How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries & 18 Unique Cherry Recipes

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

By Emily McClements, Contributing Writer

One of our family’s most favorite things to do in the summer is to visit local U-pick farms and spend the day enjoying the beauty and bounty of God’s creation. We have fun and work together as a family, and we leave with fruit-stained fingers and boxes full of the most delicious fruit to eat and preserve to use throughout the rest of the year.

One of our favorite fruits to pick in the summer is cherries. We prefer sweet cherries but I know other’s love tart cherries too, and I’ve figured out a way to easily pit cherries to get them ready to freeze.

My personal preferred way to preserve our summer fruit harvests is freezing because we have a large freezer to store everything and because I also have a glass top stove that is not the best for canning. We freeze strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, applesauce, and hopefully some raspberries every year. We love to be able to enjoy these summer fruits throughout the year! 

How to Freeze Cherries

The hardest part about freezing cherries is pitting them. The farm where we pick cherries offers a pitting machine for tart cherries, but not sweet. I considered investing in a cherry pitter, but then found this method that works just as well, and it’s free! 

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

1. Wash the cherries, removing stems and other debris, and place them into a large strainer.

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

2. Using a firm straw (I’ve actually found that Starbucks straws work really well for this), place it at the point where the stem was attached and push it through the cherry to remove the pit.

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

3. Place the cherries in a single layer on cookie sheets and flash freeze them for about an hour.

4. Transfer the cherries from the cookie sheets to freezer bags for longer term storage.

We try to freeze as many sweet cherries every year as we can.

As one of my kids’ favorite bite-sized treats, they’re almost better than popsicles!

We love to enjoy our cherries fresh and frozen throughout the year! They’re great as snacks on their own and also used in these delicious and unique recipes! 

18 Unique Cherry Recipes 

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

Photo credit: Kitchen Stewardship 

Breakfasts or Desserts

Sweet and Simple Cherry Hand Pies from My Humble Kitchen

Cherry Almond Coconut Crepes from Kitchen Stewardship 

Cherry Pie Crockpot Oatmeal from Real Food Outlaws

Chocolate Chip Cherry Muffins from Gutsy by Nature

Sweet Cherry Cobbler from Health Starts in the Kitchen

Cherry Pie (Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free) from Raising Generation Nourished

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

Photo credit: My Humble Kitchen

Delicious Meals 

Easy Chicken Salad from Live Renewed

Greens with Cherries and Passion Fruit Vinaigrette from The Organic Kitchen

Roast Pork with Cherry Rhubarb Sauce from Gutsy by Nature

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

Photo credit: Raising Generation Nourished

Frozen Treats

Cherry Vanilla Sorbet from Raising Generation Nourished

Black Cherry Creme Fraiche Ice Cream from And Here We Are

Salsa and Jam

Cherry Salsa from Fresh Bites Daily

Cherry Berry Rhubarb Salsa from The Greenbacks Gal 

Cherry Vanilla Jam from My Humble Kitchen

Raspberry Cherry Conserve from Homespun Seasonal Living

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

Photo credit: Recipes to Nourish


Green Smoothies from Live Renewed

Homemade Cherry Limeade from The Greenbacks Gal 

Cherry Mango Water Kefir Smoothie from The Humbled Homemaker

Cherry Mint Lemonade from Recipes to Nourish 

What is your family’s favorite fruit to pick at U-pick farms? Do you have a favorite way to use cherries, share the recipe with us in the comments! 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, it helps to support this site, so thanks!

About Emily McClements

Emily is a blessed wife and mama to three little ones. She is passionate about caring for God’s creation and people by being a good steward of the resources He has provided. As part of her journey towards living more “frugally green” she blogs about the things she is learning and the changes she is making at Live Renewed.

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  1. I have 2 cherry trees and have tried countless cherry pitters with no success. Then a friend that lives in Wisconsin shared her easy pitting method using the rounded end of a bobby pin (sterilized by boiling for a few minutes) just dip the rounded end in the cherry and pop the pit out. I froze 55 cups this year. We probably spent about 40 hours pitting off and on for 3 weeks.

  2. Thanks so much for including my jam recipe! I can’t wait to check out the rest of the ideas as I’m about to be flooded with cherries.

  3. Thanks! I might have to add some cherries to my freezer, although we don’t have u-pick cherries around here. The kids and I love them though, and they are cheaper at the store now.