Spicy Greek Pickled Cherries

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

Post image for Spicy Greek Pickled Cherries

Summertime spells fresh cherries in our home. I make cherry pie, cherry crisps, cherry sangrias, so why not Spicy Greek Pickled Cherries! Although, I have never seen a cherry tree (so sad) I would love to have planted one in my backyard. My mother grew up with a cherry grove in her village of Corinthos, Greece which I would hear about during her days of storytelling to us as kids. She served cherry dessert and drink to everyone who came to visit. They were her favorite fruit.

I love to pickle vegetables and fruits when they become seasonal. They come in handy for cheese platters, meze and appetizers or just serve them on a salad, with pork tenderloin, or in your favorite sandwich. I decided to try and pickle cherries, and it worked out beautifully.

Our varietals here in San Diego are the Bing and Rainer. These are the two varietals I see in our markets, at the Vista Farmer’s Market during the cherry season.

I chose to use the Bing cherries for my recipe.

Farmer Market Cherries


You can see more pickled recipes from my blog

 spiced pickled apples

spiced pickled green beans

pickled spiced peaches. 


Let’s get started…

Cherries cooking

As you boil the cherries skim off the froth that appears on the top of the surface. Discard.

Completed cooking for the cherries.

After 10 minutes or so, the cherries are ready to be removed. Place in a bowl and cool.

Cherries finished and cooled.

They should be plump and full, do not overcook.

Cherries ready to be served.

Once you remove the cherries, cook the syrup down a bit and place in a container to cool. Add back into the cherries, or keep on the side for a salad dressing, marinade or drink.

Spicy Greek Pickled Cherries

In the summertime who can pass up pickled cherries over their green salad, on a cheese board or over any protein as a kick to their dish! Use any spices you like to change up the flavor - a jalepeno, ginger, or red onion. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine California Greek


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. fresh cherries, pitted (about 4 cups) I used Bing Cherries.


  1. Combine the cherries, sugar, vinegar, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, star anise and salt in a saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until plump.

  2. Try and skim any white froth from the top and discard.

  3. When the cherries are plump remove from the syrup, into a clean bowl.

  4. Continue to cook down the syrup slightly until thickened.

  5. Pour the mixture over the cherries, allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate.

Recipe Notes

Add these cherries to your salads, on any protein such as lamb, pork or fish.  Place in a small cup and add them onto a cheese tray.


These are beautiful pickled cherries.

These are one of my favorite pickled recipes, so don’t pass them up!

Summer Goodness,


© 2019 – 2022, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

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