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!

Pear salad in white bowl with cranberries and feta

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

Do you have that special salad that you turn to time and time again for entertaining, holidays, and what not because people just flip out over it?  And when I mean flip out, I mean they request that salad and if they don’t get it, you may not be forgiven?

I’m being a bit extreme, but this pear salad is and has been that salad 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.

Overhead shot of pear salad in white bowl with fork

Cranberry Pear Salad with Fresh Pear Vinaigrette

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 pear salad in white bowl with cranberries and 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.

Pear vinaigrette in jar with pear behind

This dressing tastes even better than it looks, and you may just want to grab a straw and drink it.

I refuse to admit if I did that or not. πŸ™‚

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™‚

Close up of bowl of pear salad with cranberries, feta and almonds

More sweet and salty salad recipes to love:

Kale Salad with Goat Cheese, Cranberries and Orange

Power Green Salad with Pear and Blackberries

Summer Berry Arugula Salad 


Yield: 6

Cranberry Pear Salad with Fresh Pear Vinaigrette

Pear salad in white bowl with cranberries and feta

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!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


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 ounce container of chopped Romaine (or two hearts of Romaine cleaned and chopped)
  • One 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:

  1. 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. 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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 232mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 8gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

Sharing is caring!