An easy pear salad with walnuts, avocado and grilled chicken. This combo makes for a satisfying meal-sized salad that’s perfect for pear season! This post is sponsored by USA Pears.
It’s pear season! I love pears and have been dreaming up a pear salad recipe for you that is perfect for spring. Ya’ll know I love my salads, but it’s been a minute since I’ve shared any salad recipes so I’m excited to share this meal-sized salad today. I created this salad by starting with the main ingredient: pears. Pears are nutrition powerhouses yet I feel like they can be overlooked in the health world!
What are the health benefits of pears?
One pear has six grams of fiber and is a good source of vitamin C. Pears are a low calorie fruit and don’t contain any fat or cholesterol. They’re naturally sweet and are great to add to a variety of recipes to add natural sweetness – I love using pears in oatmeal, baked goods, salads and smoothies. This Pear and Avocado Smoothie is one of my faves. Learn more about pear nutrition here.
How can I tell if a pear is ripe?
I’m excited to share a new trick I learned! I used to just give pears a little squeeze or judge off of the color (LOL!), but I’ve learned that you can press at the top of the pear near the stem. If it presses in a little, it’s ripe and ready to eat! If your pear isn’t quite ripe yet, just let them sit at room temperature. If you have ripe pears but aren’t quite ready to eat them yet, you can put them in the fridge to slow down ripening.
Ingredients for a pear salad
I loved dreaming up the flavor combinations for this pear salad! I combined sweet and savory, different textures and a variety of flavors to make a satisfying, protein and fiber packed smoothie that will keep you full for hours!
Fresh pear – The star of this salad and honestly what I built this recipe off of. I used Red Anjou and Green Bartlett. Both are tasty but the Red Anjou might be my fave pear variety at the moment.
Spring mix – Fitting for the season… I chose spring mix for this salad, but really any greens you have on hand would be delicious!
Avocado – I love the creaminess avocado brings to the salad.
Nuts – I chose walnuts but feel free to use any nut you’d like!
Goat cheese – I love adding crumbled cheese to my salads but feel free to omit if you need a dairy-free or vegan.
Grilled chicken – I upped the protein factor of this salad by adding in grilled chicken. If you’re vegetarian, grilled tofu or chickpeas would be a great sub.
Turkey bacon – In my opinion, bacon makes everything better. I used turkey bacon because it is leaner than traditional pork bacon. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, I love tempeh bacon!
Dried cranberries – Mmm the perfect touch of sweet (and chewy) that this salad needed.
Maple balsamic dressing – I rounded out this recipe with a delicious maple balsamic dressing. It’s super simple to make – the main ingredients are olive oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and a little dijon mustard. I used white balsamic vinegar because it’s tad sweeter and I like that it doesn’t turn the whole salad brown like regular balsamic vinegar tends to do. If you don’t have white balsamic on hand, regular balsamic works great!
I love this salad and find myself craving it often! Pears are in season right now so it’s the perfect time for this salad but honestly, I can see myself enjoying this year round.
If you make this chopped pear salad, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turns out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.
An easy pear salad with walnuts, avocado and grilled chicken. This combo makes for a satisfying meal-sized salad that’s perfect for pear season!
6 cups spring mix
2 pears (I used Red Anjou and Green Bartlett), sliced or chopped
6 oz grilled chicken breast
2 slices of cooked turkey bacon
1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts, raw or toasted
1/2 avocado, sliced or chopped into chunks
Maple Balsamic Dressing
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I used white)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Cook turkey bacon and grill chicken if you haven’t already. See notes.
Prepare dressing by whisking together all ingredients in a small bowl or jar. I like using a jar with a lid for this so you can easily store any leftover dressing in the fridge in that same jar.
To prep salad, grab two bowls and add a base of spring mix, pear slices, grilled chicken breast, bacon, goat cheese, dried cranberries, walnuts and avocado. Drizzle salad with desired amount of balsamic dressing and enjoy!
To cook turkey bacon: Microwave: place slices on a paper towel lined microwave-safe place. Cover with another paper towel and cook on high in the microwave for 2-4 minutes, using 1 minute increments. Every microwave is different so you’ll have to experiment with the timing for this. You want the bacon to be cooked through and crispy enough that it snaps when you chop/break it into pieces. Of course, you can also cook the bacon the stove-top using the package instructions. I like cooking bacon in the microwave because it’s fast and I hate bacon grease being popped all over my stove.
For grilled chicken, I love using my apple cider vinegar chicken recipe, but you can use whatever seasoning you like or save time by purchasing grilled chicken from the grocery store.