Cherry Sauce Recipe For Ham – A Juicy Festive Meal!

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Remember the rich, tangy taste of cherries? Studies show that combining it with ham enhances its flavor. My advice: try this cherry sauce for a harmonious blend. It’s the key to transforming an ordinary ham dish. If you’re deciding on a new twist for your next meal, this may help. It’s a great way to ensure your guests are impressed. Eliminate the mundane; let the cherry sauce recipe shine. Typically, such simple touches make all the difference.

In my travels through Europe, I was often struck by the fusion of flavors in every dish. From a cozy bistro in Paris to a bustling market in Istanbul, the harmony of flavors always left an indelible mark. 

Cherry Sauce Recipe

But it wasn’t until a friend from the Middle East invited me over that I truly tasted the magic of Cherry Sauce for Ham. The blend of the sauce’s tanginess with the savory richness of ham took me on a taste journey like no other. 

But here’s the problem: finding that perfect blend back home felt nearly impossible. Each restaurant visit, every kid’s request for that memorable sauce left me yearning for that authentic taste. The good news? I’ve found a way to recreate this culinary delight. 

This post will guide you through achieving that memorable Cherry Sauce for Ham, ensuring your family gatherings or intimate dinners are spectacular.

What Is Cherry Sauce For Ham?

Cherry Sauce for Ham is a delectable sauce made primarily from cherries, often complemented by sweet and tangy ingredients. It’s typically used as a glaze or served alongside ham to enhance flavor.

The sauce provides a sweet contrast to the saltiness of the ham, creating a harmonious balance on the palate. 

If you decide on a fresh accompaniment for your ham, this sauce may be the key to elevating your dish. It’s a great way to ensure your meal stands out, leaving a lasting impression on your guests.

History Of Cherry Sauce For Ham

The precise origins of Cherry Sauce for Ham are not well-documented. Still, the combination of fruit with meat can be traced back to ancient Middle Eastern and European cuisines.

Historically, fruits were used to mask the flavor of preserved meats or to add a sweet touch to savory dishes. 

It’s believed that as trade routes expanded, so did the exchange of culinary ideas. A European traveler or merchant might have been introduced to a fruity sauce in the Middle East and adapted it for ham back home. 

Interesting Facts About Cherry Sauce For Ham

Cherry Sauce for Ham is a delightful combination of sweet and tart flavors, enhancing the savory richness of ham. Here are some interesting facts about this festive condiment:

Holiday Tradition

Often associated with Christmas and Easter, cherry sauce is a popular accompaniment for ham during festive occasions.

Culinary Contrast

The tartness of cherries beautifully contrasts the salty and smoky flavors of ham, creating a well-balanced palate experience.

Historical Roots

Fruit sauces with meat can be traced back to medieval times, showcasing a long-standing tradition of sweet and savory pairings.

Health Benefits

Cherries are rich in antioxidants and provide anti-inflammatory properties, adding a healthy twist to your indulgent holiday meals.


While traditionally paired with ham, cherry sauce also complements other meats like turkey, pork chops, and duck.

Regional Variations

Depending on the region, cherry sauce recipes can include different ingredients like orange zest, cinnamon, or even liquor for added depth.

Ease Of Preparation

Cherry sauce can be made with fresh, frozen, or canned cherries, making it an accessible option for cooks of all levels.

Cherry Sauce Recipe

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

Cherry Sauce for Ham has seen various regional adaptations, each adding a unique twist. The sauce may incorporate spices like cinnamon and cardamom in the Middle East, giving it a warm undertone. 

European versions, particularly from the Mediterranean, might add citrus zest or local herbs for a fresh touch. In some parts of Asia, chili and ginger add a spicy kick.

North American interpretations often lean towards the sweeter side, with brown sugar or maple syrup as additions. 

What Will Make You Love This Cherry Sauce For Ham?

The allure of Cherry Sauce for Ham lies in its balance of sweet and savory flavors. Its rich, tangy notes complement the salty robustness of ham, creating a symphony on your palate.

Studies show that a harmonious blend of contrasting tastes often leaves a more memorable dining experience. 

