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Salad with Goat Cheese, Pears, Candied Pecans & Maple-Balsamic Dressing

This is such a good salad!! It is healthy & most of all EASY!! I thought I had pecans in my pantry but come to find out, I only had walnuts. So, I made candied walnuts & they were tasty in this recipe too.

Along with this salad, I had avocado toast. This was super easy. Toast some bread & spread avocado on top. I added a little truffle salt & it was a nice touch to the salad.

From HHM: Goat Cheese from Caprini Creamery. Bibb Blend Salad Mix from Healthy Roots

Salad with Goat Cheese, Pears, Candied Pecans & Maple-Balsamic Dressing



5 ounces of mixed gourmet/spring greens

1 pear (such as d'Anjou), cored and chopped (to equal about 1 1/4 cups) (see note)

1 cup glazed, candied pecans (see note)

2/3 cup dried cherries (or cherry-flavored Craisins)

4 ounces crumbled goat cheese


2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon smooth dijon mustard

a pinch (about 1/16 teaspoon) kosher salt


1. Place greens in a large serving bowl (or divide it among individual salad plates).

2. Sprinkle pears, pecans, cherries, and goat cheese over top of greens.

3. For dressing, whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, mustard, and salt until emulsified.

4. Dress salad just before serving, or pass the dressing at the table.

Recipe Notes

Pears: Firmer pears work best for this recipe. D'Anjou is our top choice, but feel free to sub in your favorite variety, or whatever looks most wonderfully flavorful and juicy at your market.

Candied pecans: We definitely recommend using our super-easy recipe for 5-Minute, 4-Ingredient Candied Pecans. They add just the right amount of sweetness without going overboard on the sugar or adding corn syrup, butter, or other less-healthy ingredients. Alternately, if you use purchased candied pecans, be sure to read the ingredient lists and nutrition labels to find the best possible option.

Make-ahead tips: The dressing can be made a day or two in advance and kept, covered, in the refrigerator. If you're planning on making your own candied pecans (using our recipe), those can also be made in advance. For a little extra time-savings, look for already-crumbled goat cheese (which is also a bit less messy), rather than the little 4-ounce logs that you'll need to crumble yourself.

Serving tips: This salad is literally loaded with toppings, which is exactly how my family likes it best. Feel free to tweak the exact proportions to suit your family's tastes. Also, if you're going to serve the salad buffet-style and want to pre-dress it, it's important to add the dressing just prior to serving, so the greens don't wilt upon standing too long. Also, when pre-dressing the salad, you may want to reserve some of the dressing and offer it at the side, as some people prefer their salads more lightly dressed than others.

Easy Candied Pecan halves


1 1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons water

1/8 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup pecan halves


1. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, water, vanilla, and kosher salt, stirring to combine (don't worry that the sugar and salt won't all be dissolved). Set this at-the-ready, next to your stove, as this recipe goes really quickly.

2. In a medium-large saucepan over medium heat, toast pecans for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When you begin to smell a lovely, nutty aroma, they're done.

3. Quickly drizzle the sugar mixture into the pan, on top of the pecans, stirring the nuts as you drizzle. Stir constantly for about 15 seconds, until the pecans are thoroughly coated in the sugar mixture. Immediately remove from heat so they don't burn.

4. Spread the pecans on a piece of parchment to cool. Once cooled, you can break the nuts apart, if needed.

Recipe from Pinterest at Two Healthy Kitchens

Recipe from Pinterest at two healthy kitchens

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