Beautiful and festive roasted sweet potato, pear and pomegranate spinach salad with creamy goat cheese, toasted pecans and a tangy balsamic dressing! Perfect for the holidays.
It’s another day, and another very #AmbitiousThanksgiving recipe. I call this recipe the Zac Efron Salad. It’s sexy, sweet, savory, feel-good and definitely delicious enough to put on your Thanksgiving table. In fact, it may just sing to you and give you a six pack. Zac, you sure know how to treat a lady good.
By the way, I know I haven’t been writing much in blog posts lately, but we’re still working through our new site (it’s been SO time consuming and frustrating), but good news is that we hope to have it up and running by the end of the year! Which means a new website for you to explore, discover and most importantly a better mobile experience.
On a good note, I’m super excited about this beautiful salad. A little green is an absolute MUST during the week before and after Thanksgiving too, and in my opinion a delicious spinach salad can do no wrong.
I do have to be completely honest with you though: I first made this salad last winter, but forgot about it in my recipe drafts and then time went too quickly (as it always does) and pears were no longer seasonal, so I decided to wait until now to post. WHAT A NAUGHTY GIRL.
But hey, it’s finally here in all it’s glory and I’m very excited for you to make it.
The recipe is a combination of my favorite seasonal fruits and veggies: roasted sweet and savory sweet potatoes (or you can use butternut squash), juicy ripe pears (they’re the best this time of year), gorgeous pomegranates, crunchy toasted pecans, goat cheese, and a very delicious balsamic dressing. All over a bed of nutritious spinach.
It’s a salad that you can feel good about eating, but definitely doesn’t sacrifice flavor.
I hope you love this salad. It’s festive and delicious — enjoy! xo.
SEE HOW TO MAKE THIS SALAD:
If you get a chance to make this salad, let me know by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below!
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 312.5
- Fat: 20.8g
- Saturated fat: 5.4g
- Carbohydrates: 30.9g
- Sugar: 14.8g
- Fiber: 5.6g
- Protein: 4.9g
- For the sweet potatoes:
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into ½ cubes (can also use cubed butternut squash)
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or coconut sugar or maple syrup)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- For the pecans:
- ½ cup pecans
- For the salad:
- 2 (6 ounce) bags organic spinach (about 8-10 cups spinach)
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds, from 1 pomegranate
- 2 medium ripe bartlett pears, thinly sliced
- ½ cup goat cheese (or can use feta)
- For the dressing:
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, brown sugar, minced garlic, cinnamon and cayenne. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pour mixture over the top. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat. Roast for 20-30 minutes until sweet potatoes are fork-tender, tossing a bit halfway through. They should get a little crispy on the edges.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, you can toast the pecans on the stovetop: Add pecans to a pan and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 2-5 minutes until pecans are fragrant and slightly golden brown on edges. Remove from heat and transfer to a cutting board. After a few minutes, chop the pecans into big pieces. Set aside.
- In a mason jar or small bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients. Shake or mix well to combine. Taste and add additional salt/pepper, if necessary.
- In a large bowl, add the spinach, pomegranate seeds, pear slices, and cooked sweet potatoes. Top with toasted pecans and goat cheese crumbles. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing, then toss to coat. Add to bowls and serve with extra pecans and goat cheese, if desired.
To make dairy free: Leave off the goat cheese.
To make vegan: Leave off goat cheese and use pure maple syrup in the dressing instead of honey.
PIN THIS SALAD: