Harvest Pear Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing

5 from 5 votes
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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 in a white bowl with Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing and pears on the side.
Featured with this Recipe
  1. Variations of this Salad
  2. Ingredients in Harvest Pear Salad
  3. Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing
  4. How to Make Pumpkin Spiced Pecans
  5. Frequently Asked Questions About Pear Salad
  6. More Side Salad Recipes
  7. How to Make Harvest Pear Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing
  8. Harvest Pear Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe

This Harvest Pear Salad with a fragrant cranberry vinaigrette dressing is a favorite side dish 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 pear salad recipe is a nice break from all of the creamy soups and casseroles that are loaded with fat. It is already gluten free and can be made dairy-free by removing the feta. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the comfort foods of fall, but sometimes, something on the lighter side tastes really refreshing. It is low in cholesterol and saturated fat, high in fiber, and has a burst of vitamin C. Make this salad as a main dish by adding some protein like grilled chicken or chopped leftover oven roast turkey. The turkey goes especially well with the delicious cranberry dressing.

Variations of this Salad

Mix it up by trying different ingredients in this salad! Instead of Feta Cheese, try Blue Cheese or Goat Cheese. Instead of pecans, sub out almonds, walnuts, or cashews. Rather than dried cranberries, try dried cherries, fresh raspberries, or strawberries. Try a blend of spring mix, arugula and/or baby kale. Use a roasted pear instead of fresh. If you don’t like cranberry dressing, you can always try our Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing instead.

Ingredients in Harvest Pear Salad

  • Spring mix bagged salad
  • Fresh pears
  • Pumpkin spiced pecans (see instructions below)
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Dried cranberries

For the pumpkin spiced pecans

  • Whole pecans
  • Sugar
  • Pumpkin pie spice

For the cranberry dressing

  • Fresh cranberries
  • Orange juice
  • Sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt

Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing

The star of this salad is the creamy cranberry vinaigrette dressing. If you’ve never made your own homemade dressing, 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, 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.
  • Store the dressing in a jar in the fridge and shake well before using.
  • 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’d 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 eaten plain. All you do is mix some pumpkin spice with sugar and heat on the stove over medium heat 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! You can also sub the sugar for honey or maple syrup.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pear Salad

What is Pear Salad?

There is a famous old pear salad that dates back to the late 1800’s where you would place a canned pear on a bed of lettuce and top it with cheddar cheese and mayonnaise. Trust us, our pear salad is much better than the original!

How do you slice a pear for a salad?

Cut the pear in half and remove the core in the center, then, cut into long thin slices.

How do you keep pears from turning brown?

Keep the pear slices in cold lemon water or honey water until ready to serve.

READ NEXT: 35+ Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas

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 salad 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

Harvest Pear Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing

5 from 5 votes
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.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Refrigerate 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients

For pumpkin spiced pecans

For dressing

Instructions

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 tablespoon at a time) until desired consistency is reached.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

Recipe Tips:
  • Make the dressing ahead of time. It will stay good in the refrigerator. Just stir or mix it up before serving.
  • Make the spiced pecans ahead of time so they have plenty of time to cool before serving.
  • Make the salad as close to serving as possible so the lettuce doesn’t get soggy.
  • Mix up the ingredients; try different cheeses or fruits in the salad.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 330kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 3gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 487mgPotassium: 142mgFiber: 3gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 300IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this salad for a dinner party over the weekend at our cabin and it was a huge hit! Nothing beats a simple salad 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    This looks like a refreshing fall salad. Pecans are my weakness! Thanks for sharing this and I can’t wait to make it.