Quick Pickled Pears, a simple refrigerator pickled pears recipe with an apple cider vinegar brine. A tasty way to preserve the fall pear harvest!

pickled pears in a jar with cinnamon sticks and star anise on a white table

Love pickled fruit? Try quick pickling pears! This easy recipe takes only 2 hours to quickly pickle in the refrigerator for a tasty sweet, seasonal treat.

👉 Ready to learn how to quick pickle pears? Let’s do it!


🍎 Ingredients

  • Pears: any pears varietal will work, but we like sweeter pears like bosc or bartlett
  • Vinegar: we chose apple cider vinegar, but white wine or plan white vinegar are good choices
  • Water: dilutes the brine and flavors to pickle the pears
  • Vanilla: adds a touch of warmth and sweetness to the pickling brine
  • Cinnamon: cinnamon sticks in the pickling jar add fall flavor to the pears
  • Star anise: adds a depth of flavor and fall flair to pickled pears
  • Sugar and salt: adds sweetness and salty balance to the brine
pears and bowls of water, vinegar, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon before pickling on a white table
Ingredients: pears, water, vinegar, vanilla, sugar, salt, cinnamon, star anise

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Prep the pears

The first step is to wash and prep the pears for pickling. To do this, simply wash the pears and remove the stem before cutting.

To cut, turn each pear on its side and cut into round slices, core and all, and remove seeds. Alternatively you can also use a fruit coring tool and then slice.

👉 Can you cut pears into wedges or cubes? Yes! You can cut the pears however you wants – in wedges, slices, cubes, etc. We like the flat look of the thin round slices, but this recipe works for any cut of pear.

sliced pears on a cutting board with cinnamon and bowls of sugar and apple cider vinegar
Slice pears

2️⃣ Step Two: Prepare the pickling jar

Next it’s time to prepare the jar that you will pickle the pears in. Choose a large, wide jar so that you can fit more pears and seasoning ingredients into the jar (a skinny jar won’t be wide enough for the pear rounds).

Add vanilla extract, cinnamon stick, and star anise pods to the jar, then set it aside and make the pickling brine.

sliced pears inside a jar before pickling
Add pears to pickling jar

3️⃣ Step Three: Prepare and add the brine

You can't make pickled pears without brine! This seasoned vinegar water is what adds the “pickled” flavor to vegetables and fruit, and typically it includes more salt for vegetables but we’re making a sweeter flavor for the pears.

Our go-to refrigerator pickling brine for fruit is:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar (apple cider vinegar and white wine vinegar are our favorites for fruit)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar*

We increase or decrease the amount of brine depending on the amount of produce we’re pickling, but this is the foundational recipe we use that always produces great tasting pickled fruit.

a small sauce pan with salt and sugar inside on a white table with a measuring glass of water and a bottle of apple cider vinegar
Add salt, sugar, vinegar, and water to pan

To make the brine:

  1. Add water, a vinegar of your choice (we’re using apple cider vinegar), salt, and sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Pour the hot brine into the pickling jar and completely cover the pears, then close the lid tightly and allow it to cool down on the counter until it reaches room temperature.
a small sauce pan filled with water and apple cider vinegar brine on a stovetop with a wooden spoon
Boil the brine, the pour over vegetables

👉 Which vinegar should you use for pickling pears? We like a sweeter vinegar for pickling fruits, so we opted for apple cider vinegar. You can also choose a milder vinegar like white wine or simple white vinegar as well.

bottles of red wine, white wine, distilled, rice, apple cider, and balsamic vinegars on a wooden table
Test out different vinegars to find your favorite brine recipe

4️⃣ Step Four: Refrigerate to quickly pickle the pears

Once the jar is cool, put the jar into the refrigerator and allow the pears to pickle in the sugar vinegar brine.

a close up shot of pickled pear slices in a glass jar on a wood table
Refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours

⏱ How long to quick pickle pears

If you want to serve quickly, let the pears pickle for at least 2 hours. For best results, we recommend letting them soak up the brine for at least 24-48 hours.

The refrigerator pickled pears are good up to one month as long as they are submerged in the vinegar water.


❓ Questions and quick tips

What jar should I use for pickling pears?