Suppose you’re deciding what makes this sauce unique, its adaptability. In that case, it can seamlessly fit into various cuisines, from Middle Eastern to European. My advice: savor the sauce’s versatility, whether as a glaze or a side. 

The key to its charm is its ability to elevate a simple ham dish to gourmet levels. This may help transform your regular meals into occasions, ensuring exceptional dining moments.

Cherry Sauce Recipe

Ingredients List

Cherry pie filling1 (21 ounce) can
Brown sugar 1 tablespoon
Prepared mustard1/2 teaspoon

Ingredient Tips 

  • Cherry Pie Filling: Choose a high-quality brand for a richer taste. If you decide on a more homemade touch, you can also make your filling from fresh cherries.
  • Brown Sugar: Typically, dark brown sugar gives a deeper molasses flavor than light brown sugar. Adjust according to your preference.
  • Prepared Mustard: While standard yellow mustard works well, experimenting with Dijon or whole-grain mustard can add a distinct flair.
  • Freshness: Ensure your ingredients, especially the pie filling, are fresh to retain the authentic taste.
  • Storage: Store leftover ingredients in cool, dry places. For pie filling, refrigerate after opening.
  • Quantity: Always measure ingredients accurately. This may help in achieving the desired consistency and flavor of the sauce.
  • Variations: Feel free to adjust sweetness or tanginess levels to your liking. It’s a great way to personalize the sauce.

What Are The Variations Of Cherry Sauce For Ham Recipe?

Cherry Sauce for Ham can be adapted in various ways to suit diverse palates:

  • Spiced Cherry: Infuse with spices like cinnamon, cloves, or star anise for a warm and aromatic version.
  • Tangy Twist: Add a balsamic vinegar or citrus juice splash to enhance its tangy edge.
  • Spicy Kick: Introduce red chili flakes or a touch of cayenne for those who appreciate some heat.
  • Whiskey Infused: Incorporate a dash of bourbon or whiskey, which pairs splendidly with cherries and ham.
  • Herbed: Fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme can provide an earthy touch.
  • Reduced Sugar: Opt for natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup if you decide to cut down on refined sugars.
  • Chunky Style: Incorporate fresh cherry chunks to give the sauce more texture and bite. This is a great way to highlight the fruit’s natural sweetness.
Cherry Sauce Recipe

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • Begin by gathering all your ingredients and ensuring they’re measured accurately.
  • Combine the cherry pie filling, brown sugar, and prepared mustard in a small saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan on medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Allow the sauce to simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will help the flavors meld together and thicken the sauce slightly.
  • Once done, remove it from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • Serve the cherry sauce alongside or drizzle over your preferred ham dish. Enjoy!

Transform your ham into a festive feast with a vibrant burst of sweetness from Cherry Sauce, a true holiday indulgence.

Scaling The Cherry Sauce For Ham Recipe

Scaling recipes, especially like the Cherry Sauce for Ham, requires precision. Here are some guidelines:

  • Up-Scaling: If you double or triple the recipe, ensure your saucepan is large enough. Multiply each ingredient by the desired factor. However, simmering time may increase slightly to achieve the right consistency.
  • Down Scaling: Halve or reduce the ingredient quantities proportionally. Reduce the simmering time slightly to prevent over-thickening.
  • Consistency: When scaling up, sauces might take longer to reach the desired thickness. Adjust cooking time accordingly.
  • Taste: As you adjust quantities, always taste and modify if necessary.
  • Storage: Larger batches may require more storage space. Divide into portions if necessary.
  • Tools: Ensure your measuring tools can handle scaled quantities to maintain accuracy.
Cherry Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

Absolutely! The Cherry Sauce for Ham exhibits versatile qualities:

  • Marinade: Its sweet and tangy profile can penetrate meats, tenderizing and imparting a rich flavor. If you decide to marinate, let it sit for a few hours or overnight for best results.
  • Dipping Sauce: Its consistency and taste make it an excellent accompaniment for snacks or appetizers. Enhance its thickness if desired.
  • Salad Dressing: While unconventional, its sweet tang can complement green salads, especially those with grilled chicken or turkey. To use as a dressing, you might find a way to thin it slightly, maybe with a dash of olive oil or vinegar.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Cherry Sauce For Ham?

