pickled cherries

Learn how to make quick pickled cherries with tart apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, thyme and black pepper. The sweet juicy flesh is the perfect canvas for herbs and spices— good luck not eating them all in one sitting.

  • Author: Indi Hampton
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 pint jars
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 pound fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 3- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Fill two glass pint jars (or 1 glass quart jar) with cherries and tuck in thyme sprigs. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine 3/4 cup water with vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Carefully pour hot brine over cherries until 1 inch of headspace remains in the jars (strain through a fine mesh sieve first, if desired, for a milder pickled cherry). Cover jars and cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator.


makes 2 pint jars

Cherries are best after at least 24 hours of pickling. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.


Keywords: pickled cherries, preserved cherries, how to use pickled cherries