This Arugula Pear Salad is a simple but impressive entree or side dish! It features peppery arugula leaves layered with juicy sliced pear, pomegranate seeds, gorgonzola cheese, and a homemade red wine vinaigrette. This salad is perfect for the holidays or for any at-home meal. Best part? It can be made in minutes and will always impress!
This Arugula Pear Salad is one of my favorite homemade salads to make. It’s full of amazing autumn, holiday flavors and, although it looks and tastes impressive, is incredibly simple to throw together.
This salad works great for a quick lunch, holiday potluck, or as a side dish for the Thanksgiving or Christmas table.
It requires just 4 ingredients, plus a simple homemade dressing!
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Simple, but impressive. This salad recipe is made with just four core ingredients plus a super simple dressing made with pantry staples.
- Perfect flavor combination. The peppery flavor of the arugula is contrasted perfectly by the sweetness of the fruit and the salty richness of the cheese. There really isn’t a better combination of flavors!
- Good for you. It’s a healthy salad you’ll actually want to eat.
- Versatile. Enjoy this salad as light entree or as a side dish.
This pear arugula salad recipe is as simple as promised! Just a a few minutes of prep for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use for how to make arugula salad with pears to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Arugula – I love the flavor that fresh arugula brings to this salad, but feel free to swap it out for fresh baby spinach or mixed greens if preferred.
- Pears – I use bosc pears, which are a little bit more firm than other varieties of pear. If you can’t find bosc pears, other types will work just fine.
- Pomegranate Seeds – Pomegranate seeds add a bright burst of juicy sweetness to the salad. You can buy a whole pomegranate and harvest the seeds yourself or get a container of pre-harvested seeds at most grocery stores in the produce section.
- Gorgonzola Cheese – Gorgonzola provides the salad with a tangy, salty flavor. Feel free to subsitute blue cheese or feta cheese for something more mild.
- Red Wine Vinaigrette – Our homemade red wine vinaigrette is the perfect way to tie everything together. It’s made with a simple combination of red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar or honey, fresh garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, onion powder, and salt.
Make sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full quantities and ingredients list.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Arugula Pear Salad with Goat Cheese – Simply swap the gorgonzola cheese for goat cheese.
- Arugula Pear Feta Salad – Try using feta in place of the gorgonzola.
- Arugula Pear Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette – Skip the red wine vinaigrette and try using my homemade balsamic vinaigrette instead for a fun flavor twist.
- Arugula and Pear Salad with Toasted Walnuts – Give your salad a nutty crunch by sprinkling on a handful of chopped, toasted walnuts.
- Arugula Pear Parmesan Salad – Make things a little bit saltier with fresh parmesan instead of gorgonzola. For the best flavor and texture, skip the pre-shredded stuff and shred your own cheese.
- Arugula Pear Pecan Salad – Top your salad with a generous handful of chopped pecans. They add a slight crunch and a delicious nutty flavor.
Recipe Step by Step
I am going to highlight a few key steps in the recipe here, but make sure to jump down to the recipe card for comprehensive instructions on how to make this easy arugula pear salad.
- In a small bowl or mason jar, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Whisk or shake to combine.
2. Place the arugula into a large shallow bowl, then layer on the pomegranate seeds and cheese.
3. Cut the pear into slices, then lay the slices over the top of the salad.
4. Drizzle the salad with the prepared dressing, then serve immediately.
- Wash the pears before slicing. Make sure that you give your pears a good rinse and scrub before you slice them up.
- Slice the pear thinly. Thick slices will overtake the salad. I recommend pretty thin slices so that you get a little bit of everything in each bite.
- Add dressing to taste. The dressing recipe makes a pretty generous amount, so you may not need to use all of it. if you have extra, simply store it in a jar in the fridge!
- Serving amount: This recipe will make 2 large entree sized salads, or 4-6 side salads depending on how you’re serving it.
- If you want to make your salad extra pretty, toss the arugula with the dressing, then arrange the toppings over that.
- Serving guests? Wait to assemble the salad, then let each guest make their own. It’s like a fancy salad bar!
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Slice the pear in advance – To get ahead on prep, you can slice the pear up and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a day. Keep in mind, though, that it will likely oxidize and discolor a little bit. It will still taste delicious, but won’t look quite as pretty.
- Make the dressing in advance – Get even further ahead by shaking the dressing up in a mason jar, then storing it in the fridge for up to a week. It may separate as it sits, so just give it a good shake before serving.
What to Serve with Pear Arugula Salad
Since this salad works well as a main dish or a side dish, I have including some of my favorite pairing options for both! The salad will make 2 main dish sized salads or serve 4-6 as a side salad.
Choose one or several of these pairings to create a wholesome, well-rounded dinner. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Main Dish Ideas
- Oven Roasted Turkey Tenderloin – Dress your holiday table up with this roasted turkey tenderloin and a side of arugula pear salad. This turkey is quick and simple, but deliciously flavorful, savory, and juicy.
- Crockpot Steak Bites – Give your steak dinner a twist with these crockpot steak bites! They’re juicy, bite-sized pieces of steak slow-cooked to tender perfection in a savory au ju gravy.
- Chicken Tetrazzini – Make pasta night extra fancy with this creamy and comforting chicken tetrazzini. This pasta dish is made with tender spaghetti noodles tossed in a white wine cream sauce and topped with parmesan and breadcrumbs.
- Dutch Oven Roast Chicken– This meal will feel extra fancy but couldn’t be easier!
Side Dish Ideas
- Oven Roasted Green Beans – Keep your meal veggie-heavy with these roasted green beans. These crisp-tender green beans are made with just a few simple ingredients and can be easily customized to suit your tastes.
- No Yeast Dinner Rolls – Round your meal out with these homemade dinner rolls. These rolls are soft and fluffy and made with just 6 pantry staples.
- Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Soup – What’s better than a classic soup and salad combo? This roasted garlic cauliflower soup is a wholesome, creamy, and delicious. Just 10 minutes of prep needed!
Pear Arugula Salad Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making this recipe, they can be saved if you plan ahead! Make sure not to toss any salad you hope to save with dressing.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 1-2 days
Is arugula a superfood?
Yes! Arugula is considered a superfood. It’s packed full of fiber and antioxidants as well as a variety of additional vitamins and nutrients.
What flavors go well with arugula?
Since arugula has a bite of a peppery bite to it, it pairs deliciously with some sweeter ingredients like pear and pomegranate.
Do you need to peel pears for salad?
That’s up to you! Bosc pears have a slightly thicker peel than other varieties. That doesn’t usually bother me, but if you’re sensitive to it, then feel free to remove the peel before slicing.
More EASY Salad Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my easy salad recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
For the salad
- 5 ounces arugula
- 2 bosc pears, sliced
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
For Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon sugar, or honey
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Make the dressing by whisking all red wine vinaigrette ingredients together. Alternatively, you can place all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar and vigorously shake.
- To assemble the Arugula Pear Salad, arrange the arugula in a large shallow bowl. Top with pomegranate seeds and crumbled gorgonzola cheese.
- Remove the core from the pear and slice the pear into thin slices. Arrange the slices over the top of the salad.
- Dress the salad by tossing it with the red wine vinaigrette all at once, or leave the dressing on the side and let each person dress it to their liking. The dressing makes a generous amount, so you may not want to use all of it on the salad depending on how heavily you like it dressed.
- Arugula: Swap the arugula out for baby spinach or mixed greens.
- Gorgonzola Cheese: Use feta or parmesan in place of the gorgonzola cheese.
- Dressing: Try swapping the red wine vinaigrette out for a balsamic vinaigrette.
- in the refrigerator for 1-2 days