Dried Cherries In The Oven

Make dried cherries at home without any special equipment! Dehydrate in the oven and enjoy as a healthy snack, on top of oatmeal or salads, or in homemade granola bars.

how to make dried cherries in the oven

Tart Dried Cherries

I have a slight conundrum — I have four cherry trees (and a pear tree) in my backyard, but I’m not entirely fond of cherries. So, what’s a girl to do with an abundance of this sweet and tart fruit? Dehydrate it in the oven, of course!

Cherry dehydrating is really easy to do, and it’s a great way to process large quantities of the fruit before it goes bad. I also have plans for pie filling and simply freezing bags for smoothies, but I wanted to try this method out. After all, I had tons of success when I used it to make Pear Fruit Leather!

You will need to have your oven on low heat for a good chunk of the day, but it’s easier (and cheaper!) than buying a bulky dehydrator machine. Once you pop a handful of chewy dried tart cherries in your mouth, you’ll know it was worth it!

Why You Will Love Dehydrated Cherries

  • No special equipment – just a sheet pan and your oven
  • Healthy snack – naturally sweet and loaded with antioxidants
  • Make a small or large batch – this recipe works with any amount
  • Store for later – dried cherries keep for at least 6 months
glass jar of dehydrated cherries on a plate on a pink polka dot tablecloth

How To Make Dried Tart Cherries

This recipe for dehydrated cherries is so incredibly simple and easy, it may not actually qualify as a recipe. Just wash and pit the fruit, then toss it in the oven until it’s dried.

That said, there are a few tips I want to share with you to guarantee you get a perfect batch every time. There’s nothing worse than wasting a bowl full of gorgeous cherries!

rinsing fresh cherries in a mesh colander

Wash and pit each and every cherry

This is the most time-consuming, hands-on step of this process, so roll those shoulders and get ready! You’ll need to remove any trace of stems as well.

Since my cherries came from my own tree, a quick rinse in water was all I needed. If you get yours from the store or a local farmers market, I recommend giving them a spray with my Homemade Fruit and Veggie Wash. It’s made with all-natural ingredients and will remove dirt, bacteria, and harmful pesticides from your produce.

pitting fresh cherries with pitting tool

To pit the cherries, I used this handy dandy OXO Cherry Pitter. It was so much easier (and quicker) than using a glass straw, which is what I’ve used in the past.

Collect the seeds in a small bowl to toss or compost, then place the pitted cherries in a separate bowl.

washed and pitted cherries in a glass bowl

I didn’t have too many cherries to start with, but this was a trial run anyway. The great thing about cherry dehydrating is that you can process as much fruit as will fit in your oven!

Dehydrate In Oven

While you’re pitting the cherries, preheat your oven to the lowest setting it will go — in my case, that’s 170 degrees F. Many ovens won’t go lower than 200 degrees F, and that’s just fine too!

Line a large baking pan with a silpat mat or parchment paper and arrange the fruit on top. Be sure to leave space between each cherry to really help with the drying process.

It took about 9 hours at 170 degrees F for the cherries to dehydrate in the oven.

At 200 degrees F, they may be ready in as little as 6 hours. It is also possible to reduce the baking time if you halve the cherries instead of leaving them whole.

cherries dehydrating on baking sheet

They don’t look too appetizing when they are done. In fact, they look more like sun-dried tomatoes than a sweet treat. But, trust me, these dried tart cherries are super tasty!

Don’t forget to let them cool completely before transferring them to a storage container.

What To Do With Dehydrated Cherries

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy these tart and sweet little bites — I immediately whipped up a batch of my Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars.

Here are some more of my favorite ways to use dried cherries, but be sure to let me know what else you come up with in the comments!

jar of dried tart cherries on a table

Frequently Asked Questions about Cherry Dehydrating

Why dehydrate cherries in the oven?

I wanted to dehydrate them because 1. I didn’t want them to go bad and 2. I wanted to put them in things like granola bars and salads. I also figured dehydrating them will make them last a little longer (did I mention I have four trees). I used the oven because I don’t own a dehydrator.

How do you store dried cherries?

Any airtight container will work for storing your dried cherries — I like to keep mine in a glass jar with a spring lid so I can easily add to it as I make more.

When kept in a cool, dark place or in your refrigerator, dehydrated cherries will last for 6 to 12 months. You can also store them in the freezer indefinitely, but you should use them within 18 months for best results.

What are dried tart cherries good for?

Aside from being a tasty snack, dehydrated cherries are loaded with antioxidants that can help with inflammation, pain relief, heart health, and muscle recovery.

Both tart and sweet cherries contain melatonin, which can help you get a restful night’s sleep. Dried tart cherries (and tart cherry juice) also contain tryptophan, which you may know as the snooze-inducing amino acid found in turkey meat!

overhead of dehydrated cherries in jar

More Homemade Pantry Staple Recipes

Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend

Homemade Sugar Free Applesauce

Make Your Own Salad Dressing

How To Make Almond Butter

16 comments on “Dried Cherries In The Oven”

  1. Very cool! This is not something I would have thought you could do without a dehydrator. I’m curious to try it myself now.

  2. You will laugh… but I would love you to mail me some dried cherries from BC. Maybe in a bubble wrap envelope. Silly, I know but I LOVE THIS IDEA…

  3. I wouldn’t have guessed you could use the oven to dehydrate fruit (not my brightest moment, I know), heat dries. You know what, I am going to try this with cranberries, it should work right?

    • Absolutely, give it a try. Just wing it with the time, you want them to be a little sticky but not wet. If you put them in a ziploc and they have condensation on it – they’re not dry enough.

  4. Mmm add some dark chocolate chips and you got a great snack! I love cherries. I always make clafouti when I have them.

  5. This post is all kinds of awesome – something I would of honestly never thought of doing. So great for grabbing a handful and sprinkling onto cereal, yogurt, etc. 🙂

  6. What a great idea! While not the quickest thing, very much an easy way to make a healthy snack. Have you tried other fruit yet?

  7. that cherry pitter gadget is genius!! and you’re right these would be perfect for salads and granola, even stuffing!

  8. Cherries are my favourite fruit. Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream’s City of Links on Friday! I appreciate you taking the time to party with me. Hope to see you again this week 🙂

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