Cherry Sauce for Ham, with its sweet-tangy profile, pairs well with various dishes:

Roasted Vegetables

Like carrots or potatoes, root veggies balance the sauce’s sweetness with their earthiness.

Grilled Chicken

The sauce can act as a delightful contrast to the smokiness of grilled poultry.

Rice Pilaf

A fluffy pilaf, especially one with nuts or dried fruits, complements the cherry sauce’s richness.

Green Salads

Arugula or spinach salads with feta or goat cheese can benefit from the sauce’s tangy notes.

Crispy Potatoes

The crispy exterior and soft interior provide a texture contrast to the smooth sauce.

Toasted Bread Or Buns

They can soak up any excess sauce, ensuring none goes to waste.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Their creamy nature pairs harmoniously with the cherry sauce’s tang, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Cherry Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Cherry Sauce For Ham?

Cherry Sauce for Ham graces various classic dishes, adding its distinct flavor:

  • Glazed Ham Roast: A centerpiece in many holiday feasts, where the sauce is brushed over the ham during roasting.
  • Ham Sandwiches: A gourmet twist, using the sauce as a spread or drizzle.
  • Ham Steaks: Pan-fried or grilled, then served with a generous helping of the cherry sauce.
  • Ham and Cheese Crepes: The sauce adds a sweet contrast to the savory filling.
  • Charcuterie Boards: Add a fruity contrast to cured meats and cheeses as an accompaniment.
  • Ham Pies or Tarts: Where the sauce acts as a layer or is served on the side for added moisture and flavor.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Cherry Sauce For Ham Offers?

Cherry Sauce for Ham delivers a unique blend of flavors and sensations:

  • Sweetness: The cherry pie filling and brown sugar ensure a dominant sweet note.
  • Tartness: Cherries, being naturally tart, provide a refreshing sour undertone.
  • Savory: The sauce embraces a meaty, salty flavor profile when paired with ham.
  • Mild Heat: The prepared mustard introduces a subtle spiciness.
  • Richness: The combined ingredients yield a deep, full-bodied taste.
  • Umami: The interplay with ham amplifies this savory essence.
  • Slight Bitterness: When paired with certain mustards or caramelized, there can be a gentle bitter aftertaste.
Cherry Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

Yes, Cherry Sauce for Ham can be stored and preserved for future use:

  • Refrigeration: The sauce typically lasts up to a week in an airtight container. Ensure your container is sealed tightly to retain freshness.
  • Freezing: For extended storage, you can freeze the sauce for up to 3 months. Remember to leave some space in the container for expansion.
  • Canning: A more traditional method, it can considerably extend its shelf life. Sterilize jars and follow proper canning procedures.
  • Shelf Life: Once opened or if homemade, consume within a week for the best taste when refrigerated.
  • Signs of Spoilage: Discard if it has an off-smell, mold, or changes in texture.

What Are The Substitutes For Cherry Sauce For Ham?

If you’re deciding to substitute Cherry Sauce for Ham, several alternatives can provide similar or contrasting flavors:

  • Cranberry Sauce: This tangy and sweet sauce is a classic pairing with meats, especially during festive occasions.
  • Apricot Glaze: A mixture of apricot jam, mustard, and some spices offers a delightful sweet-spicy balance.
  • Pineapple Sauce: Combining pineapple juice, brown sugar, and some mustard can give a tropical flair to your ham.
  • Apple Compote: Cooked-down apples with sugar and spices can create a sweet, tangy, and aromatic accompaniment.
  • Fig Jam: Its natural sweetness and texture can make it a great alternative.
  • Mango Chutney: Offers a combination of sweetness, tanginess, and a hint of spice.
  • Orange Glaze: A blend of orange juice, zest, sugar, and spices can offer a citrusy twist.
Cherry Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

Adjusting the consistency of Cherry Sauce for Ham can be done with a few simple steps:

  • Thicken: Simmer the sauce for longer, allowing the moisture to evaporate and the sauce to concentrate.
  • Cornstarch: Mix a teaspoon of cornstarch with cold water, stir it into the sauce, and cook until it thickens.
  • Thin Out: Add a splash of water, broth, or juice to dilute and achieve a runnier consistency.
  • Blending: If you desire a smoother texture, blend the sauce using a hand blender or mixer.
  • Straining: Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to remove chunks and achieve a silkier consistency.

