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Apple and Pear Salad with Maple Pecan Bacon and Cranberry Vinaigrette


Large white bowl full of Apple and Pear Salad.

There’s nothing like a fall salad full of fruit, cheese, and nuts. To me, it is pure comfort food and there’s not much else I’d rather eat. Add in some bacon and I’m a very happy girl.

Apple-Pear Salad with Maple-Pecan Bacon in a white bowl.

And this salad doesn’t have just regular bacon. The bacon is dipped in a pool of sweet maple syrup and coated in chopped pecans before being baked in the oven. You may have never thought of coating your bacon in nuts, and to tell you the truth, I hadn’t either until I saw this recipe in Southern Living Magazine. As you can probably imagine, this bacon is absolutely delectable. It’s sweet, salty, nutty, and crunchy and the perfect addition to an already scrumptious salad. I may always take my bacon for a swim in maple syrup before cooking it.

I did have a few technical difficulties with the cooking method for the bacon. See my notes in the recipe below.

Apple-Pear Salad with Maple-Pecan Vinaigrette. Grapes and red pears in the background.

I absolutely love pears, apples, and grapes paired with gorgonzola cheese. The sweetness of the fruit and the saltiness of the cheese is pure heaven. A sweet and tart cranberry dressing adds even more flavor. If you are one to serve a salad with your holiday meals, Apple and Pear Salad with Maple-Pecan Bacon and Cranberry Vinaigrette would be a perfect addition. It’s definitely festive!



Apple and Pear Salad with Maple Pecan Bacon and Cranberry Vinaigrette. Such a delicious fall salad!

Apple and Pear Salad with Maple Pecan Bacon and Cranberry Vinaigrette

A delicious salad filled with apples, grapes, pears, and gorgonzola cheese. Topped with maple and pecan coated bacon and a cranberry vinaigrette. Can you say yum?
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
TOTAL: 40 minutes


  • 8 slices thick bacon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • 1 large Bartlett pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 large gala apple, diced
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese

Cranberry Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup canned whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a wire rack coated with cooking spray on a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan lined with aluminum foil.
  • Dip bacon in maple syrup and then press pecans onto both sides of bacon.
  • Arrange bacon slices on wire rack and bake for 20 minutes. Flip bacon slices and cook for another 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Place mixed greens in a large salad bowl. Add pears, apple, grapes, and gorgonzola cheese. Toss together.
  • To make Cranberry Vinaigrette: Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • To serve: Top each serving of salad with 2 pieces of bacon and drizzle with vinaigrette.


I found that a good portion of the pecan pieces fell off when flipping the bacon. To help alleviate this, reserve some of the pecans so that you can add more when you flip the bacon or just spread the pecans on the top side and do not flip. The bacon should cook fine without the flipping.
Course: Salad

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Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Southern Living Oct 2011

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12 thoughts on “Apple and Pear Salad with Maple Pecan Bacon and Cranberry Vinaigrette”

  1. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    I love a good fresh salad, and that bacon does look incredibly delectable!

  2. Allie | Baking A Moment

    I think you’ve hit on every possible fabulous fall flavor with this recipe! I love it. I’m all over apples, pears, and gorgonzola, and that bacon sounds amazing!

  3. marcie@flavorthemoments

    Kristin, this salad is right up my alley. You’ve added so many things I love in here, and I’m with you — fruit, nut, and cheese salads are where it’s at! That vinaigrette sounds delicious, too!

  4. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal

    Ohhh the photography is gorgeous and the Apple & Pear make it so Fall-y. I would just omit the bacon personally but other than that – lovely.

  5. Amy @ Elephant Eats

    Mmm. I made a roasted veggie salad with candied bacon last year…that bacon is seriously amazing. Pears and apples with gorgonzola is like my favorite salad ever. This looks amazing!!

  6. Laura Dembowski

    I think I could live on fruit. It is so yummy! This salad sounds great. Love the way you cooked the bacon!

  7. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    There’s nothing better than the combo of cheese, nuts and fruits! This salad certainly looks amazing and the color is so bright and beautiful! Your pictures are always stunning, but I think you’ve outdone yourself this time… I love them! x

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