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cherry pie filling close up

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling Recipe

Surprisingly easy to make and super flavorful, this easy cherry pie filling recipe makes me wonder why even bother with the canned stuff!?
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3 cups (approx.)


  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cherries, washed, stems removed, and pitted * see notes
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar ** see notes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cool water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  • In a medium sized saucepot, combine pitted cherries, sugar, and lemon juice. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to keep the bottom from scorching. If you're using frozen cherries, you don't need to defrost them.
  • Once it starts boiling, reduce your heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until softened to your liking.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together your water and cornstarch until it forms a smooth and thick mixture. Slowly drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the cooked cherry mix, stirring constantly to prevent clumping.
  • Continue cooking until the mixture boils and thickens to your liking. If using frozen cherries, it may take slightly longer to thicken because they do have more moisture than fresh cherries. Cool and serve!


* I like to slice my cherries in half because I prefer smaller cherry pieces. You can leave your cherries whole or even quarter them depending on your preference!
** You can customize how much sugar you add. Typical recipes range from anywhere between 1/2 a cup to 1 cup of sugar for this amount of cherries. I find 2/3 of a cup of sugar is perfect for me, but you can definitely customize the amount depending on your taste.
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