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If you love autumn and winter fruits, this salad is for you. It’s jam-packed with sweet fruit paired with savory chicken and a creamy tangy vinaigrette. Paleo and AIP friendly.

Overhead view of completed pear salad with pomogranete arils, red pears, grapes, cinnamon raisin tigernut granola, sliced baked chicken breast on a bed of arugula in a white bowel.

Going back to work, getting the kids to school, and trying to eat healthy again after indulging in that extra slice of pumpkin pie (or brisket) over the holidays can be tricky.

I usually start missing the bright colors and festive feel while I pack up Christmas decorations.

That's why I usually turn to food to brighten up and lighten up my spirits. This nutrient-dense salad is packed with seasonal fruit, peppery arugula and juicy chicken breast, that is a feast for the eyes and tongue.

I love adding my Cinnamon Raisin Granola for some added crunch and texture. Feel free to add any granola you have on hand or skip it.

Ingredients in these fruit filled salad and creamy dressing

For the salad:

  • Chicken breast: you'll want 3-4 breasts, weighing 1.25-1.5 pounds. You can also substitute with chicken thighs or turkey breast. Be sure to adjust the cook time according to the meat you choose.
  • Dried oregano: this will give it a great herb flavor that pairs well with the pears and grapes. You can also substitute with dried parsley, dried basil or AIP friendly Italian Seasoning mix.
  • Dried thyme: a great herb that give a bit of earthy flavor. If you don't have any on hand, you can use more dried oregano, AIP friendly Italian Seasoning, or just skip it.
  • Garlic powder: a great pungent flavor that adds great depth. If you don't have any substitute with equal parts fresh minced garlic or onion powder. Skip if you can't tollerate garlic.
  • Sea salt: fine grain sea salt works best here. You can substitute with Kosher salt – just be sure to add a little bit more as Kosher salt is a little less salty than sea salt. Do not use table salt. It is stripped of it minerals and has some unfriendly additives for AIP.
  • Seedless red grapes: very sweet with great tannins. You can substitue with any of your favorite grape variety!
  • Pomegranate arils: such a great winter time fruit. It's crunch and bitter flavors add a fun touch to this salad. If you don't have any on hand, substitute with fresh cranberries.
  • Arugula: a small peppery leafy green. Feel free to substitute with any leafy greens you have on hand or prefer.
  • Cinnamon Raisin Tigernut Granola: a sweet crunchy granola! You can make it coconut free.
Overhead view of ingredients on a cutting board, from top left going clockwise: sliced pears, pomegranate arils, arugula in glass mixing bowl, red graps, baked chicken breast, white cup filled with cinnamon raisin tigernut granola

For the Creamy Balsamic dressing:

  • Balsamic Vinegar: a lovely sweet and bitter vinegar. You can substitute with aged balsamic for a sweeter profile or white balasmic for a milder vinegar profile. If you're in a pinch, you can do equal parts red wine vinegar and maple syrup.
  • Galic: ah, this lovely pungent alium gives such a great flavor. If you don't have any, substitute with a teaspoon of minced shallot or chilves. If avoiding aliums, substitute with more ginger to taste.
  • Coconut milk: this rich milk has a lot of healthy fats to give a creamy texture to this dressing. You can substitute with tigernut milk for AIP and any other non-dairy milk for Paleo.
  • Dried Ginger: a nice anti-inflammatory rhiyzome that gives a great slightly spicy kick to this dressing. You can also substituted with turmeric, mace or cinnamon.
  • Sea salt: season to taste.
  • Olive oil: a nice fruity oil with lots of healthy fats. You can substitute with avocado oil for a more neutral flavor.

How to make this fall/winter salad

  • If you don’t have the Cinnamon Raisin Tigernut Granola ready, go ahead and make that first. (It’s a great thing to always have on hand to throw on top of salads, bowls, and to snack on!)
  • For the salad, preheat the oven to 425 F. Put the chicken breasts in a baking dish and sprinkle both sides of each breast with the oregano, thyme, garlic powder, and sea salt.
  • Put in the oven for 18-22 minutes (less for smaller chicken breasts and longer for bigger ones) or until an instant-read thermometer says 165 F.
  • Meanwhile, slice the pears (no need to peel them), wash the grapes and remove from the stems, and deseed the pomegranates (if not using already pre-seeded arils).
  • Mix the salad dressing ingredients together and mix. I like to mix them in a small jar with a lid and shake, but you can also mix them in a small bowl and whisk them together.
  • Divide the greens between the plates, then divide the fruit between each plate, and add a large scoop of granola to each plate. When the chicken is done, slice thinly and divide evenly between the plates. Finally either drizzle each plate with the dressing or serve it on the side.

Notes: This is a pretty sweet salad so if you want some more savory elements, a diced red onion or diced avocado could also work really well, and if you can tolerate or have successfully reintroduced nuts and/or seeds, sunflower seeds or walnuts are great on it.

