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Quick-Pickled Sweet Cherries

In partnership with Northwest Cherry Growers.


These quick-pickled sweet cherries are about to become your next fridge staple. 

We love eating cherries every which way for their incredible flavor and their health-boosting powers. For example, did you know that they’re filled with antioxidants and that eating them is linked to reduced inflammation (a condition that is at the root of most chronic diseases)?

And this simple pickling process turns them into a gourmet condiment that can dress up so many different dishes.

At breakfast, mix them with cottage cheese or yogurt, make a cherry-ricotta toast, or eat them on your Sunday waffles. Sprinkle them onto a green salad for color, add them chopped to chicken or tuna salad, or process them into a dip for crudité. Ready for dinner? Top off your tacos or spoon them over chicken, fish, or pork.

No matter how you eat them, these lightly pickled cherries will be slightly sweet and a tiny bit tart in the best possible way. Note: We went with dark, sweet red cherries for their bold color and research-backed health benefits, but you could also opt for the Rainier variety. 

When you’re done, the pickling liquid can also be used as a dressing as is or combined with a little balsamic and olive oil for vinaigrettes. 

And there’s a bonus option: If you stemmed and pitted more cherries than you need, try this. Add about ½ pound of them to a saucepan with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 5-8 minutes uncovered until the cherries are soft. Discard the cherries and continue to simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half. Add a squeeze of lemon and store the reduction for all kinds of uses. Drizzle it alongside your pickled cherries, for example, add it to vinaigrettes, or mix it into yogurt.


  • 3 cups stemmed, pitted, and halved dark sweet red cherries
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 tablespoons honey


  • In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 5 minutes. Transfer with pickling liquid to a 1 quart mason jar, and let cool before storing in the refrigerator.


Sweet cherries are chock full of powerful phytonutrients and flavor. Since they’re only fresh for a short season, pickling them extends the amount of time you can enjoy them (yay!). And pairing them with other antioxidant-rich plant foods like cinnamon and cloves means the final product is an antioxidant home run.

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