This Roasted Pear and Goat Cheese Salad is a tasty salad recipe for anyone who loves fruity, nutty salads. It is bright, colorful, and fresh like my other savory fruit salads Apple Salad, Blueberry Salad, or Strawberry Spinach Salad recipes.
Why Should You Make This Recipe?
- Sweet, Savory, Nutty All in One Salad: The sweetness of the roasted pears and pomegranate seeds complement the nutty pecans and the peppery arugula creating a great salad with simple everyday ingredients.
- Easily Customizable: You can follow the recipe as written or try my variation suggestions to make it your own. Switch up the salad greens, nuts, or the dressing for a different twist if you are missing an ingredient or two.
- Visually Impressive: Need a centerpiece to wow your family for the Thanksgiving meal? This Roasted Pear Arugula Salad is bright and colorful makes a beautiful side dish at any gathering including the holidays.
- Roasted Pears: Gather your ingredients for the roasted pears. You will need firm pears, extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, kosher salt (or sea salt), and ground black pepper.
- Lemon Vinaigrette: To prepare the dressing, you will need olive oil, lemon juice, a few cloves of minced garlic, dijon mustard, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
- The Salad: For the salad, you will need a combination of arugula and spring mix, toasted pecans, crumbled goat cheese, and pomegranate arils.
Substitutions & Helpful Notes on Ingredients:
- What pears should you use?: I find that the best pears for this arugula pear salad (and for roasting) are Red or Green Anjou Pear, Concord Pear, Bosc Pear, or Bartlett Pears. However, you can use other types of pears as well. You can also mix and match and use two varieties to take advantage of their flavor profiles.
When shopping at the grocery store be sure to buy firm pears instead of ripe pears. Ripened pears will be too juicy and will get too mushy after they are roasted.
- Cheese: I use soft goat cheese to garnish the salad, but you can also other soft cheeses like feta cheese, gorgonzola cheese, or blue cheese as well.
- Salad Greens: I use a combination of mixed greens, like red leaf lettuce, frisee, radicchio, and arugula, but any of your favorite greens, like baby spinach, would also work.
- Nuts: For this Roasted Pear Salad, I use toasted pecans, but you can also use hazelnuts, walnuts, or even pine nuts as an alternative. Whichever nut you chose to use, I highly recommend spending a few minutes toasting them to bring out their flavors.
- Sweetener: I used maple syrup to drizzle the pears, but agave or honey roasted pear salad would also be delicious.
How To Make
This Roasted Pear Salad is easy to make and ready in just a few simple steps! This recipe takes under 30 minutes from start to finish for this delicious, nutritious dish.
How To Roast Pears For Salad?
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare pears: Begin by cutting each pair in half vertically, and, using a melon scooper or a small spoon, scoop out the core and discard. Cut pears into smaller pieces by first cutting the halves into quarters, and those quarters in half. Each pear should yield eight pieces. Place pears on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
- Season: Drizzle olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and black pepper and toss pears until they are evenly covered.
- Bake: Roast them for 10-12 minutes, or until just softened.
Make The Dressing:
For the dressing for this arugula pear salad, I used my all-time favorite lemon vinaigrette that you can make in minutes. Simply whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk for 30-60 seconds, until fully combined.
Make The Salad
- The Greens: Place salad greens into a large bowl.
- Toppings: Top it off with crumbled goat cheese, pecans, pomegranate seeds, and roasted pears.
- Drizzle with the dressing: Pour the dressing over the salad.
- Toss: Give it a gentle toss to make sure all the greens are coated with the dressing and the toppings are evenly distributed throughout the salad.
How To Make Ahead And Store Leftovers?
Need to make this a part of your holiday meal or meal prep? The beauty of this Roasted Pear and Goat Cheese Salad is that with a little bit of prep you can easily have it ready in minutes.
- To Make Ahead: Roast pears, let them cool to room temperature and store them in an airtight container in the fridge a day ahead of time. Make the dressing at the same time and again, keep it in the fridge. A few minutes before you are ready to serve, assemble the salad as written and drizzle it with the dressing.
- To Store leftovers: Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. However, please be aware that since it is already dressed the salad greens will be quite wilted the next day.
- Freeze: I would not recommend freezing this salad.
My favorite thing about this Roasted Pear Salad is that you can use my basic recipe below and change it up with a few ingredient swaps. Below are a few variations I tried in the past:
- Arugula Pear Cranberry Salad: Use dried cranberries instead of pomegranate seeds.
- Arugula Pear Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette: Use my lemon balsamic vinaigrette recipe or maple balsamic vinegar dressing instead of lemon dressing.
- Spinach Pear Pecan Salad: Use baby spinach instead of mixed salad greens.
- Grilled Pear Salad: Grill pear slices on the grill (or in a grill pan) for 2 minutes on each side. Serve it as a warm pear salad for a change.
