Savory Cherry Compote


Savory cherry chutney-like compote made with fresh cherries, walnuts, shallots, rosemary, honey, and Port, perfect with pork, chicken, or duck.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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?

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Dinner beckons yet that big bowl of cherries eyes us temptingly. Dilemma solved.

Savory Cherry Compote

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

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 cups, enough to accompany meat dish for 4 to 6 people


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

Special equipment:


1 Cook the shallots: Heat the olive oil in a pan in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the shallots and cook them 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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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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

10 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Tamara

    I thought it was delicious just as written! I am serving it with Chicken thighs, may brown them first and then bake them in the sauce. I added a big teaspoon of orange marmalade to thicken a bit after it was done cooking, also because my cherries were very tart. It didn’t need a thing, but I had it so thought I may as well try and it worked well.


  2. Linda Preminger

    Made with sour cherries, this is also excellent on grilled or pan-fried salmon. Tried some last night on wild, fresh Copper River salmon, and it was excellent. Will try it later on local red-meat trout.

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Melissa

    How long would you process in a pressure canner? I was thinking of canning this recipe as well as it is DELICIOUS and I want to share some with everyone I know. Thanks!

    So glad you like it! No idea how long to process in a pressure canner. ~Elise


  4. her ladyship

    fantastic website and lovely recipe – is it suitable for preserving in a jar?

    Looking at the recipe it doesn’t have enough acid and/or sugar to can unless you use a pressure canner. In that case I think it would be fine for canning. But if you are just doing a water bath, I would keep it refrigerated. ~Elise

  5. berkeley girl

    What an easy, brilliant recipe! I made this today and put it on tea sandwiches w/ spicy seitan “lunch meat,” mustard, and spinach, and my guests loved it. I substituted the alcohol with 1 Tbsp apple juice concentrate, 1 Tbsp sake, and 2 Tbsp water. Boiled it down for 20-30 min for it to be syrupy.

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