This simple poached pears recipe is a delicious healthy dessert idea! Bosc pears are peeled and gently poached in water and honey with aromatics including cinnamon sticks, ginger, and orange peel. The results are tender, not too sweet poached pears that can be eaten on their own or enjoyed with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Minimal prep work and ready in 30 minutes!

three poached pears on a white plate with cinnamon stick and orange peel at the foreground

As a Registered Dietitian, I think pears are such an underrated fruit! Not only are pears delicious, they are highly nutritious and provide dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

If you’re looking for healthy dessert recipes, you’ve got to try these honey poached pears!

The process of poaching pears in water with honey gently cooks the pears until they are tender, lightly sweetened, and SO yummy to eat.

Just like my popular poached apples recipe, you need just a handful of ingredients to make poached pears. 5 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes of cooking time means you can enjoy the best poached pears recipe ever in under 30 minutes!

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian, and can easily be made vegan. To make this recipe vegan, just use maple syrup in place of the honey.

three bosc pears on a light backdrop

Ingredients in poached pears recipe

Here is everything you need to make poached pears:

  • Pears: When shopping for pears, select fruit that is unblemished and without bruises. For poached pears, you’ll want slightly underripe pears that are firm (but not rock hard).
  • Honey: Honey adds sweetness to poached pears when dissolved in the poaching water. For a vegan option, you can use maple syrup instead.
  • Cinnamon sticks: Whole cinnamon sticks impart a lightly sweet and cinnamon flavor to the poached pears.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger root gives poached pears a warm flavor.
  • Orange peel: Shave off a few slices of orange peel to add to the poaching water.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract enhances all the flavors in this recipe.

Best pears for poaching

Bosc pears and anjou pears (green and red anjou pears) are great options for making poached pears. They both have a firm texture that will hold shape well when cooked.

Bartlett pears tend to be softer, so they are the less desirable option for making poached pears.

Pears that are slightly underripe, or just beginning to ripen, are best for making poached pears. They should be firm and give only slightly when you press into them.

Kitchen tools needed

You need a 3-5 quart saucepan, a slotted spoon, a knife, a cutting board, and a vegetable peeler. A swivel peeler is best.

poached pears ingredients measured out on a light backdrop

How to poach pears

Poaching pears means cooking pears in simmering sweetened, flavored water until they are fork tender. Here’s how to do it:

three peeled pears and pear skins on a white cutting board
1. Peel skin off pears using a swivel peeler. Discard the skins.
Sliced ginger root and orange peels on a white cutting board
2. Thinly slice fresh ginger root and shave off some orange peels.
Pear poaching liquid in a saucepan
3. Combine water, honey, cinnamon sticks, sliced ginger, orange peels, and vanilla extract in a pot. Bring to a simmer.
three pears poaching in a saucepan
4. Lower pears into the simmering liquid and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir gently occasionally to rotate pears.

Poached pears are done cooking when they are fork tender but not mushy.

Use a slotted spoon to lift the pears out of the liquid and transfer them to a plate to serve.

three poached pears on a white plate with cinnamon stick and orange peel at the foreground

Serving suggestions

Slice them up and enjoy alone, or pair them with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or creme fraiche. Poached pears are also very delicious with protein-rich Greek yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast!

Storage

Store poached pears in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can enjoy them cold from the fridge, or heat them up in the microwave.

Pears nutrition benefits

Pears are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat! Compared to other fruits, pears are rich in fiber. One medium pear provides 5.6 grams of dietary fiber, or 20% of your daily needs.

Pears are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. They contain pectin, a type of insoluble fiber that is linked with gut health. Soluble fibers like pectin bind with water in the digestive tract, which helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Aim to get 6 to 8 grams of soluble fiber per day.

Pears are also a source of micronutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins, potassium, and copper.

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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three poached pears on a white plate with cinnamon stick and orange peel at the foreground

30-Minute Honey Poached Pears Dessert

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian
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Description

This simple poached pears recipe is a delicious healthy dessert idea! Bosc pears are peeled and gently poached in water and honey with aromatics including cinnamon sticks, ginger, and orange peel. The results are tender, not too sweet poached pears that can be eaten on their own or enjoyed with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Minimal prep work and ready in 30 minutes!

If you love this recipe, try my popular poached apples recipe.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 medium-large Bosc pears, slightly underripe
  • 10 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 slices of orange peel
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


Instructions

  1. Using a swivel peeler or small knife, peel the pears. Discard the peels and set aside the pears.
    three peeled pears and pear skins on a white cutting board
  2. Combine water, honey, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and vanilla extract in a 3-5 quart pot.
    Pear poaching liquid in a saucepan
  3. Bring the water to a simmer, stirring occasionally, so honey dissolves into the water.
  4. Gently lower pears into the simmering water.
    three pears poaching in a saucepan
  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until pears are fork tender. If the pears are not completely submerged in the water, rotate them a few times while cooking to ensure even cooking.

Notes

Serving suggestions

Slice them up and enjoy alone, or pair them with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or creme fraiche. Poached pears are also very delicious with protein-rich Greek yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast!

Storage

Store poached pears in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can enjoy them cold from the fridge, or heat them up in the microwave.