- Turn it into a meal by adding cooked quinoa: Elevate this side dish to a main dish by adding in your favorite grain, like quinoa! Serve it for dinner or make it a part of your weekly meal prep for a healthy weekday lunch.
- Add in a small sliced red onion: Top it off with thinly sliced red onions or pickled red onions for additional flavor.
- Assemble it At The End: I highly suggest assembling it right before you are ready to serve it. You can place all the ingredients (including the toppings) in a salad bowl but I would wait until the last minute to drizzle it with the dressing so that the salad greens will still be fresh (as opposed to wilted).
- Roast The Nuts: It might come as an extra step but taking a few minutes to roast the pecans will up their flavor and make your pear salad even more delicious. To do so, simply place them in a skillet over medium heat. Roast them, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes or until it starts to smell. Let them cool for a few minutes before using in the salad.
- Buy Prewashed Greens: If you are looking to save on time, purchase prewashed greens! This will save you the hassle of having to wash and dry your greens before assembling your salad.
Serve This Salad With
This Roasted Pear Arugula Salad is delicious alongside many different main dishes. If you are wondering what to serve this salad with, here are a few recipes you can try:
- Cornish Hens: If you are looking to impress your dinner guests, consider making my creative Roasted Cornish Hens. These roasted small birds will pair perfectly with this pear salad recipe.
- Chicken Breasts: You can’t go wrong with serving juicy, tender baked chicken breasts with this Roasted Pear And Goat Cheese Salad. Delicious and filling, this protein-packed entree is sure to impress your dinner guests but is casual enough for a quiet night in.
- Butternut Squash Noodles: If you are opting for a vegetarian meal, or just looking to embrace the seasonal vegetables, my Butternut Squash Noodles are an irresistibly creamy, delectable dish.
- Beef Stew: If you have a few hours on your hands, my Dutch Oven Beef Stew is a veggie-packed dish full of protein and rich flavors and will pair beautifully with this roasted pear salad.
No, you don’t have to peel pears for the salad. Since the skin of the pears is so thin, it won’t affect the flavors of the salad.
I cut the pears into eighths, but you can also prepare pear quarters for this salad. I first cut the pear in half lengthwise and scoop out the core using a melon baller or small spoon. I then cut the pear halves in half again, and cut those quarters in half for eight pieces total.
I suggest roasting pears or grilling pears for the Warm Pear Salad. You can also poach the pears if you prefer softer pears.
Pear slices often turn brown quickly after being cut and exposed to air. To slow down the oxidation, rub slices of pears with a little bit of lemon juice after cutting.
Similar Salad Recipes You Might Also Like:
- Roasted Asparagus Salad
- Butter Leaf Lettuce Salad
- The Best Ever Quinoa Salad Recipes
- Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad
- Butternut Squash Arugula Salad
- Need more inspiration? Check out all our healthy salad recipes.
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Roasted Pear Salad Recipe
For the Roasted Pears:
- 3 firm pears green or red anjou or bartlett – cored & cut into 8 equal pieces – no need to peel
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup honey or agave nectar would also work
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the Salad:
- 6 cups of spring mix or a combination of salad greens including arugula
- 1 cup pecans walnuts or hazelnuts would also work – lightly toasted
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese approximately 5 oz.
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place pear slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, honey, salt, and black pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the lemon dressing by whisking all of the ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified.
- To assemble the salad: Place salad greens, pecans, goat cheese, and pomegranate arils in a large bowl. Add the roasted pear slices. Drizzle it with the lemon dressing. Give it a gentle toss to make sure all of the ingredients are equally distributed throughout the bowl. Serve.
- You can use Red or Green Anjou Pear, Concord Pear, Bosc Pear, or Bartlett Pears. Feel free to mix and match.
- Make ahead instructions: You can roast the peppers and make the dressing a day in advance and assemble right before serving.
- Cheese: I used creamy goat cheese but creamy gorgonzola cheese or blue cheese would also work.
Can I use dried cranberries instead of Pomegranate arils? Not sure I can find them this time of year where I live.
You sure can. 🙂
Wonderful salad! I did substitute dried cranberries and it added the same touch of color and a nice flavor.
Happy to hear that Michelle. It is a favorite in our house as well. Thanks for coming by and taking the time to leave a review.
This was absolutely delicious!! Everything just went together beautifully and the dressing was wonderful!!
Hi Lisa, I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed this pear salad recipe. It is a favorite in our house as well. Thanks for coming by and taking the time to leave a review.
CAN LIME JUICE BE SUBSTITUTED FOR THE GRAPEFRUIT JUICE? WHAT ABOUT MEYER LEMON OR REGULAR LEMON? THX
For sure. The flavor profile might be a little different but I think they would all work in this recipe.
I hope this helps.
What a healthy and tasty salad! It would make a perfect meal on its own.
Awww thank you Zerrin. It really was a delicious autumn salad.
Love and hugs to Eskisehir from the Sunny Caribbean!
Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table