Let Cherry Sauce for Ham serenade your taste buds, marrying sweet and savory in a jubilant flavor dance.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

The decision to serve Cherry Sauce for Ham cold or mainly warm depends on the dish and personal preference:

  • Warm: Serving the sauce warm is ideal when accompanying hot dishes like roasted ham or grilled meats. The warm sauce melds better with the meat’s juices, enhancing flavors.
  • Cold: A chilled version can be refreshing if the sauce is used as a dipping accompaniment for appetizers or in cold sandwiches.
  • Reheating: If stored in the fridge, reheat gently in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Texture: Warming can slightly change the sauce’s consistency, making it more fluid, while cooling can thicken it.
Cherry Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values

The Cherry Sauce for Ham combines carbohydrates from cherries and sugar with minimal proteins and fats. It’s also a source of vitamins and minerals found naturally in cherries.

What Are The Total Calories In Cherry Sauce For Ham?

To determine the exact calorie count in Cherry Sauce for Ham, one would need the specific nutritional details of each ingredient and the quantities used in the recipe. The primary caloric contributors are the cherry pie filling and the brown sugar. 

However, for a rough estimate, a standard serving of cherry sauce might range from 60 to 120 calories, depending on its thickness and sweetness. Always consult nutritional labels or a nutritionist for precise caloric information.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Cherry Sauce For Ham

When considering Cherry Sauce for Ham in the context of dietary restrictions, here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Gluten: Most ingredients are naturally gluten-free, but always check the cherry pie filling label for any gluten-containing additives.
  • Sugar: Contains added sugars, which might not be suitable for people with diabetes or those watching sugar intake.
  • Vegan/Vegetarian: Typically suitable for both diets, but it’s always good to check labels for hidden animal-derived ingredients.
  • Mustard Allergy: Contains prepared mustard, which some might be allergic to.
  • Preservatives: Store-bought cherry pie filling might contain preservatives.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: The sauce contains sugars, which may not fit into strict low-carb or keto diets.
  • Halal/Kosher: Generally compliant, but always verify individual ingredients.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

Making Cherry Sauce for Ham might seem straightforward, but there are potential pitfalls to avoid:

  • Overcooking: Simmering the sauce too long can lead to an overly thick and sticky consistency. It may also cause the sugars to caramelize excessively, altering the desired taste.
  • Inaccurate Measurements: Not using the right proportions can result in a sauce that’s too sweet, tangy, or lacking depth.
  • Skipping the Simmer: Not allowing the sauce to simmer can mean flavors don’t meld together optimally.
  • Not Stirring: Failing to stir occasionally can lead to the sauce burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Over-seasoning: While adding more spices or flavors is tempting, it can overshadow the primary cherry flavor.
  • Using Low-Quality Ingredients: This can significantly affect the end taste. Always opt for high-quality pie filling and fresh ingredients.
  • Rushing the Process: Good sauces typically need time to develop flavors, so patience is vital.
  • Improper Storage: Not storing the sauce in an airtight container or leaving it out for extended periods can reduce its shelf life.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

Leftover Cherry Sauce for Ham need not go to waste! Here are some creative uses:

