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Pear Salad - An Old-fashioned Southern Favorite

Pear Salad made with grated cheese and mayonnaise is an old-fashioned Southern favorite. Serve it as an appetizer or side dish to go with almost any meal.

Pear Salad on deviled egg platter

Let me just go ahead and say that if you aren't from the South, you've probably never tasted this particular Southern delicacy before. Canned pears? Yuck. In any other circumstance, I wouldn't eat them. But for this Pear Salad, canned pears have the perfect soft consistency that you need.

I suppose you could poach fresh pears, but that just sounds like way too much work to me!

Pear Salad pears on platter

When I was growing up, my mother made this Pear Salad all the time. The ingredients were always on hand and relatively inexpensive. She would serve this in the summertime if we had hamburgers on the grill, or at Easter with our baked ham, or any day in between when she needed a quick side.

Pear Salad with cheese on platter

I don't serve this Pear Salad very often because all three of my children turn up their noses at mayonnaise, unless it's hidden in my Pimento Cheese. But I do still love to make it every now and then because it's one of those recipes that transports me back in time.

How to Make Pear Salad

This recipe is not really even a recipe. All you need are a couple of cans of pears, some freshly grated Cheddar cheese, and good quality mayonnaise—Duke's for me, every time.

Pear Salad on plate

You can serve the pears on a platter lined with large lettuce leaves or in a deviled egg plate. And if you want to get fancy, a lot of folks add a maraschino cherry on top.

This is a great dish for a potluck dinner or a church picnic—when I was growing up, Pear Salad was always on the table at Family Dinner at our church or any occasion that required people to bring a dish. Someone always brought Pear Salad!

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Pear Salad on deviled egg platter

Pear Salad

Pear Salad made with grated cheese and mayonnaise is an old-fashioned Southern favorite. Serve it as an appetizer or side dish to go with almost any meal. 
4.73 from 29 votes
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Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pear salad, pear salad with mayonnaise and cheese, pears with cheddar cheese, Southern pear salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 50kcal
Author: Lucy Brewer


  • 3 cans Bartlett pears in water
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 12 maraschino cherries


  • Drain pears. Line platter with lettuce leaves or use a deviled egg platter and set pears out on dish.
  • Drop a dollop of mayonnaise in the center of each pear, about a teaspoon or slightly more.
  • Place a large pinch of grated cheese on top of the mayonnaise. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. Serve pears chilled. 



Serving: 12servings | Calories: 50kcal | Protein: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 58mg
Recipe Rating

Laurie Siegmund

Monday 12th of October 2020

My mom used to take canned pears and fill them with some sort of cream cheese filling. She was too late in her stages of dimentia to remember that she ever made them, along with her homemade tartar sauce, when I asked her. I believe there were walnuts involved and I think that she softed the cream cheese with some of the pear juice from the can. I may have already answered my question. Although I hated it as a kid I sometimes crave it just for the memory of my mom. Have you heard of anything like this?

Judy Whitford

Thursday 19th of May 2022

@Laurie Siegmund, mix 8 oz. softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 cups of Cool Whip. Beat altogether and fill your canned pears. You could certainly add some chopped walnuts if you wanted...or a maraschino cherry on top.

Josephine Bijou

Saturday 15th of January 2022

@Laurie Siegmund, No, I haven’t.. but it sounds so good, I’m making it tonight!!

Saturday 29th of June 2019

I still love it because it reminds me of life with my parents and grandmother.


Wednesday 19th of June 2019

Love mayo, how can one not? It's a southern thing. My mothers take on this salad was a bit different. A canned pear half, a good dollop of small curd cottage cheese and a little dollop of mayo on top of that. Then a tiny pinch of paprika for color. I love the flavor of the cottage cheese and mayo together, a nice combination. Now I am going to try it your way with the cheddar and see how it goes. Then I may add the cottage cheese, mayo, And the cheddar. Rarely see this salad posted- so glad you did!!


Wednesday 26th of June 2019

Your mother's version sounds unique! Thanks for following Southern Food and Fun! xoxo

kathy burke

Thursday 30th of August 2018

I like to add a maraschino cherry on top of the salad. And drizzle a little cherry juice on it.

Karen Johnston

Tuesday 28th of August 2018

I accidentally gave you the wrong address to get Receipies Thank you.