Cranberry Pear Salad with Fresh Pear Vinaigrette is the best pear salad with crisp romaine, juicy pear, tart cranberries and feta tossed in a pear dressing!

Close up of cranberry pear salad in a white bowl

**This post was originally published in September 2012, and contains updated photos, text and recipe. 

Do you have a special salad that you turn to time and time again for entertaining, holidays, etc. that everyone loves? 

This pear salad has been that recipe for my family for a good 15 solid years.  This salad was actually the first recipe I posted here two years ago because I couldn’t think of a better way to start things off.

Bowl full of cranberry pear salad with fork alongside

This cranberry pear salad has a history.  I first tasted one similar to this at my old roommate’s birthday party, and it blew me (and everyone else) away.

It was when the fruit, nut and cheese salad thing was taking off big time, and I asked the woman that made it what on earth was in it that made it so special.  I found out, and I created my own recipe inspired by those ingredients. 

The original salad was made with Paul Newman’s Caesar dressing, and you can certainly use that if you want to keep it simple.  I worked hard to make a homemade pear dressing that did this salad justice, however, and this is how I made this salad my own.

Close up of cranberry pear salad in a bowl with feta

Creating my own pear salad recipe that did the original recipe justice was a big deal to me.  This salad shows up on the Thanksgiving table, as well as Christmas and sometimes Easter.  

Birthdays, family dinners, whatever…this salad is tradition!

I tried it with homemade Caesar dressing….nope.  I tried it with a few other variations and it still wasn’t the same.  

This week I tried making a vinaigrette out of fresh pear, and I knew immediately that this dressing was it.

Homemade Fresh Pear Dressing

If there’s one salad that you want to serve for Thanksgiving, this pear cranberry salad is it!  And then make it any other time that you want a special salad.  

You want this…I promise….and don’t be surprised if it becomes an instant tradition for your family, too. πŸ™‚

More salad recipes you’ll love:

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

Cranberry pear salad in a white bowl

Cranberry Pear Salad with Fresh Pear Vinaigrette

Cranberry pear salad with fresh pear vinaigrette is made with crisp romaine, juicy pears, tart cranberries and salty feta β€” all tossed in a homemade pear dressing!

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For the dressing:

  • 1 cup peeled and cored fresh pear diced (about 1 large pear)
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 6 ounces Romaine lettuce (or two hearts of Romaine cleaned and chopped)
  • 1 large ripe Bartlett pear cored and sliced into 1" pieces
  • Β½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • β…“ cup dried cranberries
  • ΒΌ cup chopped or slivered almonds toasted*


Prepare the dressing:

  • Place the pear chunks, vinegar, dijon, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  • With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady stream through the feed chute until emulsified. Add the salt and pepper, to taste and mix once more.

Prepare the salad:

  • Place the romaine, sliced pear, dried cranberries, feta and toasted almonds on a serving platter.
  • Add the desired amount of dressing and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately and enjoy!


  • Total time above does not reflect the time to toast the almonds. To toast them, place them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. You can save time by purchasing pre-toasted slivered almonds at Trader Joe's!
  • Dressing can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 1 week.Β  Note that it will discolor over time.
  • Nutrition information includes all of the dressing, though you will not need it all.


Serving: 1g, Calories: 220kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 164mg, Potassium: 191mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 2533IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 94mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

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