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Spinach Pear Salad

If you aren’t into sweets for Halloween, add spirited fun to a spinach pear salad by making ghosts out of white cheese. The instructions show how quick and easy it is to make the mouth and eyes. 

Healthy Halloween Food

Sometimes, it is hard to find fun Halloween-themed food that is healthy and not sweet. But all you have to do is get creative with everyday food! For example, try cutting ghosts and other spooky shapes in cheese. To enjoy some Halloween fun and delight your guests, try this Spinach Pear Salad. It is healthy and full of fun “cheesy” ghosts!

Spinach Pear Salad

Customize for Other Occasions

You can also customize this salad for other occasions. For example, you could cut out cheese hearts for a Valentine’s Day salad or stars for a patriotic salad. If you have them, use mini cookie cutters to cut out shapes for the salad. If you don’t have cookie cutters, cut shapes by hand. It is easier than you think!

How to Hand-Cut the Ghosts for Spinach Pear Salad

Sketch a “ghost” (shown below) onto a sheet of paper. The ghosts work well with points at the bottom to place them between the spinach in an upright position.

Draw a shape that looks like an apostrophe or a comma. It should be about two and a half inches long by an inch wide at its thickest point. There is no wrong way to do it. And you do not have to be artistic!

Place the pattern on a slice of cheese. This recipe calls for Swiss cheese slices, but you must use Swiss cheese that doesn’t have holes!

Use Straws to Make Eyes and a Mouth for Spinach Pear Salad

It is easy to cut out the eyes with a small straw. Just push the straw into the cheese to cut through it and punch out an eye. The cheese will go into the opening in the straw. You can remove it by squeezing the straw at the end just above the cheese.

Then, make a mouth using a straw larger than the one used for the eyes, as shown in the (below right) photo. To make an oval mouth, squeeze the end of the straw until it has more of an oval shape and use that end of the straw to punch out the mouth.

Spinach Pear Salad

The cut-out ghosts will look rustic and cute. You can even create a variety of different ghost shapes if you choose!

Spinach Pear Salad
Use a wide, shallow bowl so there is a larger surface to place the cheese ghosts.

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Spinach Pear Salad

Spinach Pear Salad

Spinach salad with fresh pears, swiss cheese, pecans, dried cranberries, and a pear vinaigrette dressing.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 353 kcal


  • 2 drinking straws (use straws with different-sized holes)


  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 2 slices cheese, cut into shapes if desired (Swiss or other white cheese)
  • 1 Bartlett or Anjou pear, thinly sliced (do not have to peel)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups (6 ounces) baby spinach
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • cup red onion, very thinly sliced
Salad Dressing
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pear preserves or pear jam
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper


  • Toast the pecans in a large skillet on low to medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat when they are starting to brown. Cool.
  • Use a mini ghost cookie cutter to cut out ghost shapes in the cheese, or hand-cut the ghosts. Use the end of a small straw to cut out the eyes. Then use a larger straw to cut out a mouth. Squeeze together the end of the straw to make the mouth an oval shape. Set aside.
  • Toss the cut-up pears with lemon juice.
  • Place washed spinach into a large salad bowl. Add the cranberries, cooled pecans, onions, and pear slices.
  • Toss with the salad dressing.
  • Insert the ghost-shaped cheese pieces into the salad so that you can see the eyes and mouth.
Salad Dressing
  • Place the olive oil, rice vinegar, pear preserves, salt, and pepper into an electric blender (or use an immersion blender).
  • Blend for several seconds until well mixed.


Anjou pears are also known as d’Anjou.   Hand-cut the ghosts to about 2 inches or use a mini cookie cutter about the same size.


Calories: 353kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 10gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 282mgPotassium: 1430mgFiber: 8gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 22272IUVitamin C: 73mgCalcium: 325mgIron: 7mg
Keyword Fall Salad, Halloween Salad, Pear and Spinach, Pear Salad Dressing, Pear Vinaigrette, Salad, Salad Dressing, Salad Dressing Recipe, Salad Recipe
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