Cherry Pie Filling Recipe From Frozen or Canned Cherries

by Texas Homesteader ~

For every holiday gathering – whether Thanksgiving or Christmas – the non-negotiable dishes my family requests of our household is that we bring  RancherMan’s Famous Green-Bean Casserole and my sweet, desserty no-cook Cherry Schtuff

Now in the past I’d simply buy a can of cherry pie filling. But I was often very disappointed at the abundance of filling and significant lack of actual cherry in those cans. 

So these days I’ve found it’s much cheaper and oh-so-much-more delicious to make my own cherry pie filling. I use either canned or frozen cherries and BOOM!

I've found it's cheaper and more delicious to make my own cherry pie filling using canned or frozen cherries. #TexasHomesteader

I use the quick & easy recipe below to make a small 1-cup recipe of cherry pie filling. But I’ll often double it when I’m making my Cherry Schtuff dessert so it will be even more cherrylicious. 

I’m basically just thawing frozen cherries, reserving the juice that drains away. (or reserving the juice from a drained can of cherries)

Then I’m adding some sugar & thickening the juice with cornstarch. A tiny amount of lemon juice & vanilla extract and I’m done!

Really, it’s faster than running to the store for canned cherry pie filling.

And I use it for more than just the Cherry Schtuff dessert I make during the holidays. I often plop a dollop of homemade cherry pie filling on my Homemade Cheesecake too. Or anywhere that topping a dessert with cherry pie filling adds a little sumpin’…

So versatile, so EASY!

So if you’re tired of plunking down the cash for that can of cherry pie filling which contains previous few actual cherries, consider buying cherries when they’re in season & cheap.

Toss them in the freezer and use them down the road for making your own homemade cherry pie filling.

Here’s my recipe.

5 from 1 vote

Small 1-Cup Cherry Pie Filling Recipe:

I was often very disappointed at the abundance of filling and lack of actual cherry in those purchased cans of cherry pie filling. So these days I've found it's cheaper and preferable to make my own cherry pie filling. I use canned or frozen cherries. #TexasHomesteader

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple pie filling, cherry, cherry pie
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup


  • 1 cup Frozen or canned red tart cherries thawed for 24 hours in the refrigerator
  • 1/2 cup Reserved drained cherry juice
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 HEAPING Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice


  1. WHISK together 1/2 cup cherry liquid, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 HEAPING Tablespoon cornstarch in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil until thickened and mixture begins to bubble.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Return to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add reserved cherries all at once. Return to a boil, stirring constantly but gently.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.


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7 thoughts on “Cherry Pie Filling Recipe From Frozen or Canned Cherries

  1. Nana

    5 stars
    Tammy, when you can this filling do you use pints (2c.) and water bath them for how long?
    So tired of the high prices for less cherries.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Ya know Nana, I’m not sure. But I’ve read that you can water-bath can cherry pie filling – either pints or quarts – at 35 minutes or so (depending upon your altitude). I’m totally with you though, I’m so tired of paying that high price for a can of cherry pie filling and then getting lots of filling but precious few actual cherries in that can! ~TxH~

  2. Sondra Langle

    Did I miss the recipe for the cherry shruff?

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL – oh you can’t miss it – you’ll LOVE IT! My family insists on it each Thanksgiving AND Christmas! A link to ‘Cherry Shtuff’ is in the first paragraph of this post but here it is too –>

  3. ColleenB.

    Cynthia ; never hurts to make extra. :} Normally for a deep dish pie it takes right around 6 cups.
    Tammy; this is right up my alley. I think with all the cans of cherry pie filling I have bought in my life time I should own stock in the company. :}
    Wish a person could water bath can this stuff. Just wondering how long this would keep in the fridge.
    Thanks for this easy peasy recipe along with the Cherry Schtuff salad recipe as well.
    Having light rain here and is really an overcast kinda day

  4. Cynthia D

    This looks so simple. I am going give this a try. How many cups do you need for a pie filling?

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Well Cynthia, when I’m making a standard apple pie I use a quart of my apple pie filling – that’s 4 cups. I’d think deep dish pie would use a cup or so more depending upon the depth of your pie plate. ~TxH~


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