Grilled Pears (Sweet or Savory)- Slender Kitchen

Grilled Pears (Sweet or Savory)- Slender Kitchen

Grilled Pears with a sprinkle of cinnamon, brown sugar, and ginger make for the most delicious and healthy dessert, especially topped with vanilla ice cream. Or take them in a savory direction for salads, grilled meats, and more.

87 CAL 16g CARBS 3g FAT 0g PROTEIN 2

Learn how to grill pears for a unique, healthy, and delicious summer dessert or side dish. Turn it into dessert with a dollop of ice cream, yogurt, or whipped cream and chopped nuts. Or take them a savory route and add balsamic vinegar, crumbled cheese, fresh herbs, and more. Trust me, these grilled pears are a must-try for barbecues and easy summer nights.

Naturally sweet and juicy, pears are such an underrated fruit that is often forgotten during summer months when we only think about grilled pineapple and grilled peaches

But in just a few minutes on the grill, those sweet pears become deliciously caramelized and super tasty. Grilling pears brings out their natural sweetness while adding a smoky flavor and those delicious crispy browned edges.

This makes them perfect for sweet dishes like oatmeal, parfaits, ice cream sundaes, and baked goods. Or lean into savory flavors (so good if you love sweet and salty) by adding your grilled pears to salads, grilled protein, burgers, sausages, and more. 

If you haven’t tried grilling fruit yet, hopefully, this recipe will be your inspiration.

Why You’ll Love Pears on the Grill

There are so many reasons to love these pears, but these are at the top of the list. 

  • Quick and easy: One of the easiest pear recipes you’ll ever make! Minimal prep time and only takes 15 minutes on the grill.
  • Healthy dessert option: Grilled pears are the best alternative to typical sugary desserts. Their natural sugars caramelize on the grill, resulting in a light yet deliciously sweet treat!
  • Versatile: There is no need to limit pears to desserts! They are great in savory dishes like salads, sandwiches, and even pizza.

Up for grilling some more fruits this season? Try Grilled Apples, Grilled Pineapple Salsa, and Grilled Avocados!

Ingredients for grilled pears including whole pears, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.

Can You Grill Pears?

Pears are an excellent fruit to grill for both sweet and savory options. You can grill them in foil packets or pear halves directly on the grill. They work with all different spice and seasoning blends. 

Available year-round, pears are bell-shaped fruits with a sweet, juicy flavor and delicate, buttery flesh. They can have a smooth or slightly grainy texture, depending on the variety. While they are typically eaten raw, pears can be cooked in various ways, including grilling.

Grilling pears is a fantastic way to enhance their sweetness as the natural sugars caramelize on the hot grill. Once grilled, pears retain their soft texture but also develop a subtle smoky flavor that makes them more irresistible! They work so well as a standalone dessert or a complement to savory dishes.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make a batch of delicious grilled pears:

  • Pears: Choose ripe but firm pears for grilling. Sniff the stem end and make sure it smells sweet and fragrant. You can use tons of varieties, but Anjou or Bosc pears hold their shape better when grilled. Other great options are Concorde and French Butter pears.
  • Butter: Butter adds a rich and indulgent flavor while helping the sugar-spice mixture stick. If you are making savory pears, swap in olive oil, coconut oil, or another neutral oil. 
  • Brown sugar: Tossing brown sugar on the grilled pears helps them caramelize. If you prefer, swap in honey, maple syrup, or agave. You can also skip the sugar altogether. 
  • Cinnamon and ground ginger: These spices pair perfectly with pears, adding warmth and depth of flavor. You can omit them or even swap them for nutmeg or cardamom. 

Sliced pears in a foil packet cooking on the grill with cinnamon and sugar.

How to Grill Pears

It’s easy to fall in love with these grilled pears! They go with practically everything, from salads and sandwiches to grilled meats. Here’s how to perfectly grill pears at home:

1. Sliced Pears in Foil Packets

  1. Prep the pears: Start by cutting the pears in half and removing the core. Cut them into smaller pieces—slices, diced, or small wedges—to make them easier to handle on the grill.
  2. Preheat the grill: Preheat your grill over medium-high heat.
  3. Prepare the foil: Cut two pieces of foil, about 12 x 18 inches each, and place them on top of each other to create a double layer.
  4. Season the pears: Place the pear slices in the center of the foil. Sprinkle them with brown sugar, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Toss with your hands to coat the pears evenly. Top everything with thin slices of butter. If making savory pears, toss them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, herbs, and pepper.
  5. Create foil packets: Fold the foil over the pears to create a closed packet, folding and crimping the edges tightly.
  6. Grill the pears: Place the wrapped pears on the grill and cook for about 15 minutes, or until fork-tender and cooked through.
  7. Serve: Carefully open the foil packets and serve the grilled pears immediately. Make an easy crumble-style dessert by topping with some granola and a dollop of whipped cream or frozen yogurt.

