7 Creative Cherry Recipes That Go Far Beyond Cherry Pie

Photo: Stocksy/Shilpa Iyer
Cherry pie is a delicious dessert, but it's certainly not the only way to use cherries as an ingredient. As the warm summer months ripen these ruby-red beauties, there are countless ways to cook with them. From refreshing smoothies to pre-workout snacks, the tart (or sweet!) cherry can do it all with the right recipes. They're also extremely nutritious and can aid in post-workout recovery, improved sleep, and reducing inflammation, just to name a few benefits.

Whether you're in the mood for something sweet for dessert or looking for an easy side dish for dinner, these are the cherry recipes you'll want to make again and again.

Creative cherry recipes for summertime

1. Coconut cherry parfait

Photo: Getty Images/Karisssa

This recipe comes from journalist and explorer Dan Buettner, a world-renowned expert on longevity hot spots called Blue Zones. His coconut cherry parfait recipe is low in sugar and plant-based, which is largely how people in Blue Zones like to eat. Buettner swaps out yogurt for silky tofu, which he blends with coconut milk, lemon zest, and honey for a vegetarian-friendly alternative. Topped with a cherry and maple syrup reduction, and this cherry parfait recipe makes the perfect breakfast snack or healthy dessert.

Get the recipe: Coconut cherry parfait

2. Northwest cherry lime smoothie

This recipe makes a light, refreshing smoothie that's loaded with fresh summer produce, like zucchini, beets, raspberries, and of course, sweet cherries. The recipe calls for almond milk, but you can get creative with other non-dairy options, like creamy coconut milk or delicious oat milk. Pour your blend directly over ice and top with a squeeze of lime for some extra zest.

Get the recipe: Northwest cherry lime smoothie

3. Brilliant berry vegan crumble

Photo: Sweet Potato Soul

If you're a fan of fruit, you won't want to skip this recipe. Sweet Potato Soul's incredible berry crumble is packed with summery fruits, like cherries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

"For years, I made this Brilliant Berry Crumble in my cooking classes when I lived in New York. It was always a hit for the obvious reasons: it’s absolutely delicious, easy to make, and on the healthier side," writes recipe creator Jenné Claiborne on her blog. "But people also love it because you can swap out the fruit for whatever is in season. Berries, cherries, and peaches are perfect for spring and summer, while persimmon, pear, and apple are divine in the cooler months."

Get the recipe: Brilliant berry vegan crumble

4. Tart cherry tabbouleh

Photo: Love & Lemons

Cherries aren't just for dessert. The tangy fruit can be used for savory meals, too, like this tart cherry tabbouleh recipe by Love & Lemons. This easy salad calls for loads of fresh ingredients like hearty millet, crisp parsley, and crunchy cucumber. Topped with dried tart cherries and zesty dressings like lemon juice and white wine vinegar, and this tabbouleh is great as a side or main dish. Plus, it only takes 35 minutes to make.

Get the recipe: Tart cherry tabbouleh 

5. Cherry strawberry streusel cake

Photo: Half-Baked Harvest

Want to make a dessert with sweet, juicy cherries that's not cherry pie? Check out this cherry strawberry streusel cake by Half-Baked Harvest. The streusel filling makes it light enough for indulging on a hot summer's day, while its fruit flavors blend seamlessly with its hints of cardamon, vanilla, and bourbon. Eat it straight or top it with some creamy vanilla ice cream for a mouth-watering treat.

Get the recipe: Cherry strawberry streusel cake 

6. Cherry chocolate chip energy balls

Photo: Fit Mitt Kitchen

These gluten-free energy balls are perfect for snacking pre-workout. Fit Mitt Kitchen's recipe calls for healthy ingredients like rolled oats, chia seeds, raw honey, and creamy nut butter. Rolled with some mini chocolate chips, dried cherries, and a dash of cinnamon, and you've got an easy, on-the-go snack to bring just about anywhere. Swap out the honey with a brown rice syrup for a vegan-friendly alternative.

Get the recipe: Cherry chocolate energy balls 

7. Sweet cherry chocolate chia pudding

Photo: Emilie Eats

Don't let the look of this chocolate pudding recipe fool you—it's loaded with nutrients. From the sweet cherries, which help with inflammation and sleep regulation, to the fiber-friendly chia, this decadent dessert by Emilie Eats is actually good for you. Whip non-dairy milk, chia seeds, and cocoa powder together before letting it sit for two hours. Once it's chilled, add your sweet cherries and enjoy.

Get the recipe: Sweet cherry chocolate chia pudding 

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