Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears |

Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears

In the last two weeks, my taste buds have taken on a slight preference for comfort foods. But leafy green salads are still very high on my priority list. I crave salads all year long, not just in the warmer months. Especially when they’re filled with local, seasonal ingredients.

This Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears is my current obsession. It incorporates so many of my favorite Fall flavors, like fresh apple cider and maple syrup. And it highlights what I consider to be one of the most underappreciated Fall fruits: pears.

Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears |

Pears always seem like they are playing second fiddle to apples. I mean, I love apples. Who doesn’t!?!? And admittedly, I’ve been on a bit of an apple spree myself these days. But pears deserve to be taken seriously once in a while, too. So I always make it a point to give them the spotlight in a couple different recipes over the course of their season.

For previous pear perfect recipes (say that three times fast!), check out these appetizers, this cake and this breakfast essential!

Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears |

For the base of this salad, I used tender, baby kale. But you could use whatever greens you love (baby spinach would be excellent!). I added in red grapes, pecans and blue cheese crumbles. But the real showstopper in this recipe is the sautéed pears. Slightly softened, flavored with both apple cider and maple syrup, and so gosh darn pretty that it seems like a shame to chop them up, they are the perfect topper for all your leafy green bowls this Fall.

Choose pears (I used Bartlett pears for this recipe) that are ripe, but still a bit firm when pressed. Because you don’t want them getting too soft and mushy when you cook them. That would be no bueno.

What are your favorite ways to use pears this time of year? I would love to hear your ideas!



Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears

Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears

At a Glance:
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 pears, halved and cored
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • About 6 cups baby kale
  • 1 cup seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles


  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, bring the apple cider and maple syrup to a simmer. Add the pear halves to the cooking liquid, placing them cut side-down. Then sauté the pears for about 5 minutes, or until slightly softened, occasionally spooning some of the cooking liquid over top as they cook.
  2. Carefully remove the pears from the skillet and place them on a clean plate. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the olive oil, mustard, salt and black pepper into the remaining cooking liquid. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Add the kale to a large bowl. Pour some of the warm dressing over the kale, tossing until the leaves are well coated. You may not use all the dressing, depending on your taste preferences.
  5. Divide the kale between two bowls. Top with the grapes, pecans, blue cheese and the sautéed pears. Serve immediately.




30 comments on “Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears”

  1. I love my fall apples and pumpkin, but pears are just as popular in my kitchen during the fall months Liz! I’ll definitely be giving this salad a try. It sounds just delish!

  2. I’m so excited that I have all of these ingredients. Thanks for the lunch inspo.

  3. I am SO making this salad for Thanksgiving!!!

  4. Pear and blue cheese salads are totally my jam!! I’m all over this 🙂

  5. Mmmm those sauteed pears, Liz! I love a good fork and knife salad… so cutting into those pears while enjoying a bit of kale sounds delicious! That blue cheese pairs perfectly with their flavor. I’m with you on pears… apples seem to get the spotlight.. but I love them, and I adore them in salads too. I also love putting diced and tossed with cinnamon on top of porridge, chia pudding and/or hot oatmeal. Also, least I forget, their perfect in green smoothies too! xo

  6. The perfect fall salad!

  7. This looks like the perfect savory dish to showcase pears!!

  8. I agree with you – pears are SO underrated! This salad is right up my alley 🙂

  9. This salad is so beautiful! I just love the pears!

  10. Totally agree – pears are super underrated. I feel like I would love this salad as is, but also as the toppings on a fall pizza hehe. 😉

  11. I always forget about grapes. Must make up to them by making this salad, yes? So goooood! Love the sauteed pears too. Gah!

    • I tend to forget about them, too. But the past two weeks I’ve been on a grape spree and adding them to everything!

  12. Those sauteed pears are an amazing touch!

  13. I just love this salad!  I have made it four times since I found it.
    Love the combination of it.  Could add chicken if you wanted 
    a complete meal.

  14. Sounds delicious to me,for Thanksgiving!!

  15. I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand so I made some substitutions: poached a couple of small Fuji apples instead of pears in pineapple juice instead of apple cider, plus maple syrup. Grey Poupon Dijon mustard. Hand massaged it into the baby kale. Air fried the pecan halves with a bit of olive oil, salt, cinnamon, sugar (maple syrup would have been even better), and cayenne pepper. Topped it with La Tur cheese. Success!

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