This pear and blue cheese salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette is a wonderful combination of sweet and salty flavors! Peppery arugula is topped with sweet juicy pears, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, salty blue cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a delicious salad that goes great with steak, chicken, or pork.
Love sweet and salty salads? Try this autumn apple and pear salad.
Why you’ll love it
Sweet and salty – Sweet pears and salty blue cheese are a classic pairing and work perfectly in this arugula based salad. I first used them together when I made these prosciutto wrapped pears with blue cheese.
Fall/Winter salad – This arugula salad is ideal to make in the fall and winter when pears are in peak season.
Side dish or main dish – This pear salad can be served as a side dish or if you want to make it a main dish salad, add sliced chicken or steak to the top.
- Arugula – Peppery, and a little spicy, and slightly bitter in flavor.
- Pears – For the best flavor, make sure your pears are ripe.
- Blue cheese – Salty with a little bit of funky taste. Buy a wedge vs. pre-crumbled for the best taste and texture.
- Walnuts – Full of omega-3 fatty acids. Adds great crunch to the salad.
- Dried cranberries – Adds a chewy, sweet, tart element to the salad.
- Balsamic vinegar – Look for a good quality balsamic vinegar for the best tasting vinaigrette.
- Dijon mustard – Adds tang and acts as an emulsifier for the vinaigrette.
- Maple syrup – The sweetener for the balsamic vinaigrette.
- Olive oil
How to make pear and blue cheese salad
Combine the ingredients for the balsamic vinaigrette in a jar with a lid or a bowl. Shake or whisk until combined.
In a large salad bowl add the arugula. Top it with the toasted walnuts and dried cranberries.
Crumble the blue cheese onto the salad and top with sliced pears. At this point you can either pour on the balsamic vinaigrette or serve it on the side.
What to serve with pear blue cheese salad
Substitutions and variations
- If arugula is too peppery for your liking, substitute with mixed greens. Baby kale is another good alternative.
- Walnuts can be substituted with pecans. If you want another sweet element, use candied walnuts or pecans.
- Dried cherries work well in place of dried cranberries.
- If you want this to be a main dish salad, top it with slices of grilled chicken or steak. Steak and blue cheese are an excellent combination. Try this steak crostini with blue cheese sauce to see for yourself!
- If blue cheese is too funky of a flavor for you, substitute with crumbled goat cheese or feta.
Pear salad with blue cheese FAQs
I used Anjou pears for the salad. I love their sweetness and they are a slightly firmer pear. You could also use Bosc, Comice, or Bartlett pears. Whatever variety you choose, make sure it is ripe.
That depends on what you like. Blue cheese comes in mild to sharp extra funky flavors. The texture can also vary from creamy to more firm and crumbly.
A few varieties I enjoy are Cambozola, which is a gorgonzola cheese. It’s mild in flavor and creamier. Roquefort for a bold flavor as well as Saint Agur and Stilton for an extra sharp blue cheese flavor.
Yes. In North America the peppery green is referred to as arugula. In Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, it’s called rocket.
This salad is best eaten the day it’s made. If you don’t dress the salad with the balsamic vinaigrette it will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Once the pears are sliced squeeze fresh lemon juice over them. This will help keep them from browning as quickly.
More salad recipes
- Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Goat Cheese
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Chicken BLT Salad
- Mediterranean Lentil Salad
- Blueberry Peach Feta Salad
- Honey Lime Shrimp Salad
Did you make this pear and blue cheese salad? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 5 ounces arugula
- 2 pears, sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar with a lid and shake until well combined.
- In a large salad bowl add the arugula. Top it with the toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, crumbled blue cheese, and sliced pears.
- Pour the balsamic vinaigrette all over the salad or serve it on the side.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 282Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 316mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 5gSugar: 24gProtein: 7g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.