Wine Poached Pears

This stunning poached pears recipe features pears cooked in spiced red wine, served up with pecan granola and homemade whipped cream.

Poached Pear Recipe

Here’s a recipe that sounds fancy, but is deceptively simple to make. This poached pears recipe comes out stunning: the fruit is a bright burgundy color and looks so elegant on the plate with a long curved stem. And the flavor: oh my. Cooking pears in spiced red wine makes their flavor something otherworldly. Here we’ve served them with whipped cream and a little pecan granola for some crunch. My oh my. Keep reading for the poached pears recipe.

Poached Pears Recipe

Why to make poached pears

Here are a few reasons to give poached pears a try:

  • It almost tastes like pie. Imagine sweet and lightly citrusy warm pear combined with crunchy, cinnamon-spiced toasted oats and fluffy whipped cream. It’s like pie, heavier on the filling and lighter on the crunchy crust.
  • You already have wine open. Any red wine will do, boxes included. Pop it open while you’re cooking, and then save 1 1/2 cups for this recipe.
  • It’s good(ish) for you. Poached pears are near the top of the list as a healthy dessert. We’ve tried to keep the sugar content to a minimum, but enough for a sweet and fulfilling bright spot after a big meal.

What do you think – would you try this poached pears recipe?

How to make poach pears

OK so we know you’re wondering: how exactly does one go about poaching? Here are the major steps on how to poach pears:

  1. Peel the pears, cut them in half, and remove the cores. You can leave the stems on!
  2. Heat the red wine poaching liquid in a large skillet. To the red wine, add a piece of peeled, orange, water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and sugar.
  3. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the pears and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender, turning occasionally.
  4. Remove the pears and continue to cook until the liquid reduces into a thick sauce; reserve it for serving.

And that’s it! You can make ahead the pears and store refrigerated for a few days. To reheat, place the pears and liquid in a baking dish and heat at 350 degrees until warmed through.

Looking for fall desserts?

Outside of this poached pears recipe, here are a few more of our favorite fall desserts:

This poached pears recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Wine Poached Pears

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This stunning poached pears recipe features pears cooked in spiced red wine, served up with pecan granola and homemade whipped cream.



For the poached pears

  • 4 Bosc pears, ripe but firm
  • 1-inch nub of ginger
  • 1 ½ cups dry red wine (for example, Merlot)
  • 1 small orange (juice and zest)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • ¼ cup sugar

For the pecan granola


  1. Peel the pears and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the core, leaving the stem intact. Peel the ginger.
  2. In a large skillet, combine ginger, the red wine, juice and zest of 1 small orange, water, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and sugar. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved, then add the pears. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until tender (depending on ripeness), occasionally turning to ensure a consistent color.
  3. When tender, remove the pears and continue to reduce the liquid to about ½ cup, then reserve the red wine reduction sauce. (Make ahead tip: make the pears up to this point and store them refrigerated for a few days. To reheat for serving, heat pears and sauce in a baking dish in the oven at 350°F until warm.)
  4. For the granola, melt the coconut oil in a skillet, then add the oats, crushed pecans, cinnamon, and kosher salt and toast for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the brown sugar and cook until the sugar melts and the oats are golden brown, about 4 more minutes, watching carefully so that it doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat and store in an airtight container.
  5. Make the sweetened whipped cream, yogurt whipped cream, or vegan whipped cream.
  6. To serve, spread some granola on a plate, then top with a pear half and sweetened whipped cream, then drizzle with red wine reduction sauce.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Poached pear recipe, Poached pears, Pear Dessert Recipe, Pear Desserts

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    November 19, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I think this is the perfect dessert after a heavy meal – light enough not to weigh you down but full of flavour. The sprinkle of granola is such a good way to provide some crunch too.

  • Reply
    Thea @ Baking Magique
    November 19, 2014 at 10:04 am

    This looks so beautiful! I recently had an allergic reaction and thought I’d never eat pears again. But yesterday my test results came back and showed negative! So now I can eat pears again and I might try this recipe :)

  • Reply
    Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
    November 19, 2014 at 10:43 am

    What a beautiful dessert! Poached pears are such a treat — perfect for the holidays.

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    November 19, 2014 at 10:49 am

    You make a very convincing case for why we should all have poached pears this Thanksgiving. Not to mention this looks absolutely lovely. The yellow place mats are a gorgeous background too.

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    November 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Well these are just gorgeous for the holidays! Love the idea of doing a simple, classic dessert!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy
    November 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Your Thanksgiving is perfection :)

  • Reply
    November 19, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    This sounds like a perfect dessert for a feast like Thanksgiving. I like that it is light as well as flavorful. Definitely a recipe I’m saving for a special occasion.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Such a simple and gorgeous dessert. I think I might swap the whipped cream for marscapone (just had a version like that at one of my favorite restaurants). Can’t wait to try this on!

  • Reply
    Valentina @Hortus
    November 21, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Hi guys! I’ve been following your thanksgiving posts with a lot of interest – you sure pulled out a gorgeous one! Sure enough, your house is definitely one I’d hope to be invited over for Thanksgiving…Hope this holiday is gonna be awesome! These pears look fantastic. I almost feel like having one for breakfast… :D

  • Reply
    Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen
    November 21, 2014 at 10:09 am

    This is amazing! So in love with it. We’re not celebrating Thanksgiving here in Scandinavia but this would make an equally lovely dish for any Christmas party. Will definitely bookmark this for the coming weeks.

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