Pear Salad is SO addictingly delicious bursting with pears, pomegranate seeds, apples, cucumbers, peppers and creamy feta complimented by salty roasted pistachios and pepitas all doused in Creamy Pomegranate Dressing!
Pear Salad is the perfect showstopping salad for Thanksgiving or just plain delicious for everyday!
Pear Salad Recipe
This Pear Salad is a healthy Fall inspired salad, packed with flavor and texture in every sweet, crunchy bite. It’s the kind of salad that looks impressive, tastes gourmet but is easy to throw together, making it perfect for all your holiday gatherings.
Pear Salad Ingredients
For this Pear Salad, I wanted to create a a bright, creamy dressing that would complement the crisp, crunchy textures. I went with a Creamy Pomegranate Dressing and it is heavenly!
For the Salad:
- Romaine lettuce: I love the crunch of Romaine lettuce but you can substitute it with additional spring mix or your favorite greens.
- Pear: See my notes below on which pears to buy.
- Apple: You will want to choose a sweet apple (Fuji are my fav).
- Cucumber: Adds some crunch without taking away from the overall flavor.
- Bell pepper: I prefer using red bell peppers since they’re sweeter.
- Onion: You can chop your onion if you prefer – thinly slicing is strictly for presentation because they look beautiful with thinly sliced pears.
- Pepitas: If you aren’t familiar with pepitas, they are pumpkin seeds! You can also substitute with sunflower seeds. Whichever you use, make sure they are roasted and salted which translates to FLAVOR! I purchase my seeds in the bulk bins at Sprouts.
- Pistachios: Can be left out of replaced with more pepitas.
- Pomegranate arils: You can buy containers of pomegranate arils to save you from having to peel a whole pomegranate yourself.
- Feta cheese: You can use your favorite crumbled cheese such as goat cheese or Gorgonzola.
For the Dressing:
- Greek Yogurt with Cherry Pomegranate: You may substitute ⅓ vanilla Greek yogurt (won’t be pink or have as much pomegranate taste but still delicoius) or substitute ⅓ cup strawberry yogurt which is a little sweeter than the Cherry-Pomegranate yogurt but still delicious
- Sweet Asian Chili Sauce: The Asian Sweet Chili Sauce is my go-to ingredient to in every sauce and dressing — it’s sweet, and tangy with a kick. It doesn’t make the salad spicy but adds a nice flavor punch with its rice vinegar, red chilies, garlic and sugar that perfectly complements the sweet fruit in this Pomegranate Pear Salad.
- Pomegranate juice: Can be found in the juice aisle of any major grocery store.
- Mayonnaise: Makes the dressing super creamy.
- Apple cider vinegar: Adds a nice amount of tang.
- Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed or bottled will work.
- Worcestershire sauce: Adds a subtle umami flavor.
Which Type of Pear is Best?
- Anjous pears are firm and mild-flavored with a thicker skin
- Bartletts pears are flavorful and juicy
- Bosc pears are crisp and sweet
For this Pear Salad, I prefer Bartlets or Bosc pears, (I used Bartletts this time), but it really comes down to personal preference.
How Can I tell if My Pear is Ripe?
We want to use a pear that is ripe for maximum sweetness but not overly ripe to the point it is soft and will get mushy. Ripe pears should yield slightly when pressed – much like an avocado or mango. If your pears are ripening quicker than you would like, then place it in the refrigerator to delay the process.
How to Ripen Pears Quicker
If you find yourself ready to make this Pear Salad in a couple days but your pear is still rock hard, you can speed up the ripening process by placing it in a paper bag with your apple at room temperature. If you happen to have a banana, then throw it in the bag too for even quicker ripening.
How to Keep Pears from Turning Brown
The star of this Pear Salad is the juicy pear slices, so we want to keep them looking beautiful! My favorite way to keep pears and apples from oxidizing and turning brown after slicing is to put them in a bowl of apple juice. This way they don’t become bitter like soaking in lemon juice can do.
If you only have lemon juice on hand, then mix ½ cup water and 2 tablespoons lemon and then toss your pears in the mixture.
Both of these methods will prolong the oxidation process, but you still want to slice your pear and apple as close to serving as possible.
How to Make Pomegranate Pear Salad
This winter green salad with pomegranate seeds couldn’t be easier to make!
- Whisk together all of the pomegranate salad dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the salad.
- Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- If serving entire salad immediately, drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to coat.
Tips for Making Pear Salad
- Make the Salad Dressing first so it has time to chill and the flavors develop. Not one likes warm salad dressing!
- You can make the dressing sweeter by adding more sugar or tangier by adding more vinegar according to your personal taste.
- Slice the pears and apples just before serving and either place in apple juice or a water/lemon juice bath.
- You can replace the pepitas with sunflower seeds if you can’t find them. I get my pepitas at the bulk section at Sprouts.
- You can purchase a whole pomegranate and seed it yourself or you can buy just pomegranate seeds in a container.
Recipe Variations to Try
- Use different nuts. You can swap the pistachios for pecans, walnuts or almonds. You can even use Caramelized Nuts.
- Use a different cheese. I love the salty, creamy tang of feta cheese but goat cheese or Gorgonzola would also be fabulous.
- Add grains. I think this pear salad would be superb with the addition of cooked quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, farro or couscous.
CAN I MAKE Pear SALAD AHEAD OF TIME?
This Apple Walnut Salad can be made 100% ahead of time then just tossed together when ready to serve!
- Pears and Apples. The pears and apples can be sliced up to 24 hours ahead of time and soaked in a mixture of apple juice and lemon juice.
- Vegetables: You can chop your Romaine lettuce, bell peppers, and onions up to 24 hours ahead of time. Store veggies in separate airtight containers or in sealable bags with a paper towel so they stay fresh and crisp. I do not recommend storing your pre-cut veggies longer than a day because the beauty of this salad is its freshness.
- Dressing: You can make the salad dressing up to 5 days ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I actually recommend making the dressing ahead of time because it allows time for the flavors to build and meld. Dressing also tastes 1000X better chilled.
How Long Does Pear Pomegranate Salad Last?
The pear salad is best served within an hour when tossed with the dressing because it will become soggy. If you hold the dressing, the salad can last up to two days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
WHAT DO I SERVE WITH Pear SALAD?
This pear pomegranate salad makes a superb addition to all your holiday festivities! Serve it with Herb Butter Turkey, Brown Sugar Glazed Ham, Honey Baked Ham,Garlic Herb Butter Pork Tenderloin,Pot Roast, Beef Tips and Gravy, and Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Roast Beef.
It also is wonderful with practically EVERYTHING else that graces your table from Garlic Butter Salmon, to Chicken Divan, to Bolognese, to Crockpot Chili to Million Dollar Mac & Cheese to Oven Fried Chicken.
Looking for More Winter Salad Recipes?
- Apple Cranberry Bacon Candied Walnut Salad
- Fall Salad with Pomegranate Dressing
- Cranberry Pomegranate Ambrosia Salad
- Cranberry Apple Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Butternut Squash Salad
- Winter Fruit Salad
- Tropical Winter Fruit Salad
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Pear Salad with Creamy Pomegranate Dressing
Pomegranate, Pear & Pistachio Salad
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 pear, chopped
- 1 sweet apple, like Fuji, chopped
- 1 small cucumber peeled and chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup roasted and salted pepitas (may sub. sunflower seeds)
- 1/3 cup roasted and salted pistachios
- 1/3 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
Creamy Pomegranate Dressing
- 1 5.3 oz. container Greek Yogurt with Cherry Pomegranate (I use Fage)*
- 3 tablespoons Sweet Asian Chili Sauce (found in Asian section)
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (add more to taste for "tangier")
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk together all of the Creamy Pomegranate Dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the salad.
- Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. If serving entire salad immediately, drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. If there might be leftovers, drizzle dressing on individual salad servings. Top with freshly ground salt and pepper.
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