Autumn Pear Salad

5 from 7 votes

An autumn pear salad is the perfect addition to your holiday spread. It's flavorful, healthy and so easy to throw together with kale, feta, pecans & grapes!

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This Autumn Pear Salad is a seasonally-inspired salad that is loaded with different colors, textures and taste! Salads may be more popular in the summer, but they can be just as delicious in the fall! It’s all about what seasonal produce you use. Learn how to use what’s seasonal to make an effortless tasty salad!

Final plating of the pear salad with kale, pear, pecans, grapes and feta cheese

What I love about this pear salad is it has pears, which let’s face it, is not really one of the popular fruits to include in salads. But it has a sweet mild flavor, a tender bite and is in season in the fall. All great reasons to include it in the line-up when making a salad this time of year.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Kale: We use kale for the greens in this salad. Massage the leaves with the dressing to help soften them. Other greens like baby spinach or arugula can also be used.
  • Pecans: Pecans add a nice nutty flavor and crunchy texture. Other nuts like walnuts or almonds will work well too.
  • Feta cheese: Feta has a briny flavor and adds a creamy texture. Other cheeses like gorgonzola or goat cheese will work great too.
  • Grapes: We like to thinly slice some red grapes for a burst of fruity sweetness. Dried fruits like cranberries, or other fresh fruits like apple will work great too.
  • Pear: Pears are one of my favorite autumn fruits Slice them thinly for sweetness and a deliciously grainy texture.
  • Dressing: Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.

How to Make Autumn Pear Salad

Make the dressing

  • Add the ingredients for the dressing to a food processor.
  • Blend til smooth and set to one side.
Collage of two images showing a small blender with the dressing ingredients for the pear salad before and after blending

Assemble the pear salad

  • Wash the kale and place in a large bowl.
  • Pour of the dressing and massage the kale with your hands.
Collage of two images showing the kale before and after pouring the dressing

And then it’s just about assembling everything on top of the kale to make the pear salad. I add pecans, feta cheese, sliced grapes, and of course, pears.

Tips to make this recipe

  1. Toss the sliced pears in lemon juice if making this salad ahead of time. The acid in the lemon juice will help the pears not oxidize quickly and turn brown
  2. Don’t skip massaging the kale. Kale can be quite tough and chewy, so use your hands to massage the leaves in the dressing to soften them. You’ll also notice the color of the kale will get darker green when massaged. Make sure you have a big enough bowl.
  3. Slice the ingredients thinly. This will mean that in each bite you will get a variety of flavor and texture, and it will be much more enjoyable to eat.
  4. Make it your own! Salads and dressings are so easy to adapt to suit exactly your tastes. Mix up the salad ingredients, add in extra fruits or different nuts and cheeses, and lots of different dressings will work well with this.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a good salad dressing?

It’s easy to mix up this salad dressing to suit your own tastes. Use this simple formula to create your own salad dressing!

3 parts high-quality oil – extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil are great
1 part acid – vinegar, lemon, lime
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Some type of emulsifier – this could be mayonnaise, mustard or yogurt or even maple syrup and honey, for example. This helps it bind, but it’s not necessary.
Some fresh or dried herbs

What are the best pears to use?

You can use pretty much use any ripe pears that you like. Here’s a great guide to what you can expect from the following popular pears:

Anjous – firm, mild-flavored pears
Asian – very crunchy and mild flavored
Bartletts – juicy and full of flavor
Bosc – more crisp and mild sweetness
Concord – more crisp and the highest sweetness

Can you make it ahead of time?

Kale is a great ingredient to use in salads as it doesn’t wilt like lettuce or baby spinach. The leftovers actually taste great the next day. The pear may slightly turn darker, but the extra time in the fridge helps all those flavors really settle without any wilted greens. This is why I love serving this salad when I have guests over. I can make a huge portion and not worry about throwing leftovers away.

The dressing will keep well in the fridge for around a month, so make a big batch!

Final plating of the pear salad with kale, pear, pecans, grapes and feta cheese

This is a big beautiful salad that is full of fall harvest from the pears to the grapes, pecans and kale. It’s healthy, flavorful and so easy to throw together! It has a wonderful sweet and salty combination along with crunchy and chewy textures.

More Fall Salads

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Autumn Pear Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Autumn Pear Salad

An autumn pear salad is the perfect addition to your holiday spread. It’s flavorful, healthy and so easy to throw together with kale, feta, pecans & grapes!
5 from 7 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Salads
Calories 249
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 heads kale
  • 1/4 cup Pecans
  • 1/4 cup Feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/4 cup grapes sliced
  • 1 pear sliced

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Remove the stems from the kale, and tear up with your hands into bite size piece. Place in a large bowl.
  • To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinaigrette, maple syrup, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. You can also use a mini blender like I did for easier blending.
  • Pour the dressing over the kale and toss well to combine. You can also massage the dressing into the kale with your hands.
  • Arrange the pecans, feta cheese, grapes and pears on top of the tossed kale, and enjoy!

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. It will last about 2-3 days in the fridge. To prevent the pear from oxidizing, I would recommend coating it with lemon juice before adding to the salad.
Make Ahead: You can make the dressing up to one month in advance. You can make a huge batch of the dressing and use as much as needed for the salad.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However there is no cooking or baking here, so feel free to substitute and make it your own. You can leave out the grapes, change the pecans to another nut or use goat cheese instead of feta cheese.
Nutritional Data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 249kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 117mg, Potassium: 246mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 2885IU, Vitamin C: 37mg, Calcium: 103mg, Iron: 0.8mg

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Final plating of the pear salad with kale, pear, pecans, grapes and feta cheese

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Comments

  1. This salad is DELICIOUS! Simple yet so tasty. I can be a little picky with salads & dressings if they are boring or bland – this is NOT that! So good! Definitely going to be a repeat in our house! Thanks for the great recipe!