The Speckled Palate
August 22, 2018

Pear BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pear Slaw

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This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. As always, all opinions and recipe are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support The Speckled Palate!

Preparing for a fall gathering? No matter the occasion, Pear BBQ Pulled Pork with Pear Slaw is a delicious dish! This pulled pork cooks in the Instant Pot and serves a crowd. First, a make homemade PEAR barbecue sauce, and cook the pork. Next, toss together pear coleslaw, and serve together. Whether you’re serving dinner for the family or hosting a gameday gathering, Pear BBQ Pulled Pork with Pear Slaw will become a seasonal favorite!

Three Pear BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pear Slaw sit on a white platter with a BBQ sauce jar in the background

It might still be scorching hot outdoors, but fall is almost here. (I mean, we’re technically a month away.)

And with fall comes fall flavors.

This year, I’m alllllllll about the pears, and for good reason: they’re delightful.

Three pears are lined up on a marble background

The humble pear is a fruit I don’t normally associate with the fall months. Even though it’s one of my husband’s favorites, I tend toward pumpkin, apples and cranberries…

However, pears are in season during the fall and winter months, and their flavor is unbeatable.

Which is why I was thrilled that my friends at Sprouts Farmers Market approached me last month to see if I’d be interested in making a fun and innovative dish featuring pears for them.

I, of course, said YES!

Chopped pears and spices are shown in a pan, the base of Pear BBQ sauce

Y’all know I’m all about taking traditional recipes and twisting them just a little bit. And since my Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Apple Cabbage Slaw is so popular during the fall months, I wanted to play with that.

I figured pears would be a perfect fruit to make a unique barbecue sauce with!

Spoiler alert: They were. And this final dish is out-of-this-world, y’all.

Maple syrup is poured into the ingredients for the Pear BBQ Sauce.

The Pear BBQ Sauce is a little sweet with a kick of vinegar. It sings of fall spices and flavors.

When you put it on the BBQ Pulled Pork? Hoooooo boy.

And then when you pair them both with the Pear Slaw?


The cooked ingredients for Pear BBQ Sauce are shown in a pan before blending.

You have the best combination of a savory, fall-flavored dinner that has hints of sweetness that’s perfect for the whole family.

It’s also perfect for a crowd for any gathering you might host during the autumn months, including tailgates.

Trust me when I say you’ve GOTTA try this one!

Pork sirloin roasts are shown in the base of an Instant Pot before cooking

How in the world did you come up with this flavor combination?

I’m so glad you asked! I came up with this combination of flavors thanks, in part, to my Apple Cider Pulled Pork recipe, which is already picking up steam. (It’s an additional twist on my Pumpkin Barbecue Sauce and my Pumpkin Pulled Pork Bowls, too!)

Is this BBQ Pulled Pork the same as those? Nope. Not even close. But the flavor profile is similar, as they call for similar spices and all are fall-ish.

That said, I don’t think I’d be able to choose a favorite. (That’d be like choosing your favorite kid, and y’all know that isn’t right!)

Ingredients for the Pear Slaw are laid out on a marble background

Barbecue sauce with PEARS? This sounds gross.

Is it, though? Every year, I see more and more barbecue sauce dishes featuring fruits and veggies and booze.

I totally get if this isn’t your speed, but if you enjoy a naturally sweetened barbecue sauce that has fall flavors throughout, I highly recommend trying this one out!

A jar of Pear BBQ Sauce sits on a blue-and-white checkered napkin

Can I make this in advance?

You can make SOME of this recipe in advance. The Instant Pot Pulled Pork can be made a day or two in advance, as can the Pear BBQ Sauce.

I do not recommend making the Pear Slaw in advance, as it will wilt in the refrigerator… then you’ll have to thaw it out before serving because the olive oil will have solidified.

Easy entertaining tip: Make the BBQ sauce and pulled pork 1-2 days before your party. Make the slaw just before serving the sandwiches so that it can have maximum crunch!

Pear BBQ Sauce is drizzled onto Pear BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pear Slaw.

What do I need to make this Pear BBQ Pulled Pork with Pear Slaw?

Three Pear BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pear Slaw are shown from above on a white platter

What are some other dishes I can pair with this recipe?

A Pear BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich is held in hand

Now who’s ready to make some of this fall-flavored barbecue?

Scroll on down to learn how easy it is to pull together and how you can make this goodness for a crowd!

Pinterest graphic for Pear BBQ Pulled Pork, featuring a made sandwich

Pear BBQ Pulled Pork with Pear Slaw
Yield: 8 sandwiches

Pear BBQ Pulled Pork with Pear Slaw

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Preparing for a fall gathering? No matter the occasion, Pear BBQ Pulled Pork with Pear Slaw is a delicious dish! This pulled pork cooks in the Instant Pot and serves a crowd. First, a make homemade PEAR barbecue sauce, and cook the pork. Next, toss together pear coleslaw, and serve together. Whether you're serving dinner for the family or hosting a gameday gathering, Pear BBQ Pulled Pork with Pear Slaw will become a seasonal favorite! 


Pear BBQ Sauce

  • 4 pears, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup 100% tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pear Slaw

  • 16 oz. Tri-Color Coleslaw
  • 1 pear, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Pear BBQ Sauce, recipe above
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

BBQ Pulled Pork

  • 3 lb. pork sirloin roast
  • 3 pears, sliced
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Pear BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • BBQ Pulled Pork, recipe above
  • ¼ cup cooking liquid
  • 1 cup Pear BBQ Sauce, recipe above
  • 8 Hawaiian Hamburger Buns, toasted


Make the Pear BBQ Sauce

  1. Using a sharp knife, chop the pears into bite-sized pieces. Toss with cinnamon, ginger and allspice.
  2. Add apple juice.
  3. Cook over medium heat until the pears soften. (About 10 minutes.)
  4. Add apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, tomato juice, soy sauce, black pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes.
  5. When the pears have completely broken down, run the sauce through the blender until smooth.
  6. Pour into a mason jar, and let cool.
  7. Store in the refrigerator if making in advance until it’s time to toss with the pork.

Make the Coleslaw

  1. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the olive oil, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, Pear BBQ Sauce, yellow mustard, lemon juice and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk until combined. 
  2. In a large glass bowl, measure out the tri-color coleslaw and the sliced pear.
  3. Pour the dressing on top of the ingredients in the large bowl and toss with tongs until combined. (Do this RIGHT BEFORE serving, as the slaw will wilt the longer it sits in the dressing.)
  4. Keep at room temperature until serving time.

Make the Pulled Pork

  1. Place the sliced pears in the base of the electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot).
  2. Pour in the apple juice.
  3. Place the pork on top of the sliced pears and apple juice.
  4. Season the pork with the cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  5. Please the lid on the electric pressure cooker and seal.
  6. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes.
  7. When the timer goes off, let the pressure naturally release for 5-10 minutes, then quick release until all the steam is gone.
  8. Remove the lid, and remove the pork. (It should be falling apart as you do this with tongs!)
  9. Shred the pork using two forks.

Make the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  1. Mix the pulled pork with ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and the Pear BBQ Sauce.
  2. Serve on a Hawaiian bun with the slaw and additional barbecue sauce. Enjoy!


The barbecue sauce and the slaw can be made as the pulled pork cooks, so the total time can be shorter if you work on those at the same time.

I do not recommend making the coleslaw in advance. The oil will harden in the fridge, and it will become increasingly wilt-y. That said, it still tastes good, though it’s nowhere near as pretty or crisp as it is when it is initially mixed.

I said the serving size is 8 above. It certainly can be, but you can also get extra servings out of this. You could probably feed 10-12 people if you weren’t loading up the buns to the brim with pork and slaw.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 sandwich

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 878 Total Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 21g Cholesterol: 158mg Sodium: 1334mg Carbohydrates: 92g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 9g Sugar: 53g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 61g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

Pears as a BBQ sauce: Yay or nay?

Are you super excited for fall flavors, too?

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