Pear Salad with Creamy Pomegranate Dressing

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

a pear salad tossed with feta, pomegranate arils, pepitas, pistachios, and more

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.  
overhead view of a pear salad in a wood mixing bowl with salad spoons

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.
a winter salad with pears, apples, pomegranate arils, and more in a wood bowl

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.

Pomegranate-Pistachio-Pear-Salad-with-Creamy-Pomegrante-Dressing1

How to Make Pomegranate Pear Salad

This winter green salad with pomegranate seeds couldn’t be easier to make!

  1. Whisk together all of the pomegranate salad dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the salad.
  2. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. 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.
a glass container of pomegranate salad dressing

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. 

a pear salad that's been tossed with pomegranate salad dressing

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 HamHoney Baked Ham,Garlic Herb Butter Pork Tenderloin,Pot RoastBeef 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?

 You might also like these Fall recipes:

Want to try this Pear Salad Recipe?

Pin it to your SALAD, THANKSGIVING or HEALTHY BOARD to SAVE for later!

Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes!  I am always pinning :)!

©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Pear Salad with Creamy Pomegranate Dressing

Pomegranate Pear Salad is SO addictingly delicious bursting with sweet pomegranate arils, pears, apples, cucumbers, peppers and creamy feta complimented by salty roasted pistachios and pepitas all doused in Creamy Pomegranate Dressing!
Servings: 6 -8
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*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

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50 Comments

  1. Amy | Club Narwhal says

    Girl, this looks so refreshing and perfect for the season! Your mother in law sounds like a total fighter 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thank you Amy! It is a wonderfully refreshing salad full of flavor and texture – hope you enjoy! My mother-in-law is amazing! I would write an entire post about her but she is so modest (in addition to being so strong) and wouldn’t want me to – that is how amazing she is :)!

    • Susan Dillard says

      I made this salad last night and it was DELICIOUS!!!! Can’t wait to make it again and again and again!!!! Very easy to prepare also. Topped it off with some leftover steak slices and it was a whole meal! Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

      • Jen says

        YAY! I love that you made it already and I love that you loved it:)! The addition of steak sounds absolutely wonderful as well. Thanks for letting me know how much you enjoyed it Susan, you made my day!

  2. Jeni says

    I am loving all of the fresh bursts of flavor in this salad! Fabulous recipe!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Jeni! I love a salad with lots of “fresh bursts” 🙂 – don’t think I can make one without them! I hope you enjoy!

    • Jen says

      Ah, Thank you so much Tiffany! I hope you get the chance to make it and enjoy it soon!

  3. Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama says

    Wow! I am loving all the flavors going on in this salad and the bits of crunch from the pomegranate seeds and pistachios! This looks like a perfect salad to me. 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Carrie! I love texture in my salads so this one is full of it!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Michele! and yes a fabulous cause indeed!!

  4. Sandra Shaffer says

    This is probably one of the most beautiful salad I’ve seen in a while! So hearty and for an awesome cause too!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Sandra! I love photographing salads because they are full of so many beautiful ingredients – and tasty too 🙂

  5. Mary Ellen says

    So glad I saw this tonight before I went to the grocery store tomorrow! Love it all and it looks so good!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Mary Ellen, I’m glad you saw it too 🙂 Its a keeper!

  6. [email protected] Tastes Good says

    I love that you and the others did this! What a wonderful cause to support! My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer nearly 8 years ago and has been amazing her doctors ever since!! She recently had a scan that showed no evidence of disease! She had several spots on the bone and now they can’t find it. The doctors can’t explain it! We are celebrating every single day the miracle of mom!! Thank you so much for supporting this cause!

    • Jen says

      Oh my goodness Marion, your mom is a walking miracle! What a blessing to you and your family! I am so happy she is doing well! It is a wonderful cause to support as it affect so may. I hope there will be many more miracle stories like that of your mother!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Kristin, it is fresh, delicious and super yummy, enjoy!

  7. Rachael says

    After a week of indulgent eating for me I need some salads, and this looks like the best of both worlds, indulging while getting something good for me! Fantastic looking salad and dressing, and what a great way to bring awareness to BC support.

    • Jen says

      Indulgent eating can be so fun but I hear ya, it comes a time when you crave a delicious salad! Happy this came along just in time 🙂

  8. Nicky @ Little Family Adventure says

    This looks delicious. I love fall foods like pomegranate and pears. I recently bought a case of pomegranates and was looking for recipes to use them in. I can’t wait to try this salad

    • Jen says

      Hi Nicky, I love that you bought a whole case of pomegranates, so delish! I’m happy you’ve found a great use for them with this salad! Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  9. Cristy says

    This looks AMAZING! And I just pinned and am making the smothered buffalo chicken burritos this week!!!! As I was looking at the ingredients I saw your blog about your amazing journey, love for Christ and life. I’m so inspired and moved (literally to tears!) as I read your posts.

    You are so blessed with the gift of writing and the ability to reach so many people that need to hear your story, perseverance, and Christ-centered life!!! And an amazing talent at cooking!

    So happy to have found your recipes and more importantly your story.

    God bless!!!!! <3

    • Jen says

      Oh Cristy, your comment gave me goose bumps, thank you so much for all your kind words and for taking the time to make my day – my month! I feel so honored that you have read my story and felt moved. God bless and I hope you enjoy the salad and smothered buffalo chicken burritos :)!

