Pear and goat cheese baby kale salad – a quick and easy side salad recipe you can make with dinner tonight! You’re going to love the combination of creamy goat cheese, sweet pears, crunchy toasted almond slices, and a homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette. Ready to enjoy in 20 minutes or less!

baby kale pear and goat cheese salad on a white plate surrounded by some of the ingredients

As a Registered Dietitian, I can tell you that one of the easiest ways to get more greens on your plate is to make a simple side salad with dinner.

If you’ve tried my everyday kale and spinach salad or simple kale and romaine salad, you’ll know that side salads are super easy to make and don’t take much time.

When you want a side salad that feels a little bit *fancy* though, you’ve got to make this baby kale salad with pear and goat cheese!

I love the flavor combination of pears and goat cheese together (check out my pear and goat cheese crostini), especially in this salad!

This versatile salad will pair with any main entree, like salmon, tofu, chicken, burgers, or whatever you have planned for dinner.

This recipe is ready in 20 minutes or less, and serves 3-4 as a side dish. It is vegetarian, gluten free, and can be nut free if you swap the toasted almonds for toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)!

baby kale salad ingredients measured out

Ingredients

Here is everything you need to make this recipe, below:

  • Baby kale: Baby kale is the young leaves of a kale plant. They are smaller, softer, and more tender than mature kale, with a less bitter flavor. I love baby kale because it is a little heartier than baby spinach! Baby kale has the same nutrient profile as mature kale. os if you’re not a fan of the more robust flavor and tough texture of regular kale, baby kale is a great alternative.
  • Pear: I used Bosc pear for this recipe, but you can use whatever type you like best.
  • Toasted sliced almonds: Don’t skip the toasting step with your almonds! Toasting enhances the flavor and texture.
  • Goat cheese: Creamy, tangy goat cheese paired with pear (no pun intended) is a must try flavor combination!
  • Honey balsamic vinaigrette: balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt

Prefer regular kale salads? I’ve got you covered with my collection of kale salad recipes!

Kitchen equipment needed

  • Salad bowl
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoons
  • Chef’s knife, 6 or 8 inch
  • Cutting board
  • Baking sheet

If you love pears in salad, you’ve got to try my pear and turnip salad with parmesan crisps and my Asian pear salad!

Step-by-step instructions

toasted almond slices on a small baking sheet
1. Toast the almond slices in the oven. You don’t want to skip this step! Toasting nuts makes them taste much better and gives them a crunchier texture.
sliced pears on a wooden cutting board
2. Thinly slice the pear.
honey balsamic vinaigrette in a small bowl with a small metal whisk
3. Make the honey balsamic vinaigrette: combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together vigorously until cohesive
pear and goat cheese baby kale salad on a white platter
4. Assemble the salad: combine the baby kale, sliced pear, toasted almonds, and crumbled goat cheese in a bowl. Drizzle with as much dressing as you want and toss to combine.

It is best to enjoy this salad shortly after you prepare it, otherwise it can get soggy.

Serving suggestions

This salad is versatile so you can serve it alongside a protein, pasta, soup, or whatever is on your dinner menu! Here are some suggested pairings from the blog:

pear goat cheese and baby kale salad tossed together on a white serving platter

Pears nutrition benefits

Pears are a highly nutritious fruit to include in your diet. Pears are higher in fiber than most other fruits!

One small pear provides 5 grams of dietary fiber (18% of your daily needs), as well as small amounts of:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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baby kale pear and goat cheese salad on a white plate surrounded by some of the ingredients

Simple Pear & Goat Cheese Baby Kale Salad

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: salads
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian
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Description

Pear and goat cheese baby kale salad – a quick and easy side salad recipe you can make with dinner tonight! You’re going to love the combination of creamy goat cheese, sweet pears, crunchy toasted almond slices, and a homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette. Ready to enjoy in 20 minutes or less!


Ingredients

Scale

Pear and goat cheese baby kale salad

Honey balsamic vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt


Instructions

  1. Toast the almonds: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the sliced almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 5-10 minutes until lightly golden brown and fragrant. Set aside on a plate to let them cool.
  2. Make the vinaigrette: Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together with a fork or small whisk until cohesive.
  3. Assemble the salad: In a salad bowl, combine the baby kale, sliced pears, goat cheese, and toasted almonds.
  4. Drizzle some of the salad dressing over the salad (I used about 1/4 cup of the dressing) and use salad spoons to toss the salad together until well mixed.

Notes

It is best to enjoy this salad shortly after you prepare it, otherwise it can get soggy.