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Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

This Pear and Blue Cheese Salad is fresh and light and comes with a retro origin story. This well-balanced salad features fresh pears with toasted slivered almonds, lettuce, and crumbled blue cheese topped with a light blue cheese dressing for a nice combination of sweet and savory flavors.

Pear and blue cheese salad on a white serving plate.

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Sometimes it’s really hard to come up with new recipes to share. It’s something like having writer’s block. Except with pots and pans. A cooking block? So whenever that happens, I always try to think back to recipes that I loved as a child; those dishes that were special favorites and still make me smile today.

This recipe was inspired by one of those childhood favorites. A luscious pear salad.

I remember my mother saying she learned the original recipe in her high school Home Economics class. It was one of my favorite things that she put on the table during my childhood years.

The salad consisted of a halved pear topped with a little dollop of mayonnaise and plenty of grated cheddar cheese. Yum. So simple and so delicious. The contrast of the sweet pear with the smooth, creamy mayonnaise and the tangy cheddar cheese was just an unbeatable combination. I still serve that salad even after all these years and I never tire of it.

So I thought I’d do a little update on it. Not to make improvements really, just to put a different spin on it. That’s how this Pear and Blue Cheese Salad came to be. I used sliced, fresh pears topped with a lightened blue cheese dressing and toasted almonds for a little crunchy texture. And it is just divine.

One bite of this salad and I’m sure you’ll agree!

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Salad


  • It’s delicious! The combination of sweet ripe pears with tangy blue cheese and crunchy almonds is a match made in heaven.
  • It’s easy! It takes just a few minutes to make and even less if you skip toasting the almonds.
  • It’s versatile. Customize the ingredients to suit you and your family. Swap out the fruit, use a different kind of cheese, or change the dressing. Turn it into your very own creation!

🍳 Tools You’ll Use


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🛒 Ingredient Notes


All ingredients used in the recipe.
  • PearsThere are many varieties of pears available year round including Anjou (green and red), Bartlett (green and red), and Bosc. My favorite are Bartlett. They’re juicy, sweet, and crisp.
  • Almonds Slivered almonds are found in your grocery store along with the other nuts and baking supplies. Chopped or sliced almonds will work just as well. I prefer to toast the nuts to bring out the flavor, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
  • Lettuce I typically use leaf lettuce for this salad. Any variety works fine.
  • Blue cheeseChoosing a blue cheese is a bit like choosing wine. There is a wide range of flavors from mild to pungent. I tend to use a milder cheese so that it doesn’t overwhelm the other more delicate flavors in the salad.
  • Greek yogurt and low-fat sour creamThe dressing is made with a combination of Greek yogurt and low-fat sour cream to keep the fat content low while still providing maximum flavor. However, you can use regular yogurt and sour cream if you prefer.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How to Make Pear Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing


Toast the Almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Watch carefully since they will burn easily. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

👉 PRO TIP: An alternative method for toasting the nuts is to cook them in a medium skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. 

Make the Dressing

Combine the yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, blue cheese, salt, and ground black pepper in a small bowl. Stir together until well mixed. Stir in a little milk or cream until the mixture is the consistency you like for dressing. Set it aside.

Assemble the Salad

Halve the pears, remove the core, and slice crosswise.

Transfer each sliced pear to a lettuce-lined salad plate. Drizzle with dressing and top with toasted almonds. Add additional blue cheese crumbles if desired.

A serving of salad on a white plate.

🔀 Recipe Variations


  • Add some protein: Make this into a main dish salad by adding a protein like grilled chicken.
  • Change the greens: Substitute a spring mix for the leaf lettuce. Or try butter lettuce, baby arugula, spinach, or romaine. A little bit of radicchio adds a nice peppery note.
  • Swap out the fruit: While pears are the star of the recipe, you could easily use apples, peaches, or plums for a different twist. Select fruits that are in season and perfectly ripe for the best flavor. Raisins and dried cranberries are a nice addition to the fresh fruit in this recipe.
  • Try a different cheese: Substitute the blue cheese with feta, goat cheese, or even shredded Parmesan.
  • Use different nuts: Walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, and hazelnuts are all good choices.
  • Change the dressing: Not a blue cheese fan? No problem! This salad is also delicious with almost any homemade salad dressing such as honey mustard, lemon vinaigrette, or balsamic vinaigrette.
Pear and blue cheese salad with a gold tone fork.

