any type of pear can be used here, but try to choose a variety of pear that is firm, and flavorful. Bartlett or Anjou pears are perfect.
Give the pear a gentle squeeze. If it doesn’t budge, it’s not ready yet. A ripe pear will be slightly soft.
There are a few different fancy ways to cut pears, but for this recipe, you don’t need to worry so much about a specific method. Simply cut the pear into quarters and remove the core with a sharp paring knife. You can also cut the pear in half and scoop out the core with a melon baller. Then thinly slice the pears into pieces that are easy to pick up with a fork.
Would you have ever thought that pears in a salad would be your new favorite thing? It’s truly amazing how well the flavor of pears works with this balsamic dressing. Save this recipe for the next time you’re dreading eating a boring salad. You’ll be glad you have this Pear Salad Recipe to liven things up.
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 clove garlic pressed or very finely minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the salad:
- 3 medium pears stems and seeds removed then thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 6 cups (120g) salad mix leaves or any greens
- ½ cup walnuts plain roasted or candied
- ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese or gorgonzola cheese
- In a bowl or a small jar combine the olive oil with balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk or shake well until combined. You want the dressing to be emulsified and creamy.
- Toss the sliced pears with lemon juice and set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the salad leaves, half of the sliced pears, half of the walnuts, half of the feta, and add the dressing. Toss gently to combine.
- Transfer to your serving dish, and top with the remaining pears, walnuts, feta, and dried cranberries.
- Choose pears that are firm, and flavorful. Pears come in many varieties, and while any of them will work, the best pears for salads are Bartlet or Anjou varieties.
- It’s also important that your pears are ripe. Give them a gently squeeze to check.
- Toss the pears with lemon juice soon after slicing them to keep the fruit from browning.
- This salad is best enjoyed right away, so avoid making it too early.
- Un-dressed leftovers can be stored for up to 2 days in the fridge. The ingredients may soften a bit during that time though.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen