Pear Relish Recipe – Sweet & Savory Come Together Beautifully!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

I’ve heard that pear relish is delicious but… I dunno. I mean sweet pears coupled with savory onions & bell peppers? And jalapenos? And MUSTARD? Hummmmm, I don’t know…

But I was so wrong! This pear relish is surprisingly delicious. So much so that I’ve now made and canned this recipe several times. Check it out.

I'm not typically a fan of Sweet & Savory but when you combine pears with onions, peppers and mustard? MAGIC! Check out my Pear Relish. #TexasHomesteader

Sweet & Savory Tastes Combine

I’ve never been a fan of sweet & savory tastes together. But RancherMan asked me to get the recipe from a friend. So I did. The instructions she sent were kind of vague and the recipe seemed to make quite a lot.

What if all that food & work were wasted because, well… (see pears vs peppers & onions argument above!)

So I made a small batch just to check it out. After sampling the results we found it delicious! Then RancherMan asked me to make it again, this time a full batch #ifyouplease!

What To Do With An Abundant Pear Harvest

A little background: I was recently blessed enough to receive an invitation from a neighbor to harvest from their huge pear tree.

RancherMan & I took a few paper feed bags and loaded up about 75 lbs – just from what we could reach from the ground! 

Pear relish uses fresh pears onions, peppers, mustard, etc. It goes great anywhere pickle relish would. #TexasHomesteader

There are many things I’m anxious to do with these fresh pears! In the past I’ve made Pear Preserves (RancherMan’s Fave) and Pears in Vanilla Syrup (my favorite). 

I’ve even made a delicious Pear Cake that’s amazingly moist & delicious! But with this many pears I’m able to try new recipes too.

Pear cake is made with fresh pears in a bundt tube pan. #TexasHomesteader

(Note: Some links in this post are for further information from earlier posts I’ve written. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click them and buy something (almost anything, not just the item noted) I could receive a small commission. But the price you pay will NOT change. It’s an easy way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket. So click often! Thank you!)

Questioning Pear Relish Ingredients

Fast forward a few days later & a friend was talking about how her family loved pear relish. I mentioned it to RancherMan who said it sounded interesting & I should make some. 

Although I was skeptical we’d like it, I asked her to send her recipe. She emailed it but like I said, the instructions were vague. I tweaked the recipe (as I guess I always do LOL)

But I was concerned about the hodge podge list of odd combination ingredients. Pears and onions? And MUSTARD

Asking A Friend About Pear Relish Ingredients

I was speaking with another friend at church & I mentioned the pear relish & its odd ingredients and her eyes sparkled.  “Oh I love pear relish” she exclaimed. 

I said “Yeah, but is there supposed to have mustard in it??” She said her pear relish always had mustard included, so I figured I’d move ahead with this recipe.

I had some jalapenos and red & green bell peppers in the garden. The garden onions weren’t quite ready so I bought them instead. 

I gathered all ingredients together & pulled out my grandmother’s vintage food chopper.

Vintage food chopper makes preparing vegetables for my pear relish a breeze! #TexasHomesteader

This bad boy has been helping to feed families for decades! I still feel my grandmother’s presence when I’m using her kitchen tools. (contented smile)

So RancherMan & I used our *apple peeler/corer to quickly peel some pears.

Then I quartered and cored the pears. I seeded my bell peppers and peeled my onion and we ground it all together into a large stock pot.

How To Cook Fresh Pear Relish

I stirred in the sugar, vinegar and mustard and put the pot on the stove. Not knowing how long it needed to simmer I stood there stirring. (I’d been warned it could stick to the bottom if not stirred frequently.) 

I ended up simmering the relish for 20 minutes. It reduced quite a bit and the liquid became syrupy.

I'm not typically a fan of Sweet & Savory but when you combine pears with onions, peppers and mustard? MAGIC! Check out my Pear Relish. #TexasHomesteader

We decided to preserve the relish in 1/2 pint jars. That way we wouldn’t have to open & use a larger jar. 

Water-Bath Canning Pear Relish

I had already sanitized four 1/2-pint jars by washing them and placing them in the oven set to 220 degrees. This step also assures the jars are good & hot to receive the hot ingredients.

You remember in science class what happens when hot substances get poured into cool glass jars? Yeah, I didn’t want that to happen!  LOL

The instructions said to just put the lids & rings on the filled jars & turn the jars upside down. It went on to say to leave them for about 10 minutes and then turn them right-side up again. That was supposed to seal the jars. 

But it’s no longer a recommended way to safely seal canning jars. So I water-bath canned them for 20 minutes just to be on the safe side.

Since there are variables to canning such as altitude and equipment, for your specific circumstances be sure to consult your canner’s manual and also make sure you read and understand the USDA’s recommendations on safe canning and follow their directions closely – food safety is important!

What Goes Withg Pear Relish In Savory Dishes?

After cooking all that deliciousness the house smelled amazing. So maybe there’s something to this pear relish thing after all!

To test the flavor we added a dollop on top of black-eyed peas with our supper and it was absolutely delicious.

I use this savory pear relish as an ingredient when I’m making RancherMan’s favorite Thousand Island Salad Dressing

Thousand Island salad dressing can use pear relish in the ingredients. #TexasHomesteader

I’m thinking it would be nice in egg salad too. And I’m making egg salad often to use up the fresh eggs our girls provide.

I’ve been told it would work well on hot dogs and I can TOTALLY see that too. I’m thinking it would go nicely anywhere regular pickle relish would go.

I’ll be experimenting quite a bit in the very near future… 

Pear relish. I'm not typically a fan of Sweet & Savory but when you combine pears with onions, peppers and mustard? MAGIC! Check out my Pear Relish. #TexasHomesteader

Here’s the recipe in the smaller quantity I initially made it. But I’ve included the full batch recipe below as well. 

Trust me – go for the full batch!  LOL.

Homemade Sweet/Savory Pear Relish Recipes

(Smaller Batch recipe first, larger batch below that one)

4.75 from 4 votes

Pear Relish Recipe

Here's the recipe as I made it, but I've included the full batch recipe in the this post as well. Trust me - go for the full batch! LOL. ~TxH~

Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Keyword mustard, onions, pear, pears, relish', savory, sweet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Water-Bath Canning Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 Half-Pint Jars
Author Texas Homesteader


  • 6 large pears
  • 3 large onions
  • 3 large bell peppers red & green
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup yellow mustard
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Chopped Jalapenos to taste I used 2 chopped


  1. Peel and quarter pears, seed peppers, peel onions.

  2. Grate pears, peppers, onions and jalapenos with a food chopper. (Or pulse in food processor but careful to pulse just long enough to shred ingredients. Don't puree the vegetables unless that's the texture you're after)

  3. Place all ingredients into large stock pot and bring to boil. (Stir often, it will stick to bottom of pot.) Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until reduced & thick.

  4. Ladle into sterilized canning jars, screw on canning lids and water-bath can for 20 minutes)



  • 12 large pears    
  • 6 large onions
  • 6 large bell peppers (3 red, 3 green)                                                                
  • 2 cups yellow mustard                             
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  •  Jalapenos to taste (maybe 6-10, depending on how hot you like it)

Peel and quarter pears, seed peppers, peel onions. Grind pears, peppers, onions and jalapenos with a food chopper. (can use a food processor but be careful not to puree your ingredients unless that’s the texture you’re after)

Place all ingredients into large stock pot and bring to boil. (Stir often, it will stick to bottom of pot.)

Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until reduced & thick.

Ladle into sterilized canning jars, screw on canning lids and water-bath can for 20 minutes.

Pear relish. I'm not typically a fan of Sweet & Savory but when you combine pears with onions, peppers and mustard? MAGIC! Check out my Pear Relish. #TexasHomesteader


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Tagged in All our posts about delicious, sweet fruit. #TexasHomesteader  A list of our posts about cooking with the garden's harvest. #TexasHomesteader  A list of our simple homemade condiment recipes. #TexasHomesteader    All our posts about food preservation - dehydrating, canning, freezing, etc. #TexasHomesteader 


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22 thoughts on “Pear Relish Recipe – Sweet & Savory Come Together Beautifully!

  1. Robert Pait

    5 stars
    My grandmother in NC always had 15-20 qt jars of this around. Lovely stuff. She used a particular type of pear however, I cannot think of the name. It was inedible except in this recipe. Any idea or will Bosc work? Is it better if the pears are not quite ripe?

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I don’t yet grow my own pears Robert, so I make this pear relish with whatever pears friends share with me. But they don’t always know the type of pear on their tree. Even using different kinds of pears, this relish always comes out great. ~TxH~

  2. Debby Dimico

    Can you make this in a crockpot?

