These Easy Savory Baked Pears with Red Onion, make a delicious and different side dish or accompaniment to a cheeseboard. Served hot or warm they are just delicious!
Tender soft pears with red onion flavored with rosemary and maple syrup - these are just perfect with turkey for Thanksgiving, or as an accompaniment to a Christmas ham.
This is so simple to make - the pears and onions are roasted in the oven quickly, to give you a healthy, naturally sweet side dish that is just a little bit different. Try these for your holiday table!
Different Side Dishes
I love side dishes that are a little bit different, they still have the familiar flavors we love, but with a few twists to give them an edge. Like my roast parsnips with salted caramel, or my brown sugar carrots with cinnamon and thyme. Familiar veg with something just a little different.
And these roasted pears are no exception, they have the sweetness that you want (think cranberry sauce with your turkey) but plenty of salt and pepper and the savory hint of rosemary.
They really are a delicious addition to your table (holiday or otherwise!)
How to make savory baked pears
The recipe couldn't be simpler.
- Place cored pear quarters in a dish.
- Add chunks of red onion.
- Nestle some fresh rosemary in the gaps.
- Drizzle over, olive oil, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake until soft but still holding their shape.
(Don't worry the full recipe is below. Keep scrolling or hit the purple pot over to the left there.)
Which pears to use?
You want to pick a pear that:
Is firm to the touch - the pears will soften as they bake so you want it firm to hold it's shape whilst roasting.
Has good clear skin - we leave the skins on, they help with the structural integrity of the final pear wedges and they add nutrients.
Is reasonably large - each pear will be cut into quarters so you want larger pears that will get caramelized in places, but still have plenty of sweet yielding flesh in others.
I like to use anjou pears, as they are naturally sweet, but with a firm texture and gorgeous two-tone skin. But be guided by what is in the grocery store.
Recipe Tips and Adaptions
Don't prep the pears in advance, they will quickly discolor. Even the normal trick of leaving them soaking in water doesn't work, because the pears end up too wet and don't roast well. If you think you will be pushed for time, roast the pears ahead of time and serve them warm or at room temperature.
I love the color pop of red onions, but any onion will work well here. Or use baby onions! Just don't use frozen onions as they don't roast to that wonderfully crisp caramelized perfection.
You can switch the rosemary out for fresh thyme, sage or oregano. They are all delicious with the roasted pears!
Feel free to substitute honey for the maple syrup. You want something sweet and sticky to aid the caramelization, but the choice is yours.
Swap the apple cider vinegar for champagne vinegar, white wine vinegar or balsamic (balsamic does stain the pears). You want the tang of a fruity vinegar to balance the sweetness of the pears, so don't go for something strong like white vinegar, but any of the above are perfect!
What to serve with Roasted Pears
When I first made these it was as an idea for the holidays. I thought they would be delicious with a roast turkey or glazed ham. SPOILER: they were!!!!! The sweet flesh of the pear gave the turkey that wonderful sweet juicy addition that is so well-loved by cranberry sauce advocates.
It plays well with the Christmas ham as well, especially on a cold cuts dinner, with leftover ham, turkey and some bubble and squeak!
BUT the most surprising pairing came when I used some leftovers to add to a cheeseboard when we had some friends for the evening. A pear smooshed onto a toast point, a sweet caramelized onion wedge and some meltingly delicious room temperature brie!!!!! BRING ME A PLATE NOW, because that was good! It was also delicious with blue cheese too, just in case that is your thing.
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Watch how to make savory baked pears
Easy Savory Baked Pears
- 3 pears - see note 1
- 1 red onion - see note 3
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup - see note 3
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar - see note 4
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
- Cut each pear vertically into quarters and use a teaspoon to remove the core and seeds.
- Peel the onion and cut into wedges.
- Place the pears to a baking pan or ovenproof dish.
- Add the onion wedges and sprigs of rosemary.
- Pour over the olive oil, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Toss gently to ensure each pear and onion wedge is well coated.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until everything is soft and starting to caramelize.
- Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
- I like to use anjou pears, as they are naturally sweet, with a firm texture and gorgeous two-tone skin. But be guided by what is in the grocery store. (see the bulk of post for more tips on choosing your pear)
- I love the color pop of red onions, but any onion will work well here.
- Feel free to substitute honey or the maple syrup.
- Swap the apple cider vinegar for white wine vinegar if you don't have ACV.