Choose a jar that's wide and tall enough to store sliced pear rounds. There should be about 1/2 – 1 inch (1-2 cm) of space between the top of the pear slices and the lid so that they can completely submerge in the brine liquid.

How long before you can eat pickled pears?

You can eat pickled pears after they have been in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. However, we suggest waiting for 24-48 hours for the best results. If your pears were sliced thin, then less time will be needed for the best flavor.

How long do pickled pears last?

As long as pears are completely covered with brine, they will last for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. If the pears are sticking out of the water, there is potential for bacterial growth, so make sure to use a tall jar and to completely submerge them in the brine.

How do I know if my pickled pears have gone bad?

Quick pickling vegetables and fruit does not come with the same food safety hazards as traditional pickling and canning. However, to make sure your pears stay safe while stored in the refrigerator, make sure to completely cover them in the liquid brine and to feel them before eating. If they're slimy, throw them out.


💡 Ideas for serving

Here are a few recipes and ideas to get you started:

  • On a large fruit, vegetable, and nut board. Use quick pickled pears as a pickable snack on a large platter or board with assorted seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, crackers, and other pickled veggies (try our Fall Harvest Snack Board).
  • Enjoy as a condiment. Grab a few pickled pears and enjoy on top of toast or salad. It's a yummy switch-up from traditional pickles!
  • Mix into a salad or bowl. Use as a topping for salad or grain bowls.
  • Munch on for a snack. Pickled pears make a great simple snack. Pair with a handful of nuts or seeds for a balanced plant-based treat.
quick pickled pears in a jar on a wood table with pears in the background

♻️ Sustainable kitchen quick pickling tips and tricks

While pickling pears is a great way to reduce food waste in itself, here are tips to make this recipe even better for the planet:

Take advantage of pear season! The best time to pickle pears is at the peak of pear season. In most areas that's in the late summer and fall, but check out Seasonal Food Guide’s produce seasonality calendar to find when pears are in season where you live.

Keep jars to use for quick pickling. We're always looking for jars to keep on hand for pantry and food storage. Look out for larger jars that you can remove the label from and save to use for pickling later (try out simple method for removing labels using natural ingredients).

pickled pears in a jar with a cinnamon stick on a wood table

👉 More quick pickled fruit recipes

Want to try your hand at pickling more fruits? We’ve got you covered:

Quick Pickled Pears

Quick Pickled Pears, a simple refrigerator pickled pears recipe with an apple cider vinegar brine. A tasty way to preserve the fall pear harvest!
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Ingredients

  • 2 large pears, bosc, bartlett, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, or granulated sugar

Instructions 

  • Prep the pears: Wash pears and remove the stems. Then turn each pear on its side and cut into round slices, core and all, and remove seeds. Alternatively you can also use a fruit coring tool and then slice. Set pear rounds aside.
  • Prepare the pickling jar: Add pear slices, vanilla extract, cinnamon stick, and star anise in a jar (see notes for jar recommendations).
  • Prepare and add the brine: In a medium saucepan bring the water, apple cider vinegar, salt, and maple syrup or sugar to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. Then pour the brine into the jar with the pears until the they are covered.
  • Pickling instructions: Let the jar cool on the counter until it reaches room temperature. Once cooled, put the jar into the refrigerator and let the pears pickle for at least 2 hours before serving, but for best results serve after at least 24 hours. Pickled pears are good up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Notes

  • Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar and white wine vinegar are the best vinegar choices for this recipe, but most any vinegars will work.
  • Recommended jar: Choose a large and wide jar with about 1/2 – 1 inch space (2-3 cm) below the lid.
  • Other recommended tools: small saucepan, cutting board, knife set
  • Prep ahead and storage: Pears should be pickled at least 2 hours before serving, but for best results make at least 24-48 hours ahead. Keep the jar refrigerated and it can be enjoyed for up to two weeks. Do not freeze.
  • Nutrition notes: Nutrition information is calculated with all brine ingredients (including full amount of sugar, salt, etc.), however the pears don’t absorb all of the liquid so the actual nutrition information is less than listed here.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 111kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 0.3g, Saturated Fat: 0.04g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Sodium: 591mg, Potassium: 214mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 32IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 0.5mg