This Harvest Pear Salad is light and fresh, with all the flavors of fall! With pumpkin spiced pecans, cranberries, and pears, it is a favorite fall dish.
Harvest Pear Salad
This Harvest Pear Salad with a fragrant cranberry vinaigrette dressing is one of our favorites during the fall and winter months. Plump, juicy pears, sweet dried cranberries and pumpkin spice flavored pecans complement each other in a beautiful, tasty way. I highly recommend trying the pumpkin spiced pecans. It takes a few extra minutes, but the flavor and extra crunch it gives to the salad is worth it. Load them up on this salad and enjoy the delightful flavor and texture. This salad is a nice break from all of the creamy soups and casseroles that are loaded with fat. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the comfort foods of fall, but sometimes something on the lighter side tastes really good. Make this salad as a main dish by adding grilled chicken or chopped leftover turkey. The turkey goes especially well with the delicious cranberry dressing.
Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing
The star of this salad is the creamy cranberry vinaigrette dressing. If you’ve never made your own homemade dressings, this is a delicious recipe to start with. You’ll never buy a bottle of salad dressing from the store again! Made with wholesome, fresh ingredients, this dressing is vibrant and so yummy, and really easy to make!
- Mix fresh cranberries with orange juice and sugar on the stovetop until the cranberries pop, and then simmer for a few minutes.
- Next, pour the mixture into a blender and combine with oil, salt, and vinegar and blend together.
- The dressing is thick and creamy; perfect for drizzling over salads, or used as a fruit dip.
- If it’s too thick, add a tiny bit of water until it’s the consistency you like.
- I like to toss the dressing into the salad before serving, and leave a bowl on the table for guests to add more dressing if they like.
- Refrigerate before and after using.
How to Make Pumpkin Spiced Pecans
These pumpkin spiced pecans are like candy! I love them on salads, mixed with yogurt or just plain. All you do is mix some pumpkin spice with sugar, and heat on the stove for a few minutes, stirring constantly and making sure it doesn’t burn. Then toss the pecans in the mixture and spread out on a cookie sheet to cool. They are so yummy!
More Side Salad Recipes
If you are going to the trouble of making a salad, make it a memorable one! It doesn’t take a lot to give a side salad a little extra flavor and color. These side salads recipes are unique, healthy, and easy to make.
- Nuts About Berries Salad – This salad is loaded with (you guessed it!) nuts and berries. It is fruity and refreshing.
- Mandarin Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans – My favorite part of this salad is the pomegranate seeds mixed in with the fruit and pecans. It is so flavorful!
- Kona Grill’s Red Pepper Coleslaw – Gorgonzola cheese and roasted red peppers give this traditional coleslaw a delicious twist.
- Asian Cucumber Salad – This low calorie salad is loaded with healthy vegetables and is lightly tossed in a rice vinegar based dressing.
- Fresh Mango Avocado Coleslaw – If you are lucky enough to find ripe mangoes and ripe avocados at the same time, you have to try this coleslaw! It is so colorful. The textures and flavors go so well together.
- Greek Side Salad with Greek Dressing – This flavor packed salad will not disappoint. Colorful vegetables, olives, and beans are dressed in an olive oil and vinegar dressing.
How to Make Harvest Pear Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing
For the salad:
- Layer all ingredients and toss with Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing starting with a small amount and then adding more to taste.
For the pumpkin spiced pecans:
- Mix sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl until blended well.
- Add sugar mixture and pecans to a small skillet and heat on medium until sugar is melted - stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the sugar.
- As soon as sugar is melted onto the pecans, pour pecans onto aluminum foil to cool.
For the dressing:
- Combine cranberries, orange juice, and sugar in a medium sized sauce pan.
- Cook on medium high heat, stirring constantly, until all the cranberries pop. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Pour cranberry mixture into a blender and add olive oil, vinegar, and salt.
- Blend until smooth.
- The dressing will be thick and creamy. If you prefer a thinner dressing, add small amounts of water (1 Tbsp at a time) until desired consistency is reached.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.