  • Breakfast Spread: Slather on toast, pancakes, or waffles.
  • Ice Cream Topping: Drizzle over vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
  • Cake Glaze: Use as a glaze for sponge cakes or muffins.
  • Stir into Oatmeal: Add a fruity touch to your morning oats.
  • Yogurt Mix-in: Swirl into plain yogurt for a tangy-sweet treat.
  • Smoothie Booster: Blend with bananas, milk, and ice for a cherry-inspired drink.
  • Meat Glaze: Use on chicken, turkey, or pork for a sweet twist.
  • Cocktail Mixer: Add to cocktails for a fruity dimension.
Cherry Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Saucepan: Medium-sized, preferably with a heavy bottom to distribute heat evenly.
  • Wooden Spoon: For stirring the sauce and ensuring it doesn’t stick.
  • Measuring Spoons & Cups: For accurate ingredient portions.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: If you wish to achieve a smoother texture by removing cherry chunks.
  • Hand Blender or Mixer: Useful if blending the sauce for a silkier finish.
  • Glass Jars or Airtight Containers: For storing any leftover sauce.
  • Thermometer: To monitor the sauce temperature, especially if you’re keen on consistency.
  • Canning Equipment: The sauce has a longer shelf life if you can.
  • Ladle: For pouring or serving the sauce.
  • Whisk: Useful for ensuring a smooth and lump-free consistency, especially when incorporating ingredients like cornstarch.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Use Fresh Cherries Instead Of Cherry Pie Filling?

Yes, you can use fresh cherries. Pit them, cook with some sugar and water until they soften, and then follow the rest of the recipe.

How Long Can I Store This Sauce In The Refrigerator?

The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Ensure it’s cooled before storing.

Is It Possible To Freeze The Cherry Sauce?

Absolutely! The sauce can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Can I Make This Sauce Spicier Or Add Other Flavors?

Certainly! Add a dash of cayenne pepper for heat, or incorporate spices like cinnamon or star anise for additional flavor depth.

Can This Sauce Be Used For Dishes Other Than Ham?

While it pairs wonderfully with ham, it also complements other meats like chicken and turkey or even as a spread on sandwiches.

Cherry Sauce Recipe For Ham – A Juicy Festive Meal!

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Course: Sauces


Prep time


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Cherry Sauce for Ham blends the sweet-tart richness of cherries with a hint of mustard warmth. This delectable sauce elevates ham dishes, offering a harmonious balance between savory and sweet. Simple to prepare, it’s a game-changer for festive feasts or everyday meals. Dive into this flavor journey!


  • 21 ounce 21 Cherry Pie Filling

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Brown Sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Prepared Mustard

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation: Begin by gathering all your ingredients. Ensure the cherry pie filling, brown sugar, and prepared mustard are measured and ready.
  • Combine Ingredients: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the cherry pie filling, brown sugar, and prepared mustard.
  • Heat: Place the saucepan on medium heat. As the mixture heats up, stir occasionally using a wooden spoon to ensure even mixing and prevent sticking.
  • Bring to a Boil: Continue stirring and let the mixture come to a gentle boil. This will ensure all the sugar dissolves properly.
  • Simmer: Once it has reached a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the flavors to meld and the sauce to achieve a slightly thicker consistency.
  • Taste and Adjust: After simmering, give the sauce a quick taste. If you desire more sweetness or tanginess, adjust accordingly.
  • Cooling: Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the sauce cool for a few minutes. This allows the flavors to settle further.
  • Straining (Optional): If you prefer a smoother sauce, use a fine mesh strainer to remove cherry chunks.
  • Serving: The sauce will be served once it has cooled to your preferred temperature. Pour it over your ham or serve it on the side.
  • Storage: If you have leftovers, transfer the sauce to a glass jar or an airtight container and refrigerate.

Recipe Video


  • Consistency: The longer you simmer the sauce, the thicker it will become. Adjust simmering time based on your desired consistency.
  • Sweetness: Depending on your preference and the sweetness of your cherry pie filling, you may want to adjust the amount of brown sugar.
  • Mustard Variety: While prepared mustard is suggested, you can experiment with Dijon or whole-grain mustard for a different flavor profile.
  • Fresh Cherries: If you can access fresh cherries, you can make your cherry compote and use it instead of the pie filling.
  • Storing: The sauce stores well in the fridge for up to a week. For extended storage, consider freezing or canning.
  • Reheating: Do so over low heat to prevent the sauce from burning.
  • Pairing: This sauce pairs wonderfully, not just with ham but also with other meats like chicken or turkey.
  • Dietary Considerations: If you have dietary restrictions, always check the labels of store-bought ingredients, especially the cherry pie filling.
  • Customization: Feel free to add spices like cinnamon or cloves for added depth and warmth to the sauce.

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