Green Salad with Candied Walnuts, Fresh Pears & Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is one of our favorite green salads! Naturally gluten-free and vegan, it is a simple green salad that pairs with just about everything- making a basic meal special. Plus it includes a healthier take on candied walnuts that are out of this world!

Green Salad with candied walnuts and pears #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes
Green Salad with Candied Walnuts, Fresh Pears & Balsamic Vinaigrette

Savory, Tangy, Sweet, Tart and Delish!

New! I added a cooking video to this page so you could see just how quick and easy it is to make this Simple Green Salad with healthy Candied Walnuts, Fresh Pears and Balsamic!

If you’re new to this website, at the bottom of every recipe page is a printable recipe with exact measurements and directions.


Green Salad healthy candied walnuts pears balsamic #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes


You are going to love this Simple Green Salad with healthy-ish CANDIED WALNUTS, FRESH PEARS and Balsamic Vinaigrette.

It’s savory, tangy, sweet, tart and oh so yummy!

And because it’s so simple, this salad goes with just about anything— making a basic meal feel special!

And it’s the type of salad that works equally well served alongside pizza or on a holiday table!

The details…

A big bowl of greens

crisp pear slices

tart dried cranberries

and MY FAVE easy & “healthier” Candied Walnuts

all tossed in a tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Green Salad with candied walnuts and pears #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes

It’s a great mix and balance of flavors and textures.

But the Candied Walnuts make the salad in in my opinion.

They are addictively delicious!

And they are a healthier version of the classic, made with just 5 ingredients:


coconut oil

coconut sugar

maple syrup

and cinnamon.

Green Salad with candied walnuts and pears #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes

And they come together in about 10 minutes.

First you toast the walnuts for 4 minutes.

While they toast, you whisk together the other ingredients in a large bowl.

Mix the toasted walnuts with the other ingredients, then place them back in the oven for 6 minutes.  That’s it!

The walnuts are a perfect thing to meal prep whenever you have 10 minutes because they store well at room temp for several days.

Green Salad with candied walnuts and pears #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes

And the balsamic vinaigrette comes together in minutes!

All you need to do is whisk together:

olive oil

balsamic vinegar


dijon mustard

and a pinch of salt.

Green Salad with candied walnuts and pears #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes

Green Salad with candied walnuts and pears #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.comThe best part about this salad is you can make everything last minute because it’s so quick or you can make everything ahead of time and just mix it together when ready to eat!

Green Salad with candied walnuts and pears #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes www.healthygffamily.comBecause this salad is so simple, it’s a perfect side salad.

It goes with just about anything.

We like to make it on days we have a simple pasta or order in pizza. But you could just as easily serve it at brunch or at a holiday table.

It’s also very adaptable, try:

  • cherries in place of cranberries
  • pecans in place of walnuts
  • apples in place of pears.
  • If you eat dairy, feel free to add in some goat cheese.

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.

Hope you love it as much as we do!

Green Salad with candied walnuts and pears #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes

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Green Salad with candied walnuts and pears #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes

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www.healthygffamilycomScroll down to see the recipe and leave a comment if you try.


Green Salad with Candied Walnuts + Fresh Pears
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A simple green salad that pairs with everything! It's a fresh and delicious mix of flavors and textures, a perfect balance of sweet, tangy and savory. Works equally well alongside pizza or pasta as on a holiday table.
Recipe type: Salad, Fall, Holiday
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Serves: 3-4 servings
Candied Walnuts (store well at room temperature in a sealed container for several days)
  • 1 heaping cup raw walnuts or pecans
  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
  • generous pinch sea salt
  • generous pinch cinnamon
Balsamic Vinaigrette (makes more than you might need for the salad. Save in an air tight container to use for the next few days)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ shallot, finely chopped
  • Pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 5 oz container mixed greens
  • 1 Bosc or Bartlett Pear, or a combination of the two, sliced thin.
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (or tart cherries)
Candied Walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place raw walnuts in single layer on parchment-lined baking sheet and toast for 4 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients in a heat proof bowl.
  4. Remove walnuts from oven and add to bowl with remaining ingredients. Gently stir to combine and place back on parchment lined baking sheet in single layer.
  5. Place back in oven and bake for another 4-6 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. Store extra walnuts in an a well sealed container.
Balsamic Vinaigrette
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until well combined.
  2. Adjust to tastes as desired. Add in more balsamic for tanginess or mustard for creaminess and spice.
  3. Store extra vinaigrette in a well sealed container in refrigerator for several days.
  1. When ready to serve, place greens in a bowl and toss with a small amount of vinaigrette.
  2. Add in pear, cherries and walnuts, reserving some for garnish,
  3. Toss with additional dressing.


Green Salad with candied walnuts and pears #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes

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