This easy, 5-ingredient pear salad is a beautiful, fresh, delicious fall side dish. It's made with walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese and topped with a creamy, classic balsamic vinaigrette.
About the Recipe
Layered with juicy pears, crunchy walnuts, creamy cheese and tart cranberries, this pear salad is a flavor explosion that celebrates the best of fall!
Plus it's simple. It uses only 5 ingredients and is made with a classic balsamic dressing that you can make yourself or buy.
This recipe is best served as a side dish. It's easy enough to throw together as part of a weeknight dinner; and festive enough to be served at a dinner party or holiday table.
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe:
- Spring lettuce mix (or spinach)
- Dried cranberries
- Blue cheese
For the balsamic dressing:
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Maple syrup (or honey)
See recipe card at the bottom of the page for full recipe.
Step 1: Make the dressing
In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Stir or whisk the dressing until emulsified (fully mixed and slightly thickened).
TIP: I love using an electric whisk to mix my dressings (this helps make them thick and creamy)!
Step 2: Mix the salad
Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Drizzle as much of the dressing as preferred on top (start by adding half) and toss to mix.
Step 3: Serve
Serve immediately. Serve as a main course (serves about 4) or as a side dish (serves about 6).
Lettuce: I've used a spring mix, but you could use spinach or any other leafy green mix for this salad.
Pears: any type of pear is tasty in this recipe!
Nuts: swap out the walnuts for pecans or slivered almonds if you prefer.
Cheese: this recipe calls for blue cheese, but you can substitute feta, parmesan, gorgonzola, or goat cheese.
Maple syrup: honey can be used instead.
About The Dressing
This recipe includes a simple, classic balsamic vinaigrette. It's thick, creamy and full of flavor. Balsamic dressing is popular in salads that use fruits, and it's a delicious pairing for this salad!
Other dressings you could use include: honey dijon, red wine vinaigrette, or creamy poppyseed. Most vinaigrettes will work for this salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
For this recipe, you'll want to thinly slice your pears (there's no need to peel them) into about ¼" thickness.
To tell if a pear is ripe, gently press on it near the stem. If it feels slightly soft, then it's ready to be eaten. If it feels hard, it needs to ripen more.
What to Serve with Pear and Blue Cheese Salad
This salad is tasty when served with simple meat main courses like chicken or steak. It would also be tasty at the holidays served with turkey or roast beef.
For more fruit-inspired recipes, check out these favorites:
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment & rating at the bottom of this page!Print