You’re gonna LOVE this easy and quick Spinach Pear Salad, with candied pecans, goat cheese and dried cranberries, drizzled with homemade citrus salad dressing!
Last week I received some FREE pears from one of our neighbors! I received a bag of pears and put them on our counter to ripen so I could can them for long term storage! A couple of them ripened really fast (overachievers!), so I wanted to use them right away.
I remembered a salad I had eaten in a restaurant a couple years ago that had fresh pear slices on it. THAT was my inspiration for this salad. I decided to see what I had on hand, gathered it up, and came up with this recipe for spinach pear salad, with goat cheese, cranberries, and candied pecans, drizzled with a citrus salad dressing.
Let me tell you- it tastes FANTASTIC! My husband and I both LOVED it, and said it was one of the best salads we had eaten recently!
Scroll Down for A Printable Recipe Card At the Bottom Of The Page
How To Make Spinach Pear Salad
Quickly candy some pecans (or use walnuts). Place granulated sugar, water and cinnamon in a skillet; stir until sugar dissolves, add pecans, then cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Once syrup has cooked away, you are left with sweetened, sticky pecans. This only takes a few minutes.
Remove pecans from skillet and place them on aluminum foil to dry out (don’t let them touch each other) for a few minutes. Turn them over to dry the other side. The sugary glaze will firm up as they cool, then you can peel them off the foil. Let them dry until ready to add to the salad; it only takes a few minutes (or make them ahead of time, if that is easier).
Make The Citrus Dijon Salad Dressing
Next thing is to make the citrus Dijon salad dressing (make while the candied pecans are drying ). I had some leftover from another recipe, but trust me- it only takes 3-4 minutes to make… it’s EASY. Basically, the ingredients are placed in a sealed jar and shaken well until fully mixed. That’s it!
You will have leftover salad dressing. Keep it refrigerated in an airtight jar or container, and use it again and again! It’s wonderful!
For each salad, place chilled baby spinach leaves onto serving plate. Top with dried cranberries and several thin slices of red onion.
Slice half of the ripe pear into thin slices, leaving peel ON. Crumble goat cheese. **TIP: I freeze goat cheese, then when I need to use it, I simply “shave” off what I need using a sharp knife (while the cheese is still frozen- it thaws QUICKLY). By freezing the cheese (well wrapped), it doesn’t spoil, and is always there when I need it.
Plating The Spinach Pear Salad For EATING!
Add the pear slices to top of salad, slightly fanning them out for best presentation. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese, then add the candied pecans.
Drizzle the citrus dijon salad dressing over the salad… and serve! You will LOVE the crunch of the candied pecans, the creamy goat cheese, the chewy dried cranberries, and the amazing citrus salad dressing. The ripe pear slices add a great look and wonderful taste to this delicious spinach pear salad!
I really hope you will try this spinach pear salad! It LOOKS like a fancy restaurant salad, but is so easy to prepare! If you enjoy this salad, you might also want to check out a more traditional spinach salad we also love and make often!
Looking For More SALAD Recipes?
You can find ALL my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have lots of delicious salad recipes you’ll enjoy, including:
- Spinach and Orzo Salad
- Quick and Easy Chef’s Salad
- Southwestern Cobb Salad with Chili-Rubbed Steak
- Chopped Greek Chicken Salad
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Salad Dressing recipe adapted from: https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/beet-and-goat-cheese-salad/
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- 1½ Tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 Tablespoon poppyseeds
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 3 Tablespoons dried cranberries
- 1/2 pear (ripe) , sliced thin
- 1/4 cup goat cheese , crumbled
- 1/4 cup red onion , thinly sliced
Place granulated sugar, water and cinnamon in a skillet; stir until sugar dissolves, add pecans; cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Once syrup has cooked away, you are left with sweetened, sticky pecans (only takes a few minutes). Remove pecans from skillet; place them on aluminum foil to dry (don't let them touch each other) for a few minutes. Turn them over to dry the other side. The sugary glaze will firm up as they cool, then you can peel them off the foil. Let them dry until ready to add to the salad; it only takes a few minutes..
Place all ingredients (except for the poppyseeds) in a small jar with a tight lid. Place the lid on the container... and shake the jar hard for about 30 seconds (while holding the lid on tightly) until dressing has fully combined. Add poppyseeds, then put lid back on and give jar a few more good shakes to fully blend the ingredients.
Place chilled baby spinach leaves onto serving plates. Top with dried cranberries and several thin slices of red onion. Slice half of the ripe pear into thin slices, leaving peel ON. Crumble goat cheese. Add pear slices to top of salad, fanning them out for best presentation. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese, then add candied pecans. Drizzle salad dressing over the salad... and serve!
Caloric calculation shown does NOT include salad dressing, as people enjoy varying amounts of salad dressing on their salads. The caloric calculation for the dressing is approximately 51 calories per Tablespoon.
Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!