Grilled Cherry Salsa

Salsa is a perfect pairing to many summer dishes. The cherries in this recipe provide a refreshing twist that will make you never want to buy salsa from the store again. Michigan is a great place for fresh cherries, as there are nearly 32,000 acres of tart cherries across Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Manistee, Benzie and Antrium counties.

Cherries provide many health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cancer, supporting healthy sleep, relieving arthritis pain, reducing belly fat, and many more.

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Photo Credit: Benson Kua

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cherries on grll


  • 1 small sweet onion, peeled and sliced in half
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, halved and de-seeded
  • 2 cups pitted bing cherries
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp. each to start)

Grilled Cherry Salsa

1. Preheat your grill to the highest setting.
2. Rub the onions and peppers with the olive oil, saving one tablespoon or so for the cherry.
3. Place the onion and pepper on the grill. Grill until they begin to char (and the pepper skins bubble and blacken), about two to three minutes, turning often. Remove the onion and pepper and let them cool slightly.
4. Toss the remaining olive oil with the cherries and garlic, then place in a grill tray or basket. Grill until the cherries start to burst slightly and bubble and blister, just two to three minutes, tossing with a large spoon.
5. Add the can of tomatoes, the onions, peppers, garlic, lime juice and the cherries to a food processor. Pulse until you have the consistency of salsa you enjoy. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
6. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese quesadilla.

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