Creamy Coconut Poached Pears with Star Anise


It really is about the simple things in life, isn’t it? This recipe for dairy-free creamy coconut poached pears has easy simmer instructions and contains just 4 ingredients, but each one adds so much to the finished dish.

That said, when there are only a handful of ingredients, the quality of ingredients matters that much more. Be sure to use a good quality coconut milk (like Thai Kitchen Organic) for these coconut poached pears, and pick the best pears possible.

Creamy Coconut Poached Pears Recipe (dairy-free!)

How to Pick the Best Pears for Your Recipe

According to Cristie Mather of the Pear Bureau Northwest, “Regardless of which variety you prefer, the real secret to enjoyment is knowing how to tell when a pear is ripe.” Pears ripen from the inside out. To determine if a pear is ripe, apply gentle pressure to the narrow “neck” of the pear with your thumb. If it yields to pressure, it’s ready to enjoy.

The  pear is one of the few fruits that does not ripen on the tree – they are harvested when mature, but not yet ripe. When left at room temperature, firm pears gradually ripen from the inside out. Once ripe, they can be refrigerated to slow the ripening process.

Creamy Coconut Poached Pears Recipe (dairy-free!)

Special Diet Notes: Creamy Coconut Poached Pears

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.

For paleo coconut poached pears, use coconut sugar in place of the Muscavado sugar.

Creamy Coconut Poached Pears with Star Anise
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serve these coconut poached pears with a generous portion of the creamy sauce for dessert. For heartier, healthier fare, the pears can also be chopped and served with the sauce atop granola or steel cut oats.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6 servings
  1. Warm coconut milk, sugar, and anise over low heat to dissolve sugar.
  2. Peel, halve, and core the pears with a melon baller.
  3. Submerge the pears in the coconut milk and cover.
  4. Keeping the heat at low to prevent burning the coconut milk, cook the pears for 20-25 minutes, or until just tender when pierced with a fork.
  5. Gently stir the mixture every 8-10 minutes to prevent scorching.
  6. Once tender, remove the pears and serve immediately with the sweetened, spiced coconut milk.
Serving suggestion: Chop the warm pears into chunks and return them to the warmed coconut milk, Then scoop the pears and sauce atop a bowl of steel-cut or old-fashioned oatmeal.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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