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The Best Roasted Pear Winter Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

This winter salad, topped with roasted pears and savory sweet potatoes, includes goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and a tasty champagne vinaigrette. Top it with grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, or salmon to make it an entree.

Salad might be one of my favorite foods.

Weird, huh?

But true!

Now, when we’re talking about favorite food status, I’m not talking about the kind of salad that’s some iceberg lettuce with a little cucumber and shredded carrots…

That kind of salad is fine as a side dish at a restaurant.

I’m talking about salads that combine unexpected combinations of ingredients that are bursting with flavor!

Plated winter salad with sliced Bosc pears, cubed sweet potatoes, walnuts, goat cheese, and pomegranate arils.

Salads like this one.

I called it a winter salad because I don’t usually take the time to roast vegetables during the summer.

But these flavors would be amazing any time of year!

Instead of roasting the sweet potatoes, try throwing them on the grill.


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What is a Winter Salad?

Bowl of pear winter salad on a wood board with sliced fresh bread.

What exactly is a winter salad?

It’s a salad that uses ingredients more commonly found during cold weather months.

For instance, try using hardier greens like kale, fennel, chard, shaved brussels sprouts, or cabbage as the base.

Or add seasonal ingredients like roasted root vegetables like beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, red onions, or parsnips.

These salads can be made more robust by adding grains like quinoa, brown rice, wheat berries, or even lentils.

While tomatoes and berries are popular in summer salads like these, try using citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits during the winter.

Apples, pears, and pomegranates are some other fruit options that are more easily found during cold weather months.

Is it Okay to Eat a Salad in Winter?

Plated winter salad with sliced Bosc pears, cubed sweet potatoes, walnuts, goat cheese, and pomegranate arils.

Is it okay to eat salad during winter?


When I was doing some research about the concept of a winter salad, that was one of the questions that popped up.

So I guess some people may wonder.

Let’s just say that if it’s wrong to eat salad during the winter, then I don’t want to be right!

After all, salads are an amazing way to get lots of healthy veggies into our bodies.

Ingredients Used to Make This Salad

Ingredients to make a winter salad with roasted vegetables, pears, goat cheese and walnuts.

You don’t need anything fancy to make this salad.

All of these ingredients were in my local grocery store.

This recipe includes baby arugula and baby kale, pears, sweet potatoes, red onions, pomegranate, walnuts, and goat cheese.

I know, those baby greens might not be hardy, but I love them, so that’s what I used!

Tips for Making a Salad with Roasted Vegetables

I love topping salads with roasted vegetables.

The roasting process caramelizes the veggies and really amplifies their flavor.

Baking sheet lined with parchment paper with roasted sweet potato cubes and sliced red onions.

You can get all my tips for making savory roasted sweet potatoes over here.

When I make a batch of roasted vegetables, I love making a double batch and having half with dinner, then saving the other half to go on top of salads.

Round white baking dish with sliced roasted Bosc pears in white wine.

I chose to poach the pears for this salad in Riesling because I wanted them to be a little softer.

If you prefer your pears crisp, you can skip this step, although I really love the extra flavor they got from the wine!

I recommend prepping the pears first and baking them while you assemble the other ingredients.

Can You Make This Salad in Advance?

I don’t recommend assembling this salad in advance because the greens will become wilted.

However, you can prep the ingredients so the salad is easy to assemble when it’s time to serve.

For years, I was so intimidated by whole pomegranates.

I spent way too much money buying those cups of pomegranate arils.

How about you?

Let me tell you, they’re so easy to prepare!

This time of year you can often get 2 pomegranates for $4 which is a fraction of the cost of those cups.

Two fresh pomegranate quarters on a cutting board with a ramekin of arils.

Simply cut the pomegranate into quarters, then use your fingers or a grapefruit spoon to remove the arils.

You’ll use the arils from about half a pomegranate for this salad.

Put the rest of the arils in an airtight container to enjoy later!