2. Pear Halves Directly on the Grill

  1. Prep the pears: Start by cutting the pears in half and removing the core. Brush them with butter or olive oil.
  2. Preheat the grill: Preheat your grill over medium-high heat. Clean the grill grates and oil them slightly before placing the pears to prevent sticking.
  3. Grill the pears: Place them cut-side down on the grill and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until they have nice grill marks.
  4. Flip and season: Flip the pears and brush or sprinkle them with your preferred mixture and toppings. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until they are tender.
  5. Serve: Remove from the grill and enjoy!

Sweet and Savory Topping Ideas for Grilled Pears

This grilled pear recipe can be enjoyed and modified in so many ways. Here are some ideas you can play around with:

  • Honey or caramel: Drizzle the grilled pears with honey or caramel for added sweetness.
  • Nuts: Add some chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, to the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture before grilling for a crunchy texture.
  • Ice cream: Serve the grilled pears with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a quick and indulgent summer treat.
  • Cheese: Skip the sugar and top your grilled pears with cheese, such as goat cheese, ricotta, blue cheese, or fresh mozzarella for a sweet and savory combo.
  • Meat: The sweetness of grilled pears tastes amazing with salty flavors! Wrap a slice of bacon or prosciutto around each pear before grilling for a delicious appetizer. You will want to cut your pears into thicker wedges for this. You can also serve them with crumbled sausage, it’s so good.
  • Stuffed: Cut the pears in half, scoop out the core, and fill them with either a sweet mixture of cream cheese, honey, and cinnamon or a savory one with feta and bacon or prosciutto.

Cinnamon grilled pears in a bowl with browned edges.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips to make sure your grilled pears turn out delicious on your first try and every time after that:

  • Choose the right variety: Firm pears like Bosc and Anjou work best for grilling as they hold their shape well. However, even juicier variants would still work if you don’t have any other options.
  • Keep the slices thick: Slice the pears at least ½ inches thick. Thinner slices will cook too quickly and may even become mushy.
  • Watch the heat: Grilling on high heat may cook the pears too quickly. Medium-high heat is ideal for achieving a nice caramelized exterior while keeping the inside tender.

How to Use Grilled Pears

It’s so easy to think of ways to use grilled pears, as they go well with almost any sweet or savory dish. Here are some recipes you can make with grilled pears:

  • Parfait: Layer grilled pears with granola, Greek yogurt, and a drizzle of honey for a simple and delicious dessert.
  • Breakfast oatmeal: Top your morning oatmeal with a few slices of grilled pears. Try my Cinnamon Pear Oatmeal recipe for a quick and hearty breakfast.
  • Grilled pear salad: Toss grilled pear slices with mixed greens, walnuts, feta cheese, and a light vinaigrette for a refreshing salad option.
  • Pear salsa: Mix diced grilled pears with tomatillos or tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, jalapeños, and lime juice to make a sweet and spicy salsa.
  • Sandwich: For lunch or as a party appetizer, make a brie and pear grilled cheese sandwich. Spread some brie on a slice of crusty bread, top it with grilled pears, and grill until the cheese is melted. Or spread ricotta cheese on sliced baguettes with grilled pears, basil, and balsamic vinegar for an easy appetizer.
  • Pizza topping: Sliced grilled pears are a unique and delicious pizza topping. Pair them with prosciutto, blue cheese, and arugula for an unforgettable flavor combination.
  • Slow cooker pork: Cook Balsamic Honey Pork Tenderloin for lunch or dinner and add some grilled pears towards the end of cooking for extra flavor. Otherwise, you can just serve them on the side.
  • Snack: My favorite way to enjoy grilled pears is with a plain cracker with cream cheese or cottage cheese, honey, and chopped walnuts. It’s so quick and easy yet so satisfying!
  • Charcuterie: Don’t forget to add slices of grilled pears to your next charcuterie board. They pair well with a variety of cheeses, meats, and nuts.

Storage, Freezing, and Reheating

Grilled pears are a great side dish to have on hand at any time. Here’s how you should store them so they last longer:

  • To store: Place the pears in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze: For longer storage, you can freeze the grilled pears for up to a month. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for an hour. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe bag and label.
  • To reheat: Reheat quickly in a microwave for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through. You can also pop it in the oven, covered in foil, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5-10 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions about cooking pears on the grill.

Firm pears like Bosc and Anjou are best for grilling as they hold their shape well and hence, won’t turn as soft as other varieties. However, even juicy pears like Bartletts are grill-friendly and can be used for any grilled pear recipe.

Yes, pears will soften when cooked, especially when grilled. They become so tender, sweet, and succulent, making them a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes.

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