🍽️ How to Serve


  • As a side dish: This salad is a lovely side dish for grilled chicken or fish.
  • For a light lunch: Add some crispy crackers on the side.
  • Make it a meal: To serve as a meal, add a sliced grilled chicken breast or grilled shrimp skewer. For a vegetarian option, consider quinoa or farro for added protein. Warm bread with butter goes nicely on the side.

⏲️ Make it Ahead


To make it ahead, prepare all the individual components in advance and store them in the refrigerator. Assemble the salad when ready to serve. Be sure to toss the pear slices in lemon juice to prevent browning.

Pear and blue cheese salad on a white serving plate.

❓ Questions About Pear and Blue Cheese Salad


Can I use canned halved pears instead of fresh?

Use canned pears if you like, but be sure to drain them very well. Be aware that they won’t be crisp like fresh pears are.

How long will leftovers keep in the refrigerator?

Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Be sure to store the dressing and salad separately to prevent the lettuce from wilting.

Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

Pear and blue cheese salad on a white serving plate.

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

This Pear and Blue Cheese Salad features fresh pears topped with blue cheese dressing and almonds for a balance of both sweet and savory.
5 from 2 votes
Print It Rate It Save Text It
Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 523kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh pears core removed, sliced
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • Lettuce
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

For the dressing:

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup low-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 ounces blue cheese crumbled
  • 4 tablespoons milk or cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Toast the Almonds:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Check after about 6 minutes and watch closely to prevent burning.
  • Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Make the Dressing

  • Combine the yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, blue cheese, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Stir until well combined. Add enough milk or cream to create the consistency of dressing you prefer. Set aside.

Assemble the Salad:

  • For each serving, place a sliced pear atop a lettuce-lined salad plate. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and additional crumbled blue cheese.

Notes

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 523kcal | Carbohydrates 38g | Protein 23g | Fat 34g | Saturated Fat 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat 4g | Monounsaturated Fat 14g | Trans Fat 0.01g | Cholesterol 56mg | Sodium 693mg | Potassium 676mg | Fiber 9g | Sugar 21g | Vitamin A 597IU | Vitamin C 11mg | Calcium 475mg | Iron 2mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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This Fresh Pear Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing is composed of sliced pears topped with tangy blue cheese dressing and toasted slivered almonds. https://www.lanascooking.com/pear-salad-with-blue-cheese-dressing/

— This post was originally published on April 10, 2012. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I prepared and served this along side one of our favorite shrimp recipes last evening. It was wonderful! My wife actually licked the salad bowl clean. I was instructed to prepare this on a regular basis.
    Thank you, Lana for a simple and deliciously different salad.

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know you and your wife enjoyed the recipe! It’s a favorite of ours, too.

  2. Nevine @ Tableya says:

    Even though I’ve always been a plain green salad fan for most of my life I’ve been mixing fruit into salads for a couple of months now and I love trying new combinations. These pears look perfectly juicy:)

  3. Barbara | Creative Culinary says:

    I love the combination of pears and blue cheese; it’s one of my favorite salads. This looks so pretty Lana; makes me want to run out and find some pears stat!

  4. Sounds like a perfect post to me! I love the idea of adding blue cheese to a pear salad, sounds refreshing! Hugs, Terra

  5. Pears and blue cheese are one of my all-time favorite food combinations and this salad looks out of this world good!!

  6. Noble Pig - Cathy says:

    I love the simplicity of it and the childhood memories.

  7. Gay Morgan says:

    Can’t wait to try this updated version of a salad I also enjoyed. I make it now for my grandsons and add a maraschino cherry on top.

    1. Still a great classic recipe, isn’t it Gay?

  8. Feast on the Cheap says:

    Oh I am so totally making that dressing

    1. Good for much more than just this pear salad, too :-)

  9. yes Lana, I do love your updated version… grew up on that same pear salad too, our moms must have had the same teacher. Pinned this as it will be on our menu soon – have a great week and enjoy this fine weather…

    1. After I wrote this post I did a Google search to see if anybody had ever posted that old pear-mayo-cheese salad. You’d be surprised at how many accounts there are online! And everyone loved it. Talked about how their mamas and grandmas made it all the time. Those old classics are just the best, aren’t they?

  10. I love blue cheese and pears together and this simple salad is a “must try”! Love it!

    1. Megan – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! It’s a favorite here.