The perfect pear salad this season is combined with vibrant red onions, mixed greens and a lovely dairy-free cheese for a desirable plate. Even the dressing uses gorgeously roasted pears for a creamy vinaigrette.
A crisp, crunchy, pear salad that highlights all the best flavors of the seasons has arrived. I love a good pear, yet realize that the ones I buy in the spring just don’t compare to what’s fresh and in season right now. This pear salad recipe has it all, and then some. Toss it all together for a beautiful statement dish on the table, or lay out all the toppings for an epic salad bar, where everyone can customize.
Table of Contents
Pear Salad Ingredients
Creating a pear salad recipe using fall fresh ingredients isn’t hard. With so many fresh flavors to choose from this season, I wanted to highlight a few ingredients not in the squash family, yet equally as fresh + delicious:
- Coconut oil– provides healthy fat and a lovely finish to this salad when mixed in.
- Pears– contain a lot of soluble fiber (6 grams per pear!), which aids in the digestion of this pear salad.
- Walnuts– loaded with antioxidants, antibacterial, and antitumor elements, this nut is a must have for keeping the brain + body healthy for a long time.
- Miyoko’s vegan cheese– the main ingredient is cashews, which provide healthy fat and protein.
- Red onion– provides a kick of flavor, as well as antioxidants.
- Pomegranate seeds– a superfood fruit that brings a crisp, crunchy taste, along with lots of fiber + antioxidants.
With this rawkstar list of ingredients, how can you not try this salad?!
Ingredient swap guide
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.
Though the grocery store usually only has 1 variety of pear at a time, there are actually several varieties from which to choose. Here are a few 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.
A Note on Vegan Cheese
When creating this pear salad recipe, I felt it needed another texture to tie all the ingredients together. I went with Miyoko‘s vegan cheese for several reasons. First, it is made from plant based ingredients that are pronounceable.
Second, it has the texture and flavor I look for in a dairy product, however, it is 100% dairy free. Dairy doesn’t sit well with my gut, so this is a great alternative.
Third, Miyoko’s has a wide variety of options in their cheese pinwheel family, so I can pick one that suites my palate and my plate. If this isn’t your style, then feel free to omit it from this pear salad.
The Perfect Pear Salad Dressing
Even the salad dressing has a pear in it, I love them so much! Honestly though, I added a pear to this dressing to up the cream factor. Make sure to cream the dressing well when blending. I don’t want you left with any grittiness or chunks! This dressing can be used in many different fall salads, 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!
More Pear Recipes
Usually my box of pears from Costco all ripen at the same time, so I need to use them rather quickly! Here are some other great recipes that use pears, in case you run into this problem as well:
- Brain food green smoothie
- Glowing green smoothie (inspired by Reese Witherspoon!)
- Butternut pear green smoothie
- Fall salad with candied pecans
You can also swap in pears for recipes using apples, as they have a similar texture.
Which ingredient in this pear salad recipe are you most excited about? Leave a comment and let me know if you’re adding this salad to your menu!
Winter Pear Salad
Roasted Pear Vinaigrette
- 1 pear peeled, cored, and cut in half
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- ⅓ 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
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 pears cored and thinly sliced
- 6 cups mixed greens
- ⅓ cup crumbled vegan blue cheese Miyoko’s is a great brand
- ¼ red onion thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup pomegranate arils
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.
- 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.
- 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.