Some of the juice might splatter a little, and the juice will stain, so don’t wear white while doing this prep work…

Wood cutting board with coarse chopped walnuts.

I buy whole walnuts in bulk from Costco and store them in the freezer to keep them fresh.

You can use whole walnuts in this salad if you prefer, but I like to chop them coarsely so you can get a perfect bite of this tasty salad: a bite with a little bit of each ingredient.

Bowl of pear winter salad on a wood board with sliced fresh bread.

When you serve this salad you can serve it all tossed together in a large bowl.

It looks so pretty on a dinner table or a buffet.

Don’t forget some crusty bread.

Plate with mixed baby greens, diced roasted sweet potatoes, sliced pears, and a spoon adding pomegranate arils.

If you’re hosting a luncheon or a dinner party, try plating the salad for a really pretty presentation.

No matter how you serve the salad, be sure to serve the dressing on the side.

That helps the salad to hold up longer and minimizes the greens becoming wilted.

If you have leftover salad, store it in a container like this one for up to three days.

What Kind of Dressing is Best on a Winter Salad?

OXO homemade dressing container pouring Champagne Pear Vinaigrette over a salad.

The best salad dressing for a winter salad really depends on the ingredients and flavors in that salad.

This salad is amazing with a lightly sweet dressing like my Pear Champagne Vinaigrette.

It would also be good with this sweet keto vinaigrette.

More Delicious Salad Ideas and Recipes

Want some more delicious salads to enjoy? Check out these recipes!

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Plated winter salad with sliced Bosc pears, cubed sweet potatoes, walnuts, goat cheese, and pomegranate arils.

Roasted Pear Winter Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This winter salad, topped with roasted pears and savory sweet potatoes, includes goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and a tasty champagne vinaigrette. Top it with grilled chicken or pork tenderloin for an entree.


Wine Poached Pears

  • 2 Bosc pears, cored and cut into 12ths
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup Riesling
  • 2 Tbsp Swerve brown (or brown sugar
  • mineral salt


Wine Poached Pears

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the pears into quarters and remove the core and stem, then cut each quarter into 3 long slices. Place the pears in an oven-safe baking dish.
  3. Melt the butter and mix together with the Riesling (or other off dry white wine). Pour over the pears.
  4. Sprinkle the pears with 2 Tbsp of Swerve Brown or brown sugar and a pinch of salt.
  5. Bake the pears for 15-20 minutes, until fork tender but still firm.

Assemble the Salad

  1. In a large salad bowl, gently toss together the baby kale and the baby arugula.
  2. This salad can either be served from a large bowl with all the ingredients combined or individually plated for a more formal presentation.

To Serve the Salad Already Mixed:

  1. Add roasted sweet potatoes and onions, sliced pears, pomegranate arils, and walnuts to the mixed baby greens and gently toss to distribute as evenly as possible. Sprinkle in goat cheese crumbles and toss very lightly.
  2. Serve with Pear Champagne Vinaigrette on the side.

To Serve the Salad Plated:

  1. Divide the greens evenly between 6-8 salad plates or shallow bowls.
  2. Divide the roasted sweet potatoes and onions evenly between the plates, sprinkled over top of the greens.
  3. Arrange 3-4 slices of the poached pears on each salad plate.
  4. Sprinkle each plate with roughly equal amounts of walnuts and goat cheese.
  5. Serve with Pear Champagne Vinaigrette on the side.


Turn this salad into an entree by topping it with a protein! Delicious with grilled or roasted chicken, pork tenderloin, and salmon.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 340Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 14mgSodium 377mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 6gSugar 19gProtein 8g

Please note that we are not medical or nutritional professionals. We include nutrition information for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. However, due to wide variations in brands, nutrition data is subject to change for every user. Nutrition data is calculated using My Fitness Pal Pro. All sugar alcohols are subtracted from the final carb count. Please refer to our complete Nutritional Disclosure for more details.

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