This delicious pear arugula salad is one of my favorite recipes for the fall/winter season when pears and pomegranates are in season. It is super simple to whip up and a delicious healthy side for any cozy winter meal.
It may seem cliche to have a salad recipe for my first blog post of the year, but I couldn’t sit on this recipe any longer! I have been loving this pear salad with pomegranate and balsamic dressing. So much so, that I made it for a friends-giving this year. I just love the combination of the peppery arugula with the sweetness of the pomegranate and pear.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Fresh Greens: I love using peppery baby arugula leaves (also known as rocket) for this recipe, but it also works well with other tender greens like a baby spinach or a baby kale mix.
- Pear: You’ll want to use fresh juicy pears for this salad rather than canned since canned pears are too soft. The best varieties of pear to use for this salad are: Bartlett, Anjou, or Comice. This pear guide can help you identify the right variety of pear next time you shop.
- Pomegranate: Love the sweet-tart flavor and crunch from pomegranate in this salad. If you don’t like pomegranate or can’t find it at the store, you can substitute dried cranberries.
- Almonds: Slivered almonds add a nice crunch. You can also use toasted walnuts or pecans instead if you’d like.
- Vegan Feta Cheese: You can skip this if you want, but I love adding a bit of vegan feta to this salad. I used VioLife vegan feta. You can also use goat cheese for a vegetarian version of this salad.
- Olive Oil: Use a nice olive oil as the base of the vinaigrette for this salad.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Use this vinegar to whip up a simple dressing. I think balsamic pairs the best with pear and arugula but you could also use red wine vinegar.
- Maple Syrup: Adds just a little sweetness to the vinaigrette.
- Dijon Mustard: Rounds out the flavor of the balsamic dressing. Regular yellow mustard doesn’t work well here, you’ll want to use dijon.
How to Make this Salad
This pear and rocket salad couldn’t be any easier to make thanks to a simple homemade vinaigrette.
STEP 1: Add all of the salad dressing ingredients to a mason jar, screw on the lid, and shake to mix. You can make the dressing in advance if you’d like.
STEP 2: Prep the salad ingredients – slice your pears and take the pomegranate seeds out of the pomegranate (if using). Layer the arugula, pear, pomegranate seeds, almonds, and feta cheese in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with the simple balsamic vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Health Benefits of This Recipe:
- Nutrition benefits of arugula: arugula is rich in beneficial plant compounds like polyphenols and glucosinolates which can help prevent chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. It is also a good source of vitamin K which plays a role in blood clotting and bone health.
- Nutrition benefits of pears: pears are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Both types of fiber are important for supporting a healthy gut microbiome.
- Nutrition benefits of almonds: Almonds are one of my favorite healthy snacks because they provide so many nutrients like vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and heart healthy fats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Arugula is a delicate salad green that can wilt quickly once it is coated in salad dressing. It is best to assemble this salad right before serving. You can make the salad dressing several days in advance and store in the fridge until ready to use.
I like to buy pre-washed baby arugula greens for salads like this one. If you need to walk the arugula, add to a salad spinner and rinse under cold water and then spin any excess moisture off of the leaves.
Yes! Although, the balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing recipe included here is so simple and delicious. You can use your favorite balsamic dressing instead if you’d like.
What to Serve with Pear Arugula Salad
This salad would be great paired with a hearty pasta dish like this vegan spinach lasagna or this vegan baked ziti recipe. You can also do a classic soup and salad pairing to round out the meal. This one pot red lentil pumpkin soup would be great as well as this vegan crockpot minestrone soup.
You can also make this salad more filling by adding some cooked quinoa and/or some canned chickpeas.
More Salad Recipes You’ll Love
- Winter Kale Salad
- Rainbow Quinoa Salad with Peanut Dressing
- Roasted Cauliflower, Feta, and Lentil Salad
Pear Arugula Salad with Balsamic Dressing
For the Dressing:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Dash of sea salt
- Dash of ground black pepper
For the Salad:
- 2 small pears sliced
- 5 oz package arugula or mixed salad greens
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- ⅓ cup crumbled vegan feta cheese I used VioLife
- ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
- Add all of your dressing ingredients to a jar and cover with lid. Shake well to combine.
- Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat evenly.
- This salad is best served just after you prepare it, especially if you are using arugula which can wilt quickly. Luckily, it comes together in a matter of minutes so prep is simple!
- Store dressing separately if you want to prep in advance.
- Don’t like arugula? Sub another leafy green like baby spinach, baby kale, or spring mix.