This light and fresh pear salad is packed with sweet and salty flavors and topped with a homemade vinaigrette dressing. Add chopped pears, crunchy pecans and goat cheese to mixed greens for a simple salad that is sure to impress!
Pear Salad Recipe
Pear salad is an easy side dish that is great any time of year! Pears are in season during the fall, making this a great fall salad. However, the refreshing sweet fruit with crunchy greens is a perfect side dish for any meal.
Making fun salads is one of the best ways to incorporate healthy items into your meals. Mexican fruit salad is a staple for taco night and I love making grilled chicken salad for a light lunch or even dinner.
This crisp pear salad is the perfect combination of juicy fruit and fresh greens. And homemade balsamic dressing just takes it to over the top delicious! The sweetness of the pear pair beautifully with the bite of red wine vinegar.
I love to make this side salad for anything from a special occasion to a simple weeknight dinner. There's always a good reason to make a leafy green salad!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
I can never have too many good salad recipes! This salad is always a good choice and there's so many reason to love it:
- You can add simple protein and eat this as a main course, have it as a light lunch, or just serve it as a side dish. It's extremely versatile and the fresh produce makes it a delightful choice for any meal.
- This pear salad recipe is very easy to adapt and change. You can follow it exactly or change it up and use your favorite greens, a different cheese, or whatever else you want to switch up.
- Making your own dressing not only tastes better, but is better for you. You'll avoid added sugar, preservatives, and other fillers when you make a creamy dressing with these simple ingredients.
Here's a list of everything that you need to grab at the grocery store to make this delicious pear salad. It's just super simple and healthy ingredients:
- mixed baby greens
- chopped pecans
- goat cheese
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- red wine vinegar
- dijon mustard
- olive oil
- dried rosemary
Substitutions and Variations
I use baby mixed greens, but you can use whatever leafy greens you want! Make an arugula salad or throw in baby spinach for a fun mix. You can use a spring mix or change things up and make a kale salad. There are many different ways to prepare it and you can really use any greens that you want.
Not a fan of goat cheese? Then swap it out for another creamy cheese like feta cheese, blue cheese, gorgonzola cheese, or even shredded cheddar cheese.
Feel free to swap out the pecans for another nut. Candied walnuts, regular crunchy walnuts, candied pecans, toasted pecans, sliced almonds, etc.
You can omit the raisins or use dried cranberries if you prefer. Other dried fruits would be tasty too!
Use any type of pear that you can find. From bartlett pears to red anjou pears, they'll all be tasty on a bed a leafy greens. Just make sure you're grabbing ripe pears so that they are crisp and juicy.
The combination of sweet pears and red wine vinaigrette is *chef's kiss*! However, you can use a store-bought dressing if that makes things easier. You can also make a different homemade dressing like honey vinaigrette or strawberry vinaigrette.
How to Make Pear Salad
Follow these few simple steps to make the perfect pear salad in just a few short minutes:
Start by making the red wine vinaigrette before you build the salad. Combine red wine vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, salt and dried rosemary in a small bowl and whisk well.
You can also combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar and then shake to combine.
Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings as needed to make the dressing taste perfect! Set it aside for later.
Now that the dressing is made, you can start building the salad.
Add the mixed greens your favorite salad bowl and then arrange pear slices on the top.
Sprinkle the chopped pecans, raisins and creamy goat cheese over the entire salad. Then drizzle the vinaigrette over the top. Start with just some of the dressing and you can add more later if needed!
Gently toss the salad and serve immediately!
How to Store Pear Salad
I recommend storing the pear salad and red wine vinaigrette separately for best results. Store the salad in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Transfer leftover dressing to an airtight cup with a lid and refrigerate for a few weeks.
Before using the dressing, just give it a good shake to reincorporate the ingredients and pour it over the salad as usual!
What to Serve with Pear Salad
This salad is basic enough so that it goes great with any main course, but flavorful enough that it never gets boring. Pair it with tons of tasty main proteins like grilled chicken drumsticks or baked chicken meatballs.
It's also a fabulous side for lemon chicken thighs or one pan chicken piccata. Honestly, I'd even serve this salad alongside a big juicy burger or grilled chicken burger too. To jazz up your appetizer course, just make this pear salad with some cheesy stuffed mushrooms!
Tips for Success
Check out these few simple tips so that you can have the best pear salad every single time:
- If you are serving this to a large crowd, then leave the dressing on the side. This will allow guests to dress individual servings so that they get the amount of dressing that they like. It will also help you store any leftovers more easily!
- Make sure that there are enough pear slices for the entire salad. Whether you cube the pears or slice them, you'll want there to be a delicious taste of pear in every bite.
- Adding extra toppings? Just make sure that you don't overload the salad. Sometimes less is more when it comes to dressing a salad. If you add a ton of ingredients that don't mix well, it could mess with the flavors a bit.
Pears pair very well with any type of blue cheese and other cheeses, like sharp cheddar and brie. They also go well with many different warming spices or something that brings out their sweetness. If you're looking for more things to add with pears in a salad, then bacon bits, nuts, and tangy fruits would pair beautifully alongside sliced pears.
I highly recommend using fresh pears because the texture is much better and there will not be any added liquid or sweeteners. However, if you are unable to find fresh pears and really want to give this salad a try then go ahead and use canned pears. Just make sure they are drained well so that if does not make your salad soggy!
More Salad Recipes
If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.
- 2 cups mixed baby greens
- 2 pears cut into thin slices or chunks
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup goat cheese
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
Prepare the Red Wine Vinaigrette
- In a small bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, and dried rosemary.
- Whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is well emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Set the vinaigrette aside.
Assemble the Salad
- In a large salad bowl, add the mixed baby greens as the base.
- Arrange the pear slices on top of the greens.
- Sprinkle the chopped pecans, raisins, and crumbled goat cheese evenly over the pears and greens.
- Drizzle the prepared red wine vinaigrette over the salad. Start with a portion of the dressing and add more as desired.
- Gently toss the salad ingredients together and serve.
- Add a bit of lemon juice to the pear slices to preserve them longer.
- The dressing can be made ahead of time and kept for 1 week in the fridge.
- If you'll want to save some of the salad for later, leave the dressing off and pour over individual bowls. Salad with dressing on it already does not store well.