Easy Stewed Prunes

Easy Stewed Prunes

Easy Stewed Prunes

Store bought stewed prunes contain high fructose corn syrup. With homemade, the only thing added is water. Use only plain dried prunes with nothing added, except maybe potassium sorbate. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Makes: about 30 prunes

Easy Stewed Prunes


  • 8 ounces plain dried pitted prunes
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water


  1. Place prunes in a saucepan, separating any that are stuck together.
  2. Add water and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Store in a covered container, refrigerated.

126 Comments on "Easy Stewed Prunes"

  1. Cherokee

    Lord, I sincerely Thank You, 🙌 for this wonderful group of people that I have happened upon today!

    Each one of you have blessed me, and one another in ways you may not fully understand!

    And Jenny Can Cook– thank you for this platform!

    I’m signing off for now. Cherokee

  2. Susan

    Thanks for the reminder…my grandmother would say “cover them and then some and cook low and slow”. We liked them falling apart & syrupy. A restaurant near me serves stewed prunes and apricots on their roast pork dinner, it’s delicious. Really no need for any other flavoring.

  3. Mary

    My mom stewed the prunes by boiling/ cooking them with water then made a custard and poured the custard over a few prunes for a dessert. Yummy! Making this tonight.

  4. Shu Miller

    In the 1940’s, I remember my mother stewing prunes and then adding them to cooked oatmeal! Oh so delicious!

    • Cherokee

      Shu, I really enjoy oatmeal, and have just recently been introduced to prunes! Never thought about putting the two together!😋

      Thanks for the wonderful tip!😄

  5. Elaine

    So I have a son that has on going UTI from a super pubic Catheter he can not have high doses of vitamin C as it tends to cause more stone how many prunes to give daily that he would from 2-3 for constipation

    • Gypsy

      Consult with his doctor.

    • Chuey

      One thing to keep in mind is not to rely just on prunes to do the job. They do have a chemical thing going on, which is why they work! But you don’t need very much.

      Start with a couple every-other-day; see how he responds. Adjust accordingly.

      If he likes fruit smoothies, maybe add in a couple along w Strawberries, banana, apple. (a yogurt added will give it some body, or use some protein powder or Ensure type protein drink). You can get your 5-9 veggies&fruits in a couple servings.

      ABOVE ALL, consult your Dr, and/or Nutritionist. They know how stuff affects *your* kid, and will guide you. You can consult your County Health Dept Advice Nurse, who might give you other resources, often free.

  6. Steven

    No cloves ?

    • Gypsy

      At times I like to add a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of cloves and a few slices of citrus, like lemon or orange. Or instead, I switch it up by adding dried Med. apricots. Yummy.

  7. P Fischer

    I just add cold water and the prunes stew in frig overnight.. I also add blueberries…

  8. Naomi

    You can buy prunes that are packaged dry as well as in the can, but should you buy pitted prunes (does pitted prunes mean with the pit in or pit out? Thanks

    • Jenny Can Cook

      “Pitted” means without the pit.

      • Cherokee

        Hey everyone, although they say “pitted” on the packaging, still be aware that it’s done mechanically, and some prunes may still have stone fragments in them😁

    • Robert

      Pitted means the pits have been removed

  9. Douglas

    Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.

  10. jeannette

    Thank you for all the comments folks have send
    I red every one + now am going to try some of the

    Thank you

  11. jeannette

    Thank you for all the comments folks have send
    I red every one + now am going to try some of the

  12. Duncan

    I don’t want to be a snob but the French is my prune of choice. The type of prune does matter greatly. Go through Iherb. Get Saint Dalfour. And get the ones with pitts. They are far more juicy. Treat yourself. Pay the extra and you will go to heaven! St. Peter will personally thank you.

