Savory Cherry Compote

When fresh cherries are in season, it’s kind of hard to resist eating as many as you can. Actually, at our house, that goes for any stone fruit. But sometimes, sometimes we have even more cherries than we can justifiably eat, and common sense kicks in and we think, uh, maybe we should fill up on more than just fruit? Protein perhaps? Dinner beckons yet that big bowl of cherries eyes us temptingly. Dilemma solved. A quick and easy savory compote made with fresh cherries, walnuts, rosemary, and shallots in a wine reduction makes an excellent accompaniment to pork, chicken, or even duck. Serve with pork chops, pork tenderloin, seared duck breasts, or baked chicken. Yum.

Savory Cherry Compote Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 2 cups, enough to accompany meat dish for 4 to 6 people.


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced shallots (can sub red onion)
  • 2 1/2 cups pitted sweet cherries, quartered
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 Tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Port, red wine, kirsch, cassis, or cherry juice (or water)
  • 1 Tbsp honey


1 Heat the olive oil in a pan in a frying pan on medium high heat. Add the shallots and sauté until they just begin to color on the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Stir a few times while they’re cooking.

2 Add the walnuts, rosemary and cherries and stir everything to combine. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the cherries are soft, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little black pepper and taste for salt.

3 Pour in the Port, wine, kirsch or cassis and the honey, and stir again. Boil this down slowly until the softening cherries and the liquid cook down to a syrupy texture.

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Cherry pitter for sale at
Homemade cherry compote from Apples and Butter
Chipotle lime chicken fingers with sour cherry compote from The Hungry Mouse
Sour cherry compote from Deb of Smitten Kitchen

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Showing 4 of 8 Comments

  • The Boob Nazi

    Thank you for providing the non-alcoholic version. I don’t drink, and I hate buying a whole huge bottle just for a fourth of a cup!

  • Liane

    Can you sub in cranberries? I have a bunch in the freezer from Thanksgiving.

    Cherries are sweet; cranberries are sour. If you want to make a cranberry sauce, you will need to add a lot of sugar. ~Elise

  • Katja

    Are these sweet Bing type cherries, or sour pie cherries (of which I still have gallons from last year)?

    Bing cherries, or other sweet cherries. ~Elise

  • mantha

    Oh, my goodness, with a nice young duck . . . Can you use the rosemary fresh or dried? We’re just coming into black cherries now where I am, and I am so primed for a good luscious dish like this.

    You get such beautiful photos with those pretty blue dishes and counter.

    Thanks! Use fresh rosemary. Dried will have the texture of twigs. ~Elise

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