Who says salads have to be boring? This spinach salad with pears, pecans and goat cheese is easy to make and delicious!
This spinach pear salad isn't exactly new or ground-breaking, but it's really delicious.
Even back when I didn't really enjoying eating salads, I would happily eat this one. The combination of sweet baby spinach, crunchy toasted pecans and juicy pears works together so well, you might even be able to convert the salad haters in your life!
This recipe is simple, but packs a ton of flavour. Here's what I used in my salad.
- Baby Spinach
- Goat Cheese
For the dressing, I wanted a balance of sweet and tangy flavours. To achieve that, I went with a balsamic and Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Feel free to use your favourite homemade or store-bought vinaigrette instead, though.
While baby spinach works best in this recipe, you can also make it with flat-leaf (also known as smooth leaf) spinach. This is a sweet type of spinach that is best served raw, and it's usually what you'll find in bags at the grocery store.
I would avoid using savoy spinach (the crinkly ones), as those can be bitter and benefit from being cooked.
For the pears, you have a few options. Bartletts, the most-common pear worldwide, have a soft juicy texture that works well in this spinach salad. If you prefer a firmer texture, a Bosc or Green Anjou pear would be good options.
You can substitute walnuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for the pecans, and blue cheese or feta for the goat cheese.
🥗 Making the Salad
This salad is super easy to prepare, even if you toast your own pecans and make the vinaigrette from scratch.
If you opt to buy pre-washed baby spinach, pre-toasted nuts and a bottled vinaigrette, you're that much closer to eating!
Essentially, once you've washed your produce, all that's left to do is slice your pears, chop your pecans, and crumble your cheese. Assemble, top with your dressing, and you're ready to eat!
It's important to note that you don't have to peel the pears if you don't want to. Not only does this save time, but the skin is also a good source of fibre. Just be sure to give your pears a good wash before cutting them up.
If the skin on your pears is very tough (which is sometimes the case when you buy them out of season) you can go ahead and peel them. I had to do that when I took the photos for this recipe.
I hope you try making this salad, and if you do let me know what you think of it in the comments below!
🖨 Printable Recipe
Spinach Pear Salad with Pecans and Goat Cheese
For the Dressing:
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional (helps to emulsify the dressing)
- pinch of salt and pepper
For the Salad:
- 8 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
- ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 2 large ripe pears, washed and sliced into wedges (peeling optional)
- ⅓ cup plain goat cheese, crumbled
For the Dressing:
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined. Alternatively, you can add the ingredients to a mason jar, screw the lid on tightly, and shake to combine.
For the Salad:
- Place spinach and pecans in a large bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of dressing, then use your hands to toss the salad to combine the ingredients. Add the pear slices to the salad, and toss again, gently.
- Divide the salad among serving plates, and top with goat cheese and extra dressing as needed. Serve immediately.
- Use flat-leaf (or smooth-leaf) spinach instead of baby spinach. Avoid crinkly savoy spinach, as it's best eaten cooked.
- Bartlett pears are great if you want a lot of juice and sweetness. Bosc or Green Anjou pears are better options if you want more crunch.
- Walnuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds can be used instead of pecans.
- Blue cheese or feta can be used instead of goat cheese.
Please read the blog post for detailed tips and explanations.
Nutrition Disclaimer: this nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed.