This kohlrabi and pear salad, made with crisp raw kohlrabi, ripe pear, mixed greens, and a salty sour soy and lime dressing, is an easy, surprising, healthy salad.

This kohlrabi and pear salad is an undeniable example of how the most unexpected combinations of ingredients can yield the most spectacular of results. Crisp kohlrabi,  ripe pear, mixed greens, and a pleasantly sour soy and lime dressing collide here to create a crunchy, mildly sweet, surprising, and uniquely satisfying side dish.Angie Zoobkoff

A ceramic plate filled with kohlrabi and pear salad, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds on a bed of lettuce.

Kohlrabi and Pear Salad

5 / 2 votes
This kohlrabi and pear salad, made with crisp raw kohlrabi, ripe pear, mixed greens, and a salty sour soy and lime dressing, is an easy, surprising, healthy salad.
Servings4 servings
Calories144 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


For the dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup

For the kohlrabi and pear salad

  • 3 tablespoons untoasted sesame seeds
  • 3 to 4 cups salad greens such as mixed greens, romaine, or Boston lettuce
  • 1 about 7 oz kohlrabi peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 about 7 oz pear such as Bartlett, Anjou, or Asian, cut into 3/4-inch (18-mm) dice or thinly sliced


Make the dressing

  • In a small jar with a lid, combine the oil, soy sauce, lime juice, and agave. Screw on the lid and shake well to combine.

Make the kohlrabi and pear salad

  • In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately transfer to a plate.
  • Arrange the salad greens, kohlrabi, and pear on a platter or individual plates. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

Adapted From

30 Minute Vegetarian

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 144 kcalCarbohydrates: 5 gProtein: 2 gFat: 14 gSaturated Fat: 2 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 9 gSodium: 260 mgPotassium: 95 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 2 gVitamin A: 343 IUVitamin C: 8 mgCalcium: 64 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2019 Ylva Bergqvist. Photo © 2019 Lennart Weibull. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This kohlrabi and pear salad is a beautiful pairing of crisp and slight sweetness. It comes together quickly and is easily prepared just before serving.

With a bed of baby or spring lettuce underneath, this is a beautiful salad to either assemble on a large platter or on individual plates for a dinner party. It’s also a great reminder of how weird-looking vegetables like kohlrabi can be elegant and simply prepared. Using an Asian pear elevates this salad to special occasion status.

If you prepare the dressing ahead, you’ll want to whisk it again before drizzling, and I would suggest tasting before adding the agave and adjusting to your own taste, taking into consideration how sweet the pears are. I made this with and without the agave, and personally didn’t miss the extra sweetening.

I made this twice: first a d’Anjou pear and second with an Asian pear. I also played with thin slices versus slightly thicker slices of pear. Sliced thinly, more like shaved, the slices of pear and kohlrabi were silken and not really crisp. The d’Anjou pear (as any pear, really) adds so much sweetness it took any edge off the salad when combined with the slightly sweet flavor of kohlrabi which is like broccoli stems (in a really good way) and with the dressing was on the edge of too sweet.

It served 2 as a main but would serve 4 to 6 if part of a multi-course meal.

A friend had given us a purple kohlrabi from their garden. We used part of the kohlrabi (7 ounces to match the weight of the pear) and sliced it and a Bosc pear paper thinly and then into irregular rectangles. We used romaine lettuce once and Boston lettuce for another version of this salad. Both are delicious and we will certainly make this again.

The dressing comes together in 3 minutes. We used a mixture of white and black sesame seeds. For the soy sauce we used our favorite very special soy sauce: Bluegrass Soy Sauce from Kentucky (yes, from Kentucky).

This salad takes 15 minutes to put together. It served 2 people alongside a sandwich for a meal or 4 as a first course.

Originally published August 25, 2019

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    With a few gorgeous kohlrabi and pears on hand from the farmer’s market, I was thrilled to come across this recipe that uses both in their natural state! I loved the combination of the sweet cubes of ripe, tender pear with the crunchy texture of the kohlrabi and the splash of the tart yet sweet vinaigrette. I had some peppery arugula on hand, so that is the green I used for the base of the salad. I highly recommend this salad! It was lovely as a side to a quick and spicy shrimp and peanut stir fry over rice noodles.

    1. Anna, I’m delighted you liked the recipe, and I love how you peared it (get it?!) with the stirfry.