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The perfect Winter Pear Salad is combined with vibrant red onions, mixed greens, pomegranate and a savory dairy-free cheese for a foodie experience right in your own kitchen. I’m always in for a delightful loaded salad, and this salad is just as fantastic as my Fall Salad with Candied Pecans.

winter pear salad topped with vinaigrette dressing and pomegranate arils on a circle plant with a fork.

When we were a young family invited to gatherings, I noticed that there weren’t many fresh options amidst the potato salads, chips and meats so I designated myself as the produce-bringer.

I always knew what I was bringing and have since perfected dishes like my Bright Berry Salad and these Sweet Potato Nachos.

Table of Contents
  1. Pear Salad Ingredients
  2. Ingredient Swaps for Winter Pear Salad
  3. The Perfect Pear Salad Dressing
  4. How to Make a Winter Pear Salad
  5. Winter Salad FAQs
  6. Winter Pear Salad Recipe

Pear Salad Ingredients

labeled ingredients for a pear salad including pears, pomegranate arils, red onion, walnuts, vegan cheese and coconut oil.

Creating a pear salad recipe using fresh ingredients isn’t hard and you can even Google what produce is freshest where you are. With so many fun flavors to choose from this season, I wanted to highlight a few ingredients not in the squash family, yet equally as fresh and delicious for this delightful dish:

  • Coconut oil: This healthy fat helps highlight the sweeter notes in this salad.
  • Pears: Pears contain a lot of soluble fiber (6 grams per pear!), which aids in the digestion of this pear salad. Try a few varieties to decide your favorite.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts are loaded with antioxidants, antibacterial, and anti-tumor elements, basically a must-have for keeping the brain and body healthy for a long time.
  • Miyoko’s vegan cheese: This is my favorite plant-based cheese to use. The main ingredient is cashews and the flavors are out-of-this-world delicious.
  • Red onion: I like the sharpness in this that pairs well with the sweetness of the pears and pomegranate.
  • Pomegranate arils: The burst when you bite into these seeds is wondrous.

With this rawkstar list of ingredients, how can you not try this salad?

ceramic bowl of pears, some red and some brown, sitting on a striped tea towel.

Pear Guide

Though the grocery store usually only has one variety of pear at a time, there are actually several varieties from which to choose. Here are a few that I think work well in this pear salad:

  • Bosc: This variety is typically brown-colored and very crisp. It is firm and great for eating raw.
  • Bartlett: Often yellow or red, this pear variety is super sweet.
  • Anjous: These green pears are most common in stores right now. Though they are typically hard and bright green at the grocery, just set them on the counter for a few days and watch them lighten in color and soften to a super sweet, juicy treat.

Ingredient Swaps for Winter Pear Salad

Depending on where you live, some of these ingredients might not be so fresh when you make this salad. No problem! Swap pomegranates with another antioxidant-rich berry (blueberries or raspberries would be delish!).

Apples make great swaps for pears. I prefer honey crisp apples in my salads, as they’re bursting with sweet flavor. Trade walnuts for pecans, or a seed of your choice. Lightly toasted pumpkin seeds work, too. Shallots can be replaced with a white or yellow onion, along with an extra pinch of garlic powder.

Even if you don’t need dairy-free cheese, give some a try! You might be surprised at how good it is. You can also swap in regular blue cheese crumbles or goat cheese.

The Perfect Pear Salad Dressing

labeled ingredients for roasted pear vinaigrette including garlic cloves, olive oil, shallot, pear, coconut oil, honey, orange juice and white wine vinegar.

The secret ingredient to this vinaigrette is the roasted pear. It’s super easy to do and adds a whole new flavor profile to the orange juice, white wine vinegar, shallow and honey.

This dressing can be used in many different salads, like this Mason Jar Salad, so don’t be afraid to make a big batch and take it to the next family gathering. You’ll get lots of requests for the recipe!

Want a second option? Try this salad with my Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette.

How to Make a Winter Pear Salad

fresh salad on a bed of mixed greens with sliced pears, walnuts, vegan cheese and pomegranate arils.

I split this recipe into three groups, which sounds like a lot of work yet isn’t! I promise. The dressing and roasted walnuts can be made a day or two in advance if you don’t have time to roast the pears the day of.