Overhead view of completed pear salad with pomogranete arils, red pears, grapes, cinnamon raisin tigernut granola, sliced baked chicken breast on a bed of arugula in a white bowel.

Making this delicious salad ahead of time

This salad can mostly be made up to 5 days ahead of time, but you should keep some of the components separate from each other or not prep some components ahead of time.

This is what I’d do: Bake the chicken breasts and leave them to cool completely before slicing (this will help retain moisture). Divide the greens, pomegranate arils, and grapes between the meal prep containers but keep the granola and dressing separate from the salad.

The granola will get soggy if stored with the greens and the dressing will make everything really soggy, so keep each in separate containers.

It’s also best to wait to slice the pears though as they’ll brown if sliced and left out.

Can you make this salad and dressing coconut-free?

This salad is already coconut-free except for the granola, but see the granola recipe for tips on making that coconut-free.

Want other Paleo and AIP salad recipes? Try one of these!

Winter Steak Salad (Paleo, Whole30, AIP): Jam-packed with delicious winter ingredients and lots of texture, this salad is both filling and amazingly satisfying. Tastes great both warm and cold and can be made ahead of time!

Thai Chicken Salad with Mango Dressing (Paleo, Whole30, AIP): This delicious chicken salad features roasted sweet potatoes, pickled onions, toasted coconut, and herb marinated chicken.

Gyro Bowl (Paleo, Whole30, AIP): This Gyro bowl is packed with Greek flavors and easy to make ahead for a quick lunch or dinner!

More Helpful AIP Resources in the Freebie Library

If you find this recipe helpful, you may really enjoy the resources in my Paleo & AIP Freebie Library! There's a “dump” freezer meal plan, a list of AIP-compliant breakfast toppings, and so much more. Plus, you'll get even more ideas sent to your inbox! Get the password here.

Overhead view of completed pear salad with pomogranete arils, red pears, grapes, cinnamon raisin tigernut granola, sliced baked chicken breast on a bed of arugula in a white bowel.

Pear Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing Recipe

If you make this flavorful winter salad, I'd love to hear how it turned out! Either comment below or share a pic on Instagram and tag me @thrivingonpaleo!

Overhead view of completed pear salad with pomogranete arils, red pears, grapes, cinnamon raisin tigernut granola, sliced baked chicken breast on a bed of arugula in a white bowel.

Pear Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing (Paleo, AIP)

Servings: 4
If you love autumn and winter fruits, this salad is for you. It’s jam-packed with sweet fruit paired with savory chicken and a creamy tangy vinaigrette. Paleo and AIP friendly.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients
  

For the salad:

  • 3-4 Chicken Breasts (about 1.25 – 1.5 lb total)
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Pears
  • 2 cups seedless Red Grapes
  • 1 cup Pomegranate Arils
  • 8 cups Arugula (or leafy greens of choice)
  • 1 batch Cinnamon Raisin Tigernut Granola

For the Creamy Balsamic dressing:

  • 1/8 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Milk
  • pinch Dried Ginger
  • pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil (or Avocado Oil)

Instructions
 

  • If you don’t have the Cinnamon Raisin Tigernut Granola ready, go ahead and make that first. (It’s a great thing to always have on hand to throw on top of salads, bowls, and to snack on!)
  • For the salad, preheat the oven to 425 F. Put the chicken breasts in a baking dish and sprinkle both sides of each breast with the oregano, thyme, garlic powder, and sea salt.
  • Put in the oven for 18-22 minutes (less for smaller chicken breasts and longer for bigger ones) or until an instant-read thermometer says 165 F.
    An overead view of baked chicken breasts seasoned in a glass baking dish.
  • Meanwhile, slice the pears (no need to peel them), wash the grapes and remove from the stems, and deseed the pomegranates (if not using already pre-seeded arils).
  • Mix the salad dressing ingredients together and mix. I like to mix them in a small jar with a lid and shake, but you can also mix them in a small bowl and whisk them together.
  • Divide the greens between the plates, then divide the fruit between each plate, and add a large scoop of granola to each plate. When the chicken is done, slice thinly and divide evenly between the plates. Finally either drizzle each plate with the dressing or serve it on the side.
    Overhead view of completed pear salad with pomogranete arils, red pears, grapes, cinnamon raisin tigernut granola, sliced baked chicken breast on a bed of arugula in a white bowel.

Notes

This is a pretty sweet salad so if you want some more savory elements, a diced red onion or diced avocado could also work really well, and if you can tolerate or have successfully reintroduced nuts and/or seeds, sunflower seeds or walnuts are great on it.

Nutrition

Calories: 597kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 39gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 505mgPotassium: 1150mgFiber: 6gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 1090IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 3mg
Course: Main, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: AIP, autoimmune protocol, autumn, Paleo, salad, winter
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @thrivingonpaleo !

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