      • Cristy says

        Hi!!! You’re so sweet to reply back. And how timely in that I am feel as though I am literally drowning in school work (I teach high school 🙂 and sometimes feel quite defeated! Tonight is one of those nights, and then your comment appeared in my email! How timely God is 🙂 It lifted me back up immediately as I remember reading your perseverance, your determination and SUCCESS at every single hurdle in your life. You are such a source of inspiration. I do hope you are doing well, in full recovery, and able to continue to reach people with your story and God-centered life. I cannot wait to tell friends at school about you. 🙂 God bless you and I cannot wait to make your two recipes I have down to do this week! (hopefully, it’s a tad crazy this week, but my mouth is watering just thinking about them!!!) Thank you for taking the time to reply and I do hope this reply finds you well and goose-bumpy. 😉 Have a wonderful rest of the week!!! <3

        • Jen says

          Cristy, you are such a sweetheart, I know we would be friends! Or at least I would want to be your friend 🙂 The world and young people need good teachers and role models in their life, and you no doubt are just that. I can’t even imagine how difficult teaching high school must be but I am sure you touch and uplift more lives everyday than you will ever know. Thank you for uplifting me! I am definitely in full recovery – celebrated my 1 year kidney transplant last month and celebrating my 15 year lung transplant anniversary this month :)! Thank you for your thoughtfulness and please know whenever you are feeling down you have a friend and fan in Carlsbad 🙂 Hugs! Jen

  10. Alice says

    This salad looks amazing! I forwarded onto my married daughter as well! I am hosting a bridal shower the beginning of December and was looking for a pretty salad (all the greens and reds) which had some wonderful ingredients — I found it!!!!! serving it individually in these really cute clear heart salad bowl/dishes I have.

    this is a keeper– love your writings and want you to know you really inspire people!

    thanks again!

    • Jen says

      Hi Alice, I am sorry, I though I responded but obviously hadn’t! I am so happy you found my salad and what a great idea to serve it for a bridal shower in heart salad dishes. So cute! I hope absolutely everyone loves it! Happy marriage to the couple to be and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

  11. Lauren says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I am going to make it for Thanksgiving (for 8 people). How many does this recipe serve? Should I double? Thanks in advance!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lauren! I think this salad is perfect for 8 people as a side salad, especially on Thanksgiving, no need to double it. Enjoy and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Lauren says

        Thanks! I just made the dressing tonight in advance of Thanksgiving. The dressing is SO delicious! Even more excited for Thursday to get here. Thanks for sharing and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

        • Jen says

          Oh good, so happy you love the dressing! A delicious dressing makes a salad!

  12. Lizzy (Good Things) says

    This looks exquisite and my kind of salad… I may prepare it someday and link back to you if that’s ok : )

  13. Kate says

    This looks delicious. I’m making it for brunch for tomorrow morning. How many does this recipe serve?

    • Jen says

      Hi Kate! It will serve 6-8 as a side salad. Enjoy!

      • Kate says

        Hi, Jen.

        I really appreciate your quick response! Thanks so much for the recipe and your help.

        Happy holidays!

  14. Lynn | The Road to Honey says

    Hi Jen. I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest and knew it was a “must pin” the moment I saw it. Well. . .i whipped this up yesterday and it was amazing. . .even the hubby was raving about it. Asante sana for posting.

    • Jen says

      Hi Lynn! I am so happy you found my site and that you loved the salad…and that even your husband liked it – that is a very high compliment indeed 🙂 Welcome and I hope you find many more recipes to love!

  15. Jean says

    The salad looks wonderful and I’m planning on serving it at a bridal shower. Question – are the apples and pears peeled?

    • Jen says

      Hi Jean, this will perfect for a shower! No, the the apples and pears are not peeled – this should save you some time as well 🙂 Enjoy!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for the heads up! I only ever look at it in chrome so I had no idea! I really appreciate it!
      i

  16. jennifer says

    oh my goodness! made this for thanksgiving yesterday – best salad ever. i did use goat cheese instead of feta and didnt have time to put together the dressing too (so used a raspberry walnut vinaigrette) but it was SO refreshing and light and perfect flavor and great colors.
    too bad pomegranates are seasonal!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jennifer, I don’t know how I missed your comment but THANK YOU! I am thrilled you loved this salad and what a great addition to Thanksgiving! and I am right there with you – too bad pomegranates are seasonal – and too bad they don’t have any good frozen ones! Until next year!

  17. Ashley Amundsen says

    Your salads are so yummy, your blog has been my go-to for salad recipes for the past week! I’ve been taking the apple walnut salad to work for lunch and my co-workers are jealous! 🙂 It’s so delicious! I’m hoping to make this one as soon as pomegranates are in season! Thank you for sharing such delicious salad recipes, my lunches are never boring anymore!

    • Jen says

      Yay for no more boring salads, that is awesome Ashley! I am so happy you are loving my salads and so fun to be able to take them to lunch! Its always nice to have something to look forward to in the middle of the workday 🙂 I hope this Pomegranate salad becomes another favorite!

  18. TiffanyB says

    This salad was amazingly delicious! Cannot wait to make this one again. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Tiffany, I am so happy it was such a hit, thank you!

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