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This easy vegan pear salad tosses sliced pears, nuts, cranberries, and mixed greens in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette—a classic appetizer or side dish you can pair with everyday family dinners or extravagant holiday meals!

pear salad in a large bowl.
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Crisp and Refreshing 6-Ingredient Pear Salad

Sliced pears are the star of the show in this easy pear salad recipe. Tossed with tart dried cranberries, crunchy nuts, and mixed greens, then dressed in a store-bought or homemade balsamic dressing, it’s delightfully refreshing and so easy to put together!

Whether you need an elegant appetizer or a quick yet healthy side dish for weeknight dinners, this salad has you covered. Plus, you can customize it based on the season! Make it comforting and hearty during fall and winter with roasted squash or sweet potatoes, or add asparagus or juicy tomatoes during spring and summer for an extra refreshing twist.

Just toss the 6 simple ingredients together in 15 minutes and enjoy. You can pair pear salad with all of your favorite vegan dishes, like lasagna, lentil and sweet potato soup, tempeh sandwiches, and beyond.

Looking for more salads featuring fresh fruit? Try apple pecan salad, Mexican fruit salad, apple cucumber salad, and strawberry kale salad.

Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for pear salad with labels.

What Else Could I Add?

There are loads of add-ins you can throw into this salad. Here are a few options:

  • Pickled red onions: Their sweet and tangy flavor would complement the sweetness of the pears very well. 
  • Grains: For a heartier meal, toss the salad with cooked and cooled couscous, quinoa, or wild rice.
  • More veggies: Sliced carrots, fennel, celery, cherry tomatoes, or diced cucumber would all add flavor and texture here. During fall and winter, feel free to add roasted butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin.
  • Vegan cheese: Top the salad with vegan parmesan or vegan feta right before serving.
  • More fruit: Replace half of the pears with sliced apples for an apple pear salad. Or, for a summery pear salad, add sliced strawberries, raspberries, or mandarin orange segments. 
  • Seeds: For even more crunch, top the salad with pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, or sunflower seeds. 

How to Make Pear Salad

process shot showing slicing pears
process shot showing ingredients in bowl

Step 1: Core and slice the pears. Then, toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice.

Step 2: Combine the salad greens, cranberries, and nuts in a large salad bowl.

process shot showing adding pears to bowl
process shot showing adding pears to bowl

Step 3: Add half of the pears to the bowl with the greens and toss to coat in the dressing.

Step 4: Add the remaining pears on top of the greens, top with a sprinkle of salt, and pour 2 tablespoons of the remaining dressing over top.

FAQs

Do I have to peel the pears before slicing them?

It’s up to you! We like leaving the peels on because they add a nice color contrast. However, if you prefer to eat pears without the peel, feel free to peel them ahead of time.

Can I make this salad nut-free?

Absolutely. Simply omit the nuts or replace them with seeds to make this pear salad nut-free.

Can I add protein to this salad?

Yes! You can turn this salad into a meal by adding crumbled vegan tofu bacon, crispy baked tofu, or ½ to 1 cup of cooked quinoa, like in this kale quinoa salad.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • Seek out ripe pears: We recommend buying the pears for this salad 2 to 3 days in advance. This way, if they’re too firm or not quite ripe, they have time to ripen and soften. If you need the pears to ripen quickly, place them on the kitchen counter or in a paper bag with an apple or a banana for 1 to 2 days.
  • Do not slice the pears too thin: Slice the pears to an even ¼ inch thickness. Any thinner and they’ll likely break when you’re tossing the salad. 
  • Dress just before serving: For the best results, wait to dress the salad until right before serving. Letting the greens sit in the dressing for too long will cause them to wilt.
close up on pear salad in a large bowl.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy this refreshing salad as an appetizer or side dish alongside:

Storage Instructions

It’s best to store this pear and walnut salad separately from the dressing to prevent the greens from becoming soggy. Keep the salad and dressing in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days.

pear salad in a large storage container.

Pear Salad

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 -6
This easy vegan pear salad tosses sliced pears, nuts, cranberries, and mixed greens in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette—a classic appetizer or side dish you can pair with everyday family dinners or extravagant holiday meals!

Ingredients 

  • 5 ounces of mixed greens
  • 2-3 ripe pears, cored and sliced
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries or raisins
  • 4 tablespoons of nuts of choice
  • 1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette

Instructions 

  • To a large bowl, add the salad greens, cranberries or raisins, and nuts of choice. Mix well and set aside.
  • Core and slice the pears to a bit more than a ¼ inch of thickness. Do not slice too thin or the pear slices will break. Add the pear slices into a bowl and squeeze the lemon. Toss to coat well. This will help slow down the browning of the pears.
  • When ready to serve, add ¼ cup of dressing to the bowl and mix well. Place half of the pears in the bowl and gently toss.
  • Add the remeing pears on top of the salt and garnish, drizzle two tablespoons of dressing over the salad and serve.

Notes

  • Seek out ripe pears: We recommend buying the pears for this salad 2 to 3 days in advance. This way, if they’re too firm or not quite ripe, they have time to ripen and soften. If you need the pears to ripen quickly, place them on the kitchen counter or in a paper bag with an apple or a banana for 1 to 2 days.
  • Do not slice the pears too thin: Slice the pears to an even ¼ inch thickness. Any thinner and they’ll likely break when you’re tossing the salad. 
  • Dress just before serving: For the best results, wait to dress the salad until right before serving. Letting the greens sit in the dressing for too long will cause them to wilt.

Nutrition

Calories: 393kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 3gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 553mgPotassium: 331mgFiber: 7gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 3570IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 119mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Method: No cook
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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