    • Jenny Can Cook

      That’s the brand I use and they are the best prunes I’ve ever had, even straight out of the jar. 😋

      • Cherokee

        Jenny, Duncan, thanks for this tip,

        as I’ve noticed that in my grocery store prunes–some are tender and soft, and some are downright chewy and tough😳

  13. Marjorie

    Refrigerate cooled prunes with the water. In a couple of days, they are very sweet and keep for a couple of weeks. I take 4 or 5 prunes with water (now juice), cut them in pieces with a spoon and mix that mixture with 1/3 to 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt. Add more of the juice to taste. Delicious!

  14. Gam

    I add 1/2 tsp cinnamon & 1/2 tsp vanilla. Delicious!

    • Rebel

      Do you add the cinnamon and vanilla while boiling or after?

  15. alison

    i see no reason to cook them.have made them just adding water, cinnamon stick and fridging, often with apricots. A long peel of lemon, and maybe some orange. Delicious. My mother always made stewed prunes with coffee and lemon peel as one of our Christmas breakfast foods, ( our feast was at breakfast) with some sort of rum icing topping, whose name escapes me now. I never ate it, I just wanted the prunes. I don’t think she cooked them. Might have added hot coffee to them, and let them stew for a few days. They seem to get better and better over about a week.

    • Teresa

      Thank you. I have been looking for this recipe. My grandma made it and it haS been so long I did not remember.

    • Dorie

      Cook to reduce oxalic acid for those with kidney or thyroid issues. In my case, I see no reason not to cook

    • Donna

      The sauce was called Hard Sauce

  16. Barb

    Always at holiday meals– stuffed prunes. Just stew, cool and stuff with cream cheese. They are delicious

    • Cherokee

      Barb! Wow, what a delicious new way for me to eat prunes😋😋😋!

      I’ve learned a lot here today! Thanks everyone!

  17. Ben

    I have a recipe from 1937 that requires cooked prunes. Anyone know if stewed prunes is the same as cooked prunes? Not able to answer the question with searches so far. Thanks in advance.

    • Michelle

      Hi Ben,

      Stewing is with added liquid, cooking is not.

    • KC

      Its probably for oven roasted prunes

    • Janisrn

      Cooked prunes and stewed prunes are the same thing. It’s just a matter of what your mother or grandmother called them.

      • Jemtl

        My mother stewed prunes and cooled but forgot to refrigerate. Its been over 24 hrs. She wants to keep them. No way right?!

        • Chris

          I think it would be like leaving fruit out on the counter. I personally would not hesitate.

    • Loretta

      I don’t think there is any other way to cook prunes than to cook them in water. How else would you cook them? So cooked is the same as stewed. Cook them in a pot of water as per Jenny’s recipe.

    • Robert

      Same thing

    • Peggy S

      Cooked and stewed prunes are the same thing.
      I do mine the same as this recipe. Have for 40+ years. I believe in the cooked method rather than not cooking.
      Sometimes I add a little vanilla, but as much as I like cinnamon, I’m not fond of that taste with the prunes.
      I hope you’ve tried making them.

  18. Joan Ferrone

    I remember my Mom serving stewed prunes with a cinnamon stick over wide noodles—we had this on Friday’s because we didn’t eat meat. I loved it.
    Is this familiar to any one?

    • Jenny Can Cook

      I remember not eating meat on Fridays.

      • Norman S

        I remember my Grandmother having strewed prunes on egg noodles for Good Friday! It does not sound like it would be good but it is great. I think the noodles had butter on them. I believe it is a German dish.

    • Cheryl

      No, I haven’t, but I would love the recipe if you are willing to share it. Thanks in advance!

  19. Betsz

    Add vanilla and cinnamon for a delicious twist

  20. Mike M

    Better the wrinkles on the prunes than on me! Thank you

  21. Esther

    Love stewed prunes. Got back to them recently. My Mom used to cook them with several slices of lemon and a bit of sugar. Yum!

    • Pat

      I just told my husband the same thing about my mom’s way of cooking prunes.I am going to do the same.

  22. Dick

    Very good website
    I love the recipes and the suggestions
    And everybody is very civil

  23. Erin

    I love stewed prunes but haven’t had them in a very long time. My grandmother made stew prunes and apricots. So good. She also made something called Prune Whip which I detested!!
    Thank you for the recipe.

