How to Freeze Cherries in 4 Easy Steps

A handful of frozen cherries on a warm summer day is the perfect treat. Add them to a smoothie or throw them in a bowl with frozen blueberries for a low-calorie alternative to sorbet or popsicles. One cup of pitted cherries is only 77 calories! Even better, learning how to freeze cherries is easy.

frozen cherries on baking sheet

When are cherries in season?

Cherries, like most berries, are a summer fruit. They’re typically harvested between May and August. There are even orchards that host cherry picking events during spring and summer if you want to pick your own.

How to choose sweet cherries

plate of fresh cherries

There are many different types of cherries. Sweet black cherries are one of the most common varieties, and typically have a dark burgundy hue. Rainier cherries are red and yellow. When choosing your cherries, avoid any that are wrinkled or bruised. Typically the deeper the red, the sweeter the cherry. It’s important to understand what “deep red” looks like for each variety, as the red in Rainier cherries will not be as dark as the red in sweet black cherries.

How long do fresh cherries last?

Cherries will last about a week in the fridge. It’s best to store them with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture and help the cherries last longer.

How to pit cherries

pitting cherries with a knife

Before you freeze cherries, I suggest that you pit them. You don’t have to do this, but it makes eating or using them later way easier. If you don’t have a cherry pitter there are two household items that you can use.

How to pit cherries with a straw

Place the straw at the top of the cherry where the stem was. Push the straw all the way through until the pit comes out the bottom.

How to pit cherries with a knife

Using a paring knife or similar, slice the cherry lengthwise and pull it open. Remove the pit with your fingers.

How to freeze cherries

pitted cherries on parchment paper
  1. Wash your cherries and remove the stems. Pre-washing the cherries will make sure that they’re ready to eat straight from the freezer. Dry the cherries thoroughly.
  2. Pit your cherries using one of the methods outlined above.
  3. (Optional) Flash freeze your cherries. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cherries on the baking sheet in a single layer. This should take a couple of hours. Flash freezing helps keep the cherries from freezing in a clump, but if they’re dry when you place them in the freezer they won’t stick together too much.
  4. Place the cherries in a freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer.
frozen cherries on aluminum tray

How long do frozen cherries last?

Frozen cherries last about six months in the freezer. If you vacuum seal your frozen cherries, they’ll last years!

Cherry-friendly recipes

adding cherries to yogurt

You can eat the cherries straight from the freezer, defrost them on the counter or in the microwave, or bake them into treats. Here are a few ways to use frozen cherries. You may want to chop them up before putting them in baked goods.

frozen cherries closeup
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5 from 2 votes

How to Freeze Cherries

Learn how to freeze cherries so you can enjoy them all year long!
Course Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package cherries

Instructions

  • Wash your cherries and remove the stems. Dry the cherries thoroughly.
    plate of fresh cherries
  • Pit your cherries using a cherry pitter, straw, or knife.
    pitting cherries with a knife
  • (Optional) Flash freeze your cherries. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cherries on the baking sheet in a single layer. This should take a couple of hours. Flash freezing helps keep the cherries from freezing in a clump, but if they’re dry when you place them in the freezer they won’t stick together too much.
    pitted cherries on parchment paper
  • Place the cherries in a freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer. They should last in the freezer for about six months.
    frozen cherries on baking sheet