Make a crisp and refreshing Pear and Arugula Salad with avocado, feta, sunflower seeds and a light red wine vinaigrette for a healthy lunch or side dish.
Everyone gets excited about apple season, but don't sleep on pears! Pears are the sweet, soft and delicious cousin to apples that are every bit as delicious and versatile to cook with. You can make a refreshing Cucumber Pear Smoothie, or a healthy Quinoa and Pear Stuffed Acorn Squash. But right at the beginning of pear season, towards the end of the summer, I'm still craving light, fresh salads. This arugula salad is healthy and refreshing, but well-rounded, with ripe pears, creamy feta and crunchy sunflower seeds. I highly recommend adding it to your next dinner menu as a vegetarian side dish.
How to Make Pear and Arugula Salad
This is a very forgiving salad, so feel free to make some ingredient swaps if you'd like. Here's what you'll need to make this arugula salad:
- Arugula. You can also use spinach, kale or another leafy green you love.
- Sunflower seeds. These are nutty and crunchy but also allergy-friendly. Another simple swap is pumpkin seeds or toasted cashews.
- Pear. You can use any variety of pear you like!
- Scallions. For a bit of bitey crunch.
- Avocado for creaminess.
- Feta. I love the salty, briny flavor of feta. But you can also use creamy goat cheese, if you like.
Tie your pear salad together with a simple and classic vinaigrette dressing made with:
- Olive oil. Choose a light, fruity-flavored oil to compliment the pear.
- Red wine vinegar, which is lighter than balsamic and lets the arugula keep its fresh, crunchy taste and texture.
- Lemon juice for added brightness.
- Dijon mustard for a bit of spiciness that won't overwhelm the other flavors.
Vegan Arugula Salad
To make this recipe vegan, use your favorite vegan cheese to replace feta. I like Violife vegan feta.
You can easily turn this tasty salad into a well-rounded meal by adding protein. Any of these will be delicious:
- Balsamic Grilled Tofu
- Cooked quinoa
- Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes
- Gluten-Free Popcorn “Fried” Chicken
More Healthy Salad Recipes to Try
- Strawberry Quinoa Salad with Feta
- Grilled Vegetable Salad for Summer
- Blueberry Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
If you make this Pear and Arugula Salad, be sure to let me know what you think with a comment below!
Pear and Arugula Salad
- Add the arugula to a salad bowl and set aside.
- Place the sunflower seeds on a small baking sheet and toast in the toaster oven for 3 - 4 minutes.*
- Core the pear and cut it into chunks. Add to the bowl.
- Finely slice the scallions and add them to the bowl as well.
- Dice the avocado and add to the bowl.
- Crumble the feta on top of everything, followed by the toasted sunflower seeds.
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the salad.
- Dig in and enjoy!