  1. Drizzle the halved pear with coconut oil then roast for 10-15 minutes at 425° F. They should be super soft when finished. Let cool to room temp before blending.
  2. While the roasted pear is cooling, roast the walnuts. Spread them out on a baking sheet then drizzle with coconut oil and maple syrup. These only need to bake 2-5 minutes to toast, so keep an eye on them! I’ve burned my fair share of walnuts. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Place the roasted pear, olive oil, orange juice, vinegar, garlic, shallot, honey, salt and pepper in a blender container. Blend on high until completely pureed.
  4. Now to assemble the salad: Place the mixed greens in a large bowl or on a platter. Top with fresh sliced pears, candied walnuts, vegan cheese, red onion and pomegranate arils.

Winter Salad FAQs

What is in pear salad?

My pear salad recipe drizzles a roasted pear vinaigrette over toasted walnuts, a bed of mixed greens and fresh red onion, pears, pomegranate, and delicious vegan cheese crumbles.

What kind of pears are best for salads?

The kind of pears you want for salad really depends on how you want your salad to taste/feel. Bartlett pears are the crunchiest while Bosc are the sweetest. The most common variety found at the grocery is Anjou. Just make sure this variety is ripe before you use it!

What goes with pears?

Pears are sweet yet mild and pair with quite a few options. In this pear salad, I am using some sweet and savory ingredients: red onions, pomegranate, mixed greens and roasted walnuts along with an excellent cheese option to play on the sweetness and sharpness of all this produce.

mixed greens topped with sliced pears, dressing, pomegranate and walnuts.

Don’t forget to rate + review this recipe once you make it! I’d love to know what gathering you’re bringing it to.

5 from 10 votes

Winter Pear Salad

Bring the wow factor to your next dinner with this lovely, crisp Winter pear salad. From the roasted pear vinaigrette to the seasonally fresh ingredients like pears, red onion and pomegranate, this salad is sure to delight all who enjoy it.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Entree, Salad
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Serves: 4

Equipment

Ingredients  

Roasted Pear Vinaigrette

  • 1 pear peeled, cored, and cut in half
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp shallot finely chopped
  • 2 tsp honey
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper ground, to taste

Toasted Walnuts

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Pear Salad

  • 2 pears cored and thinly sliced
  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • cup crumbled vegan blue cheese Miyoko’s is a great brand
  • ¼ red onion thinly sliced
  • cup pomegranate arils
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Instructions 

For Roasted Pear Vinaigrette:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Place the pear halves on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Place the pan in the oven and roast the pear for 10 to 15 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  • Once the pear is cooled, blend the roasted pear, olive oil, orange juice, vinegar, garlic, shallot, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a blender until smooth.
  • For Roasted Walnuts:
  • Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tsp coconut oil and maple syrup. Cook at 350° for 3-5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.

For Salad:

  • Place the mixed greens in a large bowl. Top with the sliced pears, candied walnuts, vegan cheese, red onion and pomegranate arils.
  • Drizzle with roasted pear vinaigrette and toss. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Swap mixed greens for the leafy greens of your choice. A mix adds a depth of flavor.
  • You can toast the walnuts without any other ingredients to cut down on the natural sugar in this recipe and just have roasted walnuts. They’ll still taste great!
  • Swap shallot with white onion.
  • Make the dressing up to 3 days in advance and refrigerate in an air-tight container until ready to use. Shake well before serving.
  • Leftover salad (if there is any) can be stored for 24 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 574kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 47g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g, Monounsaturated Fat: 16g, Sodium: 93mg, Potassium: 468mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 23g, Vitamin A: 730IU, Vitamin C: 25mg, Calcium: 74mg, Iron: 2mg
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was intimidated by the roasted pears in this salad, but had to roast pears for something else so decided to give this a try… and it was totally worth it. The roasting is actually super easy, and makes for an incredible dressing.

  2. 5 stars
    I saved this recipe when I saw it in November 2020, but didn’t try it until now. The salad dressing is amazing! My family loved the freshness and naturally sweet flavor of the pear. Thank you for a tasty and healthy recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    It’s like you took all my favorite fall things and put them in a salad! And I can’t wait to try Miyoko’s cheese, I’ve heard good things about it. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I love the idea of a dressing with a pear in it! Can hear the crunch of the pomegranates from here; seriously delicious combination.

  5. 5 stars
    Just made this vinaigrette and it is CRAZY yum. Got out a spoon to scoop it into my mouth! The kitty was watching but promised not to tell….. For the record I left the peel on (too lazy to remove) and it came out just fine. Used my immersion blender. Oh my – may just drink it for dinner instead of putting it on the salad <3
    Thank you so much!

    1. Haha Jupiter, what an awesome review of the dressing! So glad you loved it. 🙂