The perfect fall/winter salad – pear gorgonzola salad with juicy pears, chewy cranberries, crunchy hazelnuts, and a simple white balsamic dressing! An elegant side salad that is simple, full of flavor, and perfectly complements any meal.
When I think of a salad recipe for the fall/winter season, a pear salad with gorgonzola cheese always comes to mind. It’s perfect for the season and has so much flavor! I recently served this salad for a family dinner, and everyone absolutely loved it.
The ingredients are simple while the presentation and flavors are elegant and elevated! Each bite has sweet juicy pears, dried cranberries, crunchy roasted nuts, and a bright & tangy vinaigrette to bring it all together. It’s simply delicious and will pair perfectly with just about any meal!
Ingredients – What You Need
Below you’ll find the full list of ingredients you’ll need, plus some ingredients you can substitute!
Greens: you can use spinach, arugula, or mixed greens for the base.
Pears: I used organic red pears, but you can use whichever kind you like. Make sure they are slightly soft to ensure they’re ripe and sweet!
Cranberries: dried cranberries will add the perfect touch of sweetness! I also love using dried cherries too.
Gorgonzola: this cheese has the perfect tangy flavor. Another cheese you could use is blue cheese!
Hazelnuts: I used chopped roasted hazelnuts for texture, but you can also use almonds, walnuts, or pecans.
White balsamic: this vinegar is super bright in flavor, you can also swap for red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar.
Oil: for the base of the dressing.
Honey: to sweeten the dressing and balance the acidity from the vinegar. You can also use coconut sugar or maple syrup!
Garlic powder: to season the dressing! I use garlic powder to save time, but you can always use fresh minced garlic.
Italian herbs: to give seasoning to the dressing – you can use fresh or dried.
Let’s Make Pear Gorgonzola Salad
First, add all of the salad dressing ingredients to a mason jar or bowl. Whisk together and season with salt & black pepper to taste until just right.
Then assemble the salad ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle salad dressing over top, and serve!
Tips for Success
More ingredients to add – add even more flavor to your salad by topping it with pomegranate seeds, sliced apples, dried cherries, or use smoked nuts instead of roasted!
More cheese options – additional cheese that works with this salad would be blue cheese, feta, or goat cheese.
Types of pears to use – you can use a variety of pears for this salad. My favorite choices are Red D’an Jou pears (pictured in this salad), Tosca, and Barlett pears. Most importantly, use ripe pears, but not too ripe. When you touch the pear it should seem slightly soft in texture, but with a little firmness as well. We want juicy fruit – not mushy!
How to cut the pears for salad – you can slice the pears lengthwise, or slice them lengthwise then cut them into smaller pieces. You can also dice them or cut the pears into small sticks!
What to Serve it With
More Salads to Try
Pear Salad with Gorgonzola & Hazelnuts
- 3 cups greens spinach, mixed greens, or arugula
- 1-2 pears, sliced see notes
- 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 2-3 Tablespoons crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
- Make salad dressing: In a small jar, add all of the salad dressing ingredients with salt and black pepper to taste, and mix with a spoon. Set dressing aside.
- Assemble salad: In a large bowl, add greens (chopped or whole), sliced pears, chopped hazelnuts, cranberries, and crumbled gorgonzola.
- Serve: drizzle dressing over prepared salad, toss, and serve!