The Best Thanksgiving Dinner Starter – {french onion + pear salad}

by Stephanie Tulman on November 14, 2014

french onion and pear salad 1 Can you believe Thanksgiving is 2 weeks from this Thursday?!  Where in the world did 2014 go?!  My mother once told me that as you age, time goes by faster.  I think Mom was onto something with that statement!  As a child, I remember Fall and the holiday season seemed to take FOREVER to arrive.  Now the holiday season is over in the blink of an eye!

french onion and pear salad 3 With Thanksgiving literally around the corner, and our lives are ever so busy, I’ve created a recipe for the starter of your family+friend feast that will take the least amount of time to make, of all your harvest servings!   My French Onion + Pear Salad is the perfect opening number since it can be served to resemble little turkeys!  Vegetarian, of course. ; )   If you chose to make this a vegan starter salad, simply remove the turkey’s eye and other sprinklings.  : )

french onion and pear salad 2 My idea for this came from my love for French Onion soup.  I realize it is not the healthiest, nor is it the most favored amongst the masses.  So I carried the onion over to a bed of greens!  The only work involved in this recipe is the cooking and browning of the onions.  5 minutes on each side plus 30 or so seconds to assemble the rest of the salad, and you’re done with the first course and focused on preparing the turkey, tofurkey, stuffing, sides, etc.  You’ll thank me when you can shorten your dinner prep time before everyone arrives, and spend more time with your guests. : )

xo, This Chick

french onion + pear salad

french onion + pear salad

I did not provide measurements for this salad because I feel that it should be up to your taste to decide how much of each ingredient goes into your salad. You can also get creative and add other veggies! To make this the star starter of your Thanksgiving table, you can display it as a turkey - instructions follow. Enjoy!


  • arugula
  • large sweet onion
  • carrots sliced in short matchsticks
  • pears, thinly sliced
  • dried cranberries
  • feta
  • Dressing
  • olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • honey
  • chopped onions
  • salt/pepper


  1. Cut the onion into 1/4 inch sliced. Heat 1Tbsp of the oil in a skillet and cook sliced onion for 5 minutes on each side, until browned. Transfer to a paper towel to catch extra oil.
  2. Lay out the bed of arugula and the carrots, pears, dried cranberries and feta. Place the large sweet onion round on top of the bed and give the "turkey" legs of carrots, feathers of pears and an eye of feta. : )
  3. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the turkey.


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