This easy arugula pear salad recipe is a delicious fall salad that comes together in minutes. The combination of crisp pears, peppery arugula, and a light blue cheese vinaigrette makes a flavorful salad perfect for a quick lunch or a holiday side dish.
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📖Why You’ll Love Pear Arugula Salad
This recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and salty thanks to the sweet pears and the salty gorgonzola crumble, it is a delicious combination.
Despite the blue cheese, this salad isn't heavy but still has Fall flavors, because we crumbled the cheese into an oil and vinegar-based dressing and not a creamy base that most blue cheese salad dressings have. This recipe is naturally gluten-free and vegetarian.
Pears- You can use any pear variety you like in this recipe. But I love a mix of red and green pears. There is something about a red anjou or Bartlett pear against the greens that feels so festive. These are also 2 of the best varieties of pears to eat raw.
Greens- Arugula is obviously the green of choice but you can substitute up to half of the arugula with baby spinach or baby kale.
Nuts- I chose pecans for this recipe but walnuts and almonds work as well. For a nut-free option try sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. You just want to add a nice crunch to the salad.
Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Vinegar- I use red wine vinegar but any light flavor such as champagne or white wine vinegar is fine.
Mustard- Use a classic Dijon or whole-grain mustard.
Shallot- I would use shallot over onion but if you use onion start with a little and add more to taste.
Olive Oil- I recommend using good quality extra-virgin olive oil, not your cooking oil for a salad dressing.
Blue Cheese - Double-check the packaging to ensure it is gluten-free.
Consider adding a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds to dry cranberries.
⏲️How to Make an Arugula Pear Salad
Rinse your arugula and dry it in a salad spinner. Transfer to a large bowl or serving platter. You can also arrange in individual salad bowls.
Toasting the pecans in a dry skillet will release their oils. They should release a nice nutty aroma.
You can cube the pears but I prefer to core them and cut them into thin slices.
You do not need to peel the pears. The easiest way to cor the pears is to trim the ends and cut them into quarters lengthwise.
Lay the pears on the flat sides down on your cutting board and cut off the edge lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the center.
For the dressing, use a fork to crumble the cheese. You can save back part of the cheese for crumbling over the salad.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and stir the cheese into the dressing.
To assemble the salad, sprinkle on the toasted nuts and arrange your sliced pears on the baby arugula.
You can dress the greens if you plan to eat in one sitting. Otherwise, serve the dressing on the side.
🥗What to Serve with a Pear and Arugula Salad
This arugula salad recipe makes a great addition to any holiday meal. But you can top with grilled chicken or baked salmon for an easy lunch or weeknight dinner.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
If you want to add onion directly to the salad instead try a thinly sliced red onion soaked in water for 10 minutes. Pat dry before adding to the salad.
A dressed salad should be eaten right away. Store any extra dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
Any undressed salad should be kept loosely covered with foil in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
More Delicious Fall Salad
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
While I wouldn't add another cheese to the dressing, you can skip the blue cheese and sprinkle your salad with another type of cheese. Crumbled goat cheese, shaved parmesan cheese, and small crumbles of sharp white cheddar would all be delightful. The dressing is tangy enough on its own.
Try adding candied pecans instead of plain ones. You can also add honey or maple syrup to the dressing to taste I would start with 1 teaspoon. But with the sweetness of the pears, I don't think it needs anything.
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Arugula Pear Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup pecans pieces
- 2 pears any variety
- 5 ounces arugula
- Place a small skillet over medium heat. Toast the chopped pecans in the dry skillet for 3 minutes, shaking the pan every 15 seconds to prevent burning. Set aside to cool.¼ cup pecans
- Cut the pears in half and scoop out the core. Thinly slice.2 pears
- Arrange the arugula on a platter, add the pear slices, and sprinkle on the pecans. Drizzle over the dressing or serve on the side.5 ounces arugula
Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
- Whisk together, the shallots mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Pour in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly.2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 Tablespoon shallot, ¼ olive oil
- Using a fork, mash up the blue cheese.,and stir into the dressing.¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
- This recipe served 4 to 6 as a side dish or 1 to 2 for dinner.
- This salad is best eaten immediately.