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ve never made it in a crockpot before, simmering the pear relish a pot works best for me. If you decide to give it a go let us know how it comes out. ~TxH~

  3. Diana Hovatter

    5 stars
    I was looking for a quick Pear recipe.. as my pear tree runneth over.. just finished putting in jars. I guess it’s about time I buy a food processor vs using my blender as it was more on the pureed consistency; it is delicious. I’m sure it will be a great topper on just about anything. Thanks for sharing.
    Diana from Deep in the Heart of Texas

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Well I’m glad you enjoy it as much as we do Diana. I was pretty skeptical, but by golly it’s delicious! I’m jealous of your pear tree, ours died from some mystery illness the year before it was set to give me my very first harvest. I planted another last year to replace it but it’ll be several years before it’s mature enough to offer pears. I can’t wait! ~TxH~

  4. Aririe

    4 stars
    This recipe is amazing! I would just recommend more instructions on it… after putting my veggies in the food compressor (I left them in for too long) and I got puree.. So I would recommend only a few seconds. Also, I found that if you use ripe pear you really dont need to put them in the food compressor. Just heat them up first in the sugar (which I put 1 1/2 cups instead of 2 cause I thought it was a lot and I was very pleased with the result- might even be still a bit too sweet for my liking), so I would’ve put the instructions as this;
    1. Peel skin off the pears, cut in big chunks and heat ripe pear and sugar together first in a large pot,
    2.Process the veggies for a few seconds together (not too long so you don’t end up with a puree) then add the blended veggs and the mustard to the pear and sugar, increase the heat.
    3. Slowly add vinegar ( I used apple cider vinegar cause it’s more healthy)
    leave on a heavier rather then lighter simmer for 20 min.
    Other then that I LOVE the jalapenos and the sweetness, I think this recipe has an amazing balance of spice and I just love that. Going to give some jars away for Christmas 😉

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Good point Aririe – I didn’t use a food processor, I used my grandmother’s vintage food chopper. But the recipe given to me did indicate she used a food processor so I’ll note on the recipe to pulse just for a few seconds. Thanks for your tips, and I’m so glad you loved it as much as we do! Merry Christmas to you & yours. ~TxH~

  5. Angela Gunter

    5 stars
    Wow this is GREAT!!! Had picked a few too many pears and needed an extra recipe… .so glad we tried this one!

  6. Peggy Harbuck

    Love this recipe. It is delicious. I made the whole batch and plan on saving this recipe Thank you for Sharing.

  7. Nancy

    I grew up eating pear relish much like your recipe. Any time we had roast the pear relish was on the table. Grandmother’s recipe begins with 1gallon peeled ground pears. You recipe is a bit more reasonable amounts. Her recipe does not have prepared mustard but it has mustard seed, celery seed and turmeric. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Marie

    Omgosh, I love pears but I’ve never thought about putting them in a relish like this. Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe with us at Merry Monday this week!

  9. 8N Acres

    Wanted to share that I was able to sample this relish at a recent family gathering and LOVED it!! Even if not a big mustard lover it adds a great finish. We sampled it on crackers but then brought it out for the hamburgers and hot dogs. Thanks for sharing.

    8N Acres

  10. Elaine Matthews

    Wow!! I’m like you…I would be skeptical!! But it looks like it turned out well!! And rancherman liked it!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday! Pinned!

  11. Kim

    I came over from the Homesteader Hop. Pear relish sounds really great! I have all the ingredients to make this right now. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

  12. Carol

    Interesting combination of sweet and savory. I’ve cooked pears, apples, prunes as a winter side – great cold or warm. My initial reaction is similar to yours. Pinned and shared

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Awesome Carol, thanks for the pin. I’ll be whipping up more of this relish in the coming days, RancherMan loves it! ~TxH~

  13. Katrin

    I think I’d love this relish, because I am a fan of sweet and savoury!! It sounds really different but I’d love to try this and then dip some nachos in it, mmmh, I bet it’s awesome! Thanks for this great recipe! I’ll pin this for sure!

  14. ColleenB.~Texas

    Sounds weird but going to give it a try. ( I trust your judgment ) Will try anything once. I figure if hubby and myself don’t like it, I have family members who will eat just about anything; even Hot Candied Jalapenos :}. Thanks for the recipe as well as the well written instructions along with your honest opinion on taste.
    Have an enjoyable weekend

    1. ColleenB.~Texas

      Forgot to ask: You are talking about the yellow mustard (French’s) and Not the dry, ground mustard right?

      1. Texas Homesteader Post author

        Yessum Colleen, I used regular ole yellow prepared mustard in a jar. I thought it an odd combination and my tongue was scared to sample it. But it was delicious! ~TxH~

        1. ColleenB.~Texas

          I kinda figured it required the yellow mustard but thought I would ask in case someone was too shy to ask :}
          Now, all I need is the pears, onions and bell peppers, Oh and of course the mustard :}
          Vinegar and sugar I always have on hand. I normally buy my sugar in the 25lb bags


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