    • Elizabeth

      My mom made prune whip and I loved it. Hers was delicious. I think she made a sauce to top it with.

  24. M

    Hi. How do I warm them up to serve tomorrow morning?? Thanks

    • Jenny Can Cook

      I would warm them them in a small sauce pan, in their liquid, over low heat.

  25. Sparky

    Thanks for this easy recipe! I like stewed prunes with a syrup-like liquid. Does the water make this kind of consistency? Does using some proportion of prune juice with water help that?

    • Brooke

      I also prefer mine a little syrupy, so I tried the same recipe she offered, however I simmered mine longer, to reduce the water, and when it was the consistency I like, I removed them from the heat. Hope you like them, enjoy!

  26. Lee-Nn

    I love these served warm with warm bird’s custard. My nana used to make this for me and it brings back some good memories.

    • Mary

      What is warm birds custard, please?

      Thanks! ?

      • Emily

        Bird’s Custard is a brand of powdered custard mix. I’ve seen it in stores in a cylindrical paper can.

    • Chris

      I haven’t had Bird’s for so long! This is a great reminder to try to find it in the USA. When hitchhiking in Europe (back when it was fun) I’d cook rhubarb and Bird’s every night in the hostel. Or, if caught short, I’d use roadside burdock. Yum.

      • Adrienne

        If you have a South African store in your town they cry under custard. I an I Toronto Canada and there are many South African stores

    • Cheryl

      Hi- would u mind sharing your mom’s custard recipe? I love trying new things. The in advance!

  27. Lucie Marie

    A little confused here … That the soaking makes the prunes easier to eat, and absorb, I get that.

    My question is, when I buy them at my bulk food retailer, they’re already soft, and easy to eat … Why would I need to soak them? (In my case, it has been recommended for constipation.)

    • SallyMJ

      Hello – I think the point here is not to make the prunes soft — because you’re right – prunes today are a lot softer than they were back in the day. The point of stewing prunes is to add water, which helps digestion and regularity. If you go to a hospital or a restaurant that serves prunes, they are almost always stewed. Most recipes for stewed prunes give you servings the size of a small custard size dish of stewed prunes in a “sauce” that is essentially prune juice. It’s just another way to eat prunes and get some of your eight glasses of water. It’s not as portable and convenient as dried prunes – but it does provide a little variety. Cheers!

    • Chris

      A prune straight out of the box is a pretty concentrated flavor. Stewing plumps them up and makes them more fruitlike.

      • Cherokee

        Chris, thanks for this information. I’ve been eating mine straight out of the bag, but I’d like to give this a go😁– no pun intended🤓

  28. Dennis

    I add Captain Morgan Spiced Rum to stewed prunes (sometimes apricots too) for a healthful holiday side dish. Most of the alcohol evaporates when heated.

    • Robert

      Not ALL, I hope

    • Lauren

      I have that! I’m trying it right now LOL. I think a little whipped cream would be good too.

    • Cheryl

      That sounds yummy. How much rum do u add? Thx.

  29. Tish

    Just made some and waiting for them to cool. Will serve over yogurt for breakfast tomorrow.
    Thank you for all your healthy and delicious recipes!

  30. Grandma Linda

    If you are using pureed prunes for baking, I have found using the baby food pureed prunes to save me time and effort.
    When my mom was in a nursing home recovering from a stroke, at mealtime each resident had a stewed prune dipped in flaxseed meal on a little saucer as part of their routine.

  31. Marina

    Thanks Jenny. I needed to stew some prunes, figs and raisins and didn’t know how much water, heat or time was needed. I also poured some of the water from the stewed fruit onto the ground flaxseeds. They were less dry and nicer to eat. Thanks for posting.

  32. Joy

    Why stop at one or two dried fruits?
    Plumi Moos (Mennonite version of stewed fruit)
    2 quarts water
    1 cup dried apples
    1 cup prunes
    1 cup raisins
    1/2 cup dried peaches
    1/2 cup dried apricots
    1 slice lemon (optional)
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 cup flour or 2 TB cornstarch or (as my mother made it) 2-3 TB minute tapioca
    Cut fruits and cook in water until very well done. Prepare paste by mixing sugar, flour/cornstarch/tapioca, salt, cinnamon and 1/4 cup cold water. Add to fruit, stirring until slightly thickened.

    Often served as dessert with a few tsp. whipping cream, ice cream, etc. In my family we would have cold roast beef with a side of plumi moos (minus the ice cream) for Sunday lunch. Everything prepared the day before.

  33. DK

    My mom made a kind of rice cake. She might have used nut-roll dough since she usually made it at the same time. If I remember correctly, it consisted of 2 layers of dough with rice pudding
    sandwiched between then baked. If it helps, the recipe probably came from Hungary. We would be so grateful if anyone can help. It was so delicious.

  34. marilynn

    My mother used to stew the prunes with a slice of lemon and sometimes with dried apricots. Yummy!! I just stewed some very dried prunes I had forgotten about with some lemon slices and some clementina slices. delicious! just took 10 minutes. cant wait to try the vanilla and the cinnamin. and the apple juice. thanks for all the great ideas.

  35. Brookie

    All great recipes…anyone remember when Dannon Yogurt had Prune Whip as one of their flavors?…it was YUMMY!…I make my own now using Greek Yogurt..

    • Linda Ingram

      Just this morning I was wondering why a yogurt company doesn’t make a prune whip (aka dried plum) flavor. I make my own, too, with Greek Yogurt.

      • Big Ang

        Early 60s Dannon made a prune yogurt. My favorire. Had to go to a speciality whole foods store. Yogurt wasnt on market chains yet.

    • Grandma Linda

      Activia has a prune/plum yoghurt, but I have only found it at Walmart. Mixing your own stewed or pureed prunes with plain Greek yoghurt would be just as good. I also add diced papaya when I have some, sprinkle with flaxseed meal.

  36. kbvickers

    I have my husband’s old family recipe for prune cake. It calls for a cup of cooked, mashed prunes. Any idea how long I would need to simmer them to ensure they mash?

    • alison

      oh boy, that sounds good. And mashed prunes sounds like it would also go well in carrot cake, my alltime favourite cake. with lots of orange and lemon zest. cardamom, mm.

  37. Nancy

    I have stewed dried prunes in orange juice and also in flavored tea…I like the idea of orange zest so I am going to cook some up in water to cover and zest. Thank all of you for your comments and suggestions! Almost feels like a cooking club.:)

  38. Bev Redmond

    My grandmother did these often enough that there were always stewed prunes in the fridge. They were so good! I’d forgotten them until my doctor recommended them recently to counteract one of the side effects of chemo.

    • Steven Alexander

      I hope the stewed prunes are still working for you and wishing you good health.

    • Nancy Ironside

      I have very low potassium due to cancer surgery. Many things I can’t eat. Low potassium causes horrible cramps. Prunes help a lot. What side effect from Chemo did you have? All the best,

      • Debi

        Nancy, I followed all the limited information I was given about chemo for 4 years and practically shut down my gut completely. I was even advised to submit to chemo again while I could not stop vomiting or go to the bathroom. I finally looked into a naturopath to find out I am allergic to fructose, I can handle no fats, and everything that usually works was causing my gut problems. As we work within my restrictions I no longer look like the walking dead. Look for a naturopath to help you heal. You may even surprise yourself and kill the cancer when your body is working correctly. But, know most naturopaths did not accept insurance payments, though some do. The are also medical groups that charge a monthly fee so only the treatments are extra. Look beyond and I pray your answer is right around the corner.

        • Jenny Can Cook

          Thank you for helping.

        • Jay

          Thanks for that information.i was never sure about naturopaths but you spoke highly of them,making me want to look a little deeper.glad i came upon your story.thanks again………And mayGOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU. amen.
          Ps i have cancer also.

  39. Denny

    Long gone Aunt always made it.
    Prunes and bananas and whip cream in a bowl. Prunes were soft but not mushed.
    Did she boil the prunes?

    • Jane

      I made prune whip in home ec. many years ago, the recipe is in an old Betty Crocker cook book. It was Eisenhowers favorite desert

  40. Shery Sullivan

    Thanks for all the tips. I remember eating prunes my mother made. They were good. Brings back memories.

  41. Emisha

    How long can it be storaged in fridge?

  42. Herbal T.

    My grandfather would wash oranges before peeling and then dice-up the orange peels and stew them with the prunes. It adds a complementary flavor to the prunes. He served the prunes with the orange peels mixed in. I’ve left them in and I’ve taken them out. I find there’s less resistance to the dish. Especially from younger folks, when the orange peels are removed. Remember: Resist the temptation to go too heavy on the orange peels, as a little goes a long way.

    • doris perkins

      instead of the orange peel, use some orange zest an that woyld give more flavo an easier an less likel to hav a bitter taste from the white pith

  43. Kathy

    Hi Jenny, do you know where to find plain, dried pitted prunes? I’ve only seen the big brand names in the grocery stores.
    Also, not to sound dumb, but do I have to use dried prunes, or can prune recipes be made using the fresh plum?

    • Joyce

      Check the bulk food section of your grocery store. Sometimes they have packaged generic foods like nuts & raisins. Theu may also have prunes too.

      • Bryant

        For the prunes I by bulk pack at Sams Club. Great quality and cost effective. I’m going to try a drop of wild orange essential oil to see what it does for the taste in lieu of zest.

    • A.

      Even the big name brands are just plain dried prunes… you should also be able to find stores brand at a lower cost.

    • Jan

      Fresh would not work the same as dried.

    • Donna

      I just bought a bag of dried pitted orunes in CVS. They were buy 1 get 1 half off for thr 8 oz. bag.

      • Sheila

        I got a 7 oz bag at Dollar General for $2 and a 12 oz bag at Save A Lot grocery for $2.69. The 12 oz bag prunes were plumper.

    • Catt

      Walmart sells them
      I always called it their generic brand it’s the cheapest one
      It’s 18 ounces, called (Southern Grove) brand

      • Brian-

        Walmart’s brand is the best IMO oddly enough. Here in Indianapolis Walmart’s brand is “Great Value.” They also have really good sugar free apple sauce. (I am loving this website! Thank you Jenny Jones!)

    • Sheila

      Don’t use fresh plums. The dried prunes can be found in Walgreens. They’re 3 for $8 or on sale 2 for $4

    • Sarah

      Trader Joe’s sells dried prunes without sulfates (sp?)

    • Diane

      I get dried pitted and non-sorbate prunes at Trader Joe’s and stew them for my slow-moving get.Delicious and helpful.

    • SDecora

      Most health food stores have pitted prunes in bulk bins as well as some bagged varieties.
      None have preservatives which pleases me and offers better taste. But they need refrigeration soon after purchasing or will
      develop a dusty whitish mold. This can be rinsed off however.

    • Ted

      In Canada, I am able to buy 2 lb bags of dried prunes at Loblaw stores. It is in a yellow plastic bag under the name PC or President’s Choice.
      You can easily get small pages under other brand names but these tend to be a rip-off for the quantity in the package. It is the same stuff.

  44. D from Dallas

    thank you for the good recipe…

  45. lydia


    • Januarymoon

      Pinch of lemon, table spoon of brown sugar or maple syrup. I bet that’s the secret of your aunts yummy prunes

    • Meredith

      To make the syrup thicker, start by using just enough water to cover prunes. After it begins to simmer, keep adding just enough water to cover the prunes. Simmer your prunes low and slow, paying close attention to the water level, and remember to keep adding enough water to cover. Stew for apx. 2 hours, then let the pot rest until cool, apx.2-3 hours.Then refrigerate your stewed prunes in a glass jar. The water will have developed into a think, delicious syrup.

    • Capt Dave

      That sounds like an old German recipe we had at Thanksgiving (many