Baking pears with gluten free and vegan stuffing makes for a unique and healthier holiday side! Plus, they’re delicious, and it’s a gorgeous way to serve traditional holiday dressing.
FYI: I’m partnering with Little Northern Bakehouse to bring you this sponsored recipe post. Thanks for supporting the brands that help me to keep bringing you nourishing recipes!
Pears are quite “pearfect”. Are the not? 😉 Soft, but not too soft; sweet, but not too sweet. Plus, baking pears gives them a sweet touch, and with vegan and gluten free stuffing inside, it makes for a beautiful presentation! Not to mention, nearly everyone is familiar with baked apples, but using pears makes this such a unique idea!
If you plan to have a small Thanksgiving gathering, this is a perfect idea, because everyone can have an individual pear.
I mean, anyone can make traditional Thanksgiving stuffing and bake it in a casserole dish, right? But sometimes, it becomes soggy after it sits in the casserole dish for a while. Baking a smaller portion into each piece of fruit keeps the stuffing perfectly moist.
About vegan / gluten free stuffing
One of the keys to the deliciousness of this recipe is using a heartier gluten free bread for the vegan stuffing.
Gluten free sprouted grain breads are perfect for this. But, let’s be honest… Some brands of gluten free bread are dry and taste like, umm… cardboard.
When you’re serving dinner to people who aren’t normally gluten-free eaters, the texture and taste of the bread should be as close as possible to “the real thing”.
That’s why I use Little Northern Bakehouse sprouted 7-grain bread . I’ve tried SO many brands over the years, and I can honestly say this…
The Little Northern Bakehouse breads truly taste like regular bread!
By the way, you can check out the entire product line on the Little Northern Bakehouse website.
There’s no reason to sacrifice flavor just because it’s gluten free. Can I hear an AMEN?!
Baking pears vs eating pears
Just like apples, there are pear varieties that are best for eating and others for baking.
Although this recipe doesn’t call for a lot of filling in the stuffed pears, you still want to be sure that the fruit won’t fall apart as it bakes in the oven.
The best pears for baking are varieties with firm flesh and thicker skin.
I recommend using either red pears or green Bartlett pears. Both varieties have firm flesh that will hold up to the heat of the oven.
How to make stuffed pears
This recipe is easy peasy to make. First, make the gluten free stuffing. Then prep your baking pears. After that, fill them up, bake and serve!
INGREDIENT NOTES + SUBSTITUTIONS
- gluten free/vegan seed bread (Little Northern Bakehouse)
- vegan butter or oil
- white onion– scallion or shallot will also work
- celery stalks
- cloves of garlic– you’ll be mincing or chopping the garlic, so if you like shortcuts, feel free to use prepared minced garlic
- fresh rosemary– if you have a hard time finding it sold alone, you can buy a package of fresh poultry herbs and there should be rosemary sticks included
- dried thyme
- slivered almonds– feel free to omit for a nut-free option
- dried or fresh cranberries– fresh cranberries may be tough to find, so feel free to use pomegranate arils
- vegetable stock
- 5-6 medium baking pears– best choices are green Bartlett or red
- maple syrup (optional)- this adds a bit of sweetness to compliment the tart cranberries
- crushed candied nuts (optional)
1. MAKE THE VEGAN STUFFING
- Toast the gluten-free bread cubes. This takes about 15 minutes at 350°F. To prevent burning, flip the cubes over halfway through the cooking time.
TIME SAVING TIP
To save time, toast the bread up to 2 days ahead of time and keep it at room temperature in an airtight container or Ziploc bag
- Saute the vegetables, then add the herbs and spices. If you’re using fresh cranberries, you’ll add them to pan with the fresh herbs. Otherwise, you can stir in the dried cranberries or pomegranate arils when the veggies finish cooking.
- Add toasted bread to the cooked vegetable mixture. Then, pour the vegetable stock on top, being careful not to over saturate the bread.
2. CUT AND CORE THE PEARS
Next, slice the pears in half and use a paring knife to cut a circle in the middle of the core. Scoop out 2-3 tablespoon of pear from each half, leaving a hole approximately ¼ cup in size. Place pear halves in a large casserole dish or on a baking sheet.
3. FILL AND BAKE PEARS
Depending on what type of pear you use (red pear vs Bartlett) the cooking times will vary. Red pears take 3-4 minutes longer to cook than green Bartlett.
4. GARNISH AND SERVE
Remove baked pears with stuffing from the oven and garnish with fresh herbs and/or optional crushed candied nutsPrint
Alright my friends, I think we’re ready for the holiday season, one that may seem a bit different, but still comforting and delicious. As always, please let me know if you have any questions about these recipes. We’re always here to help!