This delicious salad includes peppery arugula, sweet pears, creamy crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese, and candied pecans. Toss it all in a simple homemade dressing and enjoy!

I love a salad that combines both sweet and savory flavors plus a variety of textures. This Pear Arugula Salad is something special, friends. It does all that with minimal effort. The sweetness of the pears, the creaminess of the cheese, and the crunchiness of the pecans… this is truly a dreamy delicious combination!

Let’s talk about the simple dressing. We’re creating a salad dressing from only 4 ingredients! Olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, and balsamic vinegar all work together to create a sweet and tangy vinaigrette.

Most people will see sweet juicy pears and immediately assume this the perfect fall salad. Well they’re correct. But this is also a great salad for your holiday table. Just imagine serving this with your turkey or ham for Christmas dinner. Any dinner party would benefit from this flavorful salad really!

This is easy enough to whip up as a delicious side dish for any time of year but can also be served as a light entree. To make this salad a heartier main dish, top with shredded rotisserie chicken or slices of grilled chicken and steak.

Arugula Pear Salad Ingredients

  • Pecan halves: The pecans add a nice crunch to this salad. We’ll roast them with honey to make them extra special!
  • Butter or ghee: Butter or ghee (clarified butter) helps candy our pecans.
  • Honey: Honey is the sweetener of choice for the candied pecans.
  • Cinnamon: Candied nuts are always better with cinnamon.
  • Olive oil: I recommend extra virgin olive oil for the vinaigrette we’re making for this salad.
  • Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard adds some tanginess to our dressing.
  • Balsamic vinegar: A splash of balsamic vinegar helps balance the honey in the dressing.
  • Arugula: Fresh arugula is the perfect base for this salad but fresh baby spinach or mixed greens are good swaps if you prefer.
  • Gorgonzola or blue cheese: I recommend crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese for this simple salad. They’re creamy and salty! Soft goat cheese is a great option for a swap. If you want something less sweet, try a salty cheese like crumbled feta cheese or shaved parmesan cheese.
  • Pears: There are many varieties of pears that will work well in this arugula pear salad recipe. Bartlett pears and comice pears are the best pears for this because they’re juicy and sweet when ripe. Anjou and bosc pears will also work. You might enjoy the crispiness of asian pears too. We’re going to cut our pears into small pieces (instead of larger pear slices) so that every salad bite will benefit from their sweetness!

How to Make Arugula Pear Salad

Melt the butter and honey together. Stir in the cinnamon. Toss the pecans in with the syrup so they’re coated. Spread the pecans on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Once the cooking time has ended, stir the pecans and let them cool. Use a sharp knife to chop into smaller pieces.

Add the arugula to a large bowl. Top with crumbled gorgonzola, candied pecans, and diced pears.

Stir together the simple vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl. Toss the finished salad in the dressing and serve!

How to Store Leftover Arugula Salad

If you’d like to enjoy this pear arugula salad later I recommend storing the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator to up to one day. It’s best to store the dressing separately so that it doesn’t make your salad soggy. It will still taste delicious if you do decide to dress the salad and then refrigerate, but the arugula will be wilted.

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Arugula Pear Salad with Candied Pecans

This delicious salad includes peppery arugula, sweet pears, creamy crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese, and candied pecans. Toss it all in a simple homemade dressing and enjoy!

Ingredients 

Candied Pecans

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 4 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil, extra virgin
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

To Finish

  • 5 ounces arugula
  • cup gorgonzola
  • 2 pears, diced

Instructions

To Make Candied Pecans:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add butter and honey to a small pot on the stove. Melt over low or medium-low heat. Stir. Add the cinnamon. Stir again until well combined. Remove from heat. (You can also melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave and then stir in the honey and cinnamon.)
  • Stir the pecan halves in with the syrup you've just made. Spread the coated pecans in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. Stir the pecans. You can add an extra drizzle of honey if you want them super sweet.) Let them continue to sit on the baking sheet until cool. They'll get less sticky as they cool. Then use a sharp knife to chop them into smaller pieces.

To Assemble Salad:

  • Add the arugula to a large salad bowl. Top with crumbled gorgonzola, candied pecans, and diced pears.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Whisk or stir continuously until ingredients are no longer separated. Pour the dressing over the other salad ingredients and toss everything to mix. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
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