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Layer the cherry salsa with the tortilla chips and cheeses and bake

Fresh Cherry Salsa

During the height of the “cherry season” ~ try this wonderful Cherry Salsa that’s tart, spicy with a hint of sweetness. Add to layers of tortilla chips and cheeses for the ultimate, updated NACHOS ~ YUM!

Fresh Cherry Salsa with diced Charred Jalepeno, Tomato, Onion and Basil
Layer the cherry salsa with the tortilla chips and cheeses and bake

Layer the cherry salsa with the tortilla chips and cheeses and bake


1 ½ cups pitted bing cherries, divided, (about 1 pound of cherries with pits)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon pure cane sugar

2 tablespoons filtered water

2 pinches chipotle powder, or other spicy ground chiles if not available

1 large jalapeño

⅓ cup sweet onions, ¼”dice

½ cup plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped ¼”

⅛ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

12 large fresh basil leaves, more for garnish 

⅛ teaspoon sea salt



Pit the cherries (by hand or with a cherry pitter), slice them in half.


In a small non-reactive pot add 1/2 pitted pitted cherries, balsamic vinegar, water and chipotle powder, bring to a simmer uncovered.
When comes to a simmer, cover and turn the heat to low – cook just 3 minutes to soften the cherries.
Cool slightly, purée in a small food processor until smooth.


Char the jalapeño:
Rub with a small amount of neutral oil and char in a skillet over high heat, turn with tongs for even blackening.
Cool slightly, cut off the top and stem, seed with a small pairing knife.
Cut into thin rings. Mince half, save the other half for garnish. (See photo in BLOG.)


Finish the Salsa:
Add the cherry purée to a medium sized bowl. Add the minced jalapeño, onion, tomatoes, pepper, basil and sea salt. Add the remaining 1 cup of pitted cherries – you can cut them in smaller pieces if desired. Fold in and chill.
Taste for seasonings.


Optional: Stir in a few halved, pitter Rainier Cherries (a cross between the ‘Bing’ and ‘Van’ cherry) into the salsa for a nice color contrast.


Use immediately, or store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Serve with chips, over grilled chicken or shrimp kebobs – or with my awesome Layered Cheese Nachos with Fresh Cherry Salsa! (see recipe.)

This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.

To say hello, discuss a recipe, share one, or have a comment - I would love to know what you think!

  1. Reply

    Yes, this Cherry BBQ Sauce can be frozen.
    I would put in one cup airtight containers in the freezer.
    I mentioned in the recipe – for longer storage puree the BBQ sauce as larger pieces of cherries in the sauce will not stay as fresh.
    For freezing – the chunky version will do just fine! I’m thinking up to 6 months in the freezer for best results.

    If you would like to try – canning is really fun and simple once you get the hang of it.
    Just choose a large pot and bring boiled water over the jars by 2”. You can use tongs to grab the jars.
    Here’s a good source:


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