This simple Arugula and Pear Salad with Goat Cheese is big on flavors like bright pear, tart pomegranate arils, and sweet spiced pecans. It's all tossed in a simple three-ingredient vinaigrette that you will love. It's simple enough for a weekday dinner but fancy enough for the holiday table!
Arugula and Pear Salad
This Arugula and Pear Salad is absolute perfection. It's pretty enough to add to your holiday, Thanksgiving, or Christmas table but simple enough to enjoy on a weeknight with a few slices of crusty bread. I love this salad for a holiday meal because of the pretty pomegranate and spiced pecans which feel elevated and special... even though they aren't that hard to add to your plate. The red and green coloring really pops from the plate, especially for Christmas dinner.
Flavor-wise there is something quite irresistible about the combination of fresh peppery arugula (or rocket depending on where you live) and sweet pears. Both key ingredients in this salad are ripe and plentiful in Autumn making this salad a perfect way to celebrate the season.Arugula and Pear Salad from Running in a Skirt Click To Tweet
Why You'll Love this Arugula Salad...
There really is something to love about this Arugula Salad. It's SO simple but really delicious. You can easily enjoy it any time of year but it makes a really nice fall and winter salad because the arugula, pears, and pomegranate are in season.
I love the flavors of the peppery arugula with the sweet pears and creamy goat cheese. It all just comes together for an elevated or fancy salad experience. This dish looks like you put a lot of effort into it but it's actually simple to do!
What is arugula?
If you are new to arugula it's a very distinctive green that has a slightly peppery flavor. It's from the Meditteranean region and depending on where you live it's also known as rucola, salad rocket, or Italian cress. It's a cruciferous vegetable that puts it in the same family as kale, sprouts, and broccoli.
How good is arugula for you?
Arugula is as vitamin-packed as most greens! It's super healthy for you and has calcium, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A.
It's the perfect base for this Arugula and Pear Salad!
For the Arugula Salad:
- Arugula: This leafy green is the perfect base for this salad. Find it in the salad section of your grocery store near the other greens.
- Pear: Fresh and ripe pear is the perfect addition to this salad. Use whichever type is freshest.
- Pomegranate: You can buy a whole pomegranate and remove the seeds or arils on your own or most groceries now sell the arils already removed from the fruit. If you are short on time this is a fabulous shortcut.
- Crumbled Goat Cheese: Creamy crumbled goat cheese works great on this salad.
- Spiced Pecans: Spiced Pecans are my secret ingredient to bring this all together. I love this brand!
For the Dressing:
- Olive Oil: With a very simple salad like this, pick a quality olive oil to make this dressing. This olive oil is one that I love.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Same thing with the vinegar! You'll want to use a good one since the ingredients are so simple.
- Lemon: A bit of fresh lemon really brings out all the flavors.
- Salt & Pepper
How to Make the Arugula and Pear Salad:
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the salad ingredients.
- Put the arugula on top of the dressing and carefully toss the dressing in the greens
- Divide the arugula between two plates.
- Arrange the pear slices in a pan on the side of the plate.
- Sprinkle the pomegranate arils, goat cheese, and spiced pecans on top.
- Serve immediately.
Variations & FAQ
I love this Arugula and Pear Salad as written but here are a few more ideas to mix it up.
- Use spring mix or baby spinach instead of arugula.
- Use apple, peach, or beets instead of pear.
- Use plain nuts instead of spiced nuts to make it a bit healthier. Pine nuts would also be delicious!
- Use blue cheese crumbles or shaved parmesan instead of goat cheese.
- Make it vegan by leaving out the cheese and subbing roasted chickpeas.
Can I make this Arugula and Pear Salad ahead of time?
Because of the delicate nature of arugula, I would not recommend making this salad ahead of time. Once you coat the greens in the dressing they will start to wilt.
If you need to prepare this salad ahead of time you can measure out all the ingredients and put together the dressing. When it's time to serve it just re-whisk the dressing together and toss it with the greens.
Can I double this recipe?
YES! You can easily serve this arugula salad to a crowd by double, tripling, or even quadrupling this recipe. This salad is perfect to a fall, winter, or holiday dinner party. It would even be fabulous at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. There is a tool on my recipes that will make the measurement adjustments for you on my site. Just click the X2 or X3.
Can I use a store-bought salad dressing?
You can swap a store-bought dressing for my DIY dressing. Any light vinaigrette will work. Try this one!
What to Serve with Arugula and Pear Salad:
This Arugula and Pear Salad makes a yummy side dish or you can turn it into a meal by adding a protein like chicken, fish, or shrimp. You can also serve it with some of these fall favorites.
- Stuffed Butternut Squash
- Healthier Roasted Acorn Squash
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Maple Rosemary Delicata Squash
- Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- Sauteed Butternut Squash and Kale
- Vegetarian Stuffing
- Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries
- Simple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Arugula and Pear Salad from Running in a Skirt Click To Tweet
More Fall Salads to Love:
- Beet & Apple Salad
- Fall Harvest Salad
- Lentil, Sweet Potato & Feta Salad
- Harvest Farro Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Dressing
Make Your Own Salad Dressing: 15 Homemade & Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes
Arugula Pear Salad Recipe
For the Arugula Pear Salad:
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 pear sliced
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate arils
- 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons spiced pecans
For the Dressing:
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ lemon, juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon and red wine vinegar.
- Put the arugula in the bowl with the dressing and gently toss it.
- Divide the arugula onto two plates.
- Layer the pears on top and then sprinkle the salad with the pomegranate arils, goat cheese, and spiced pecans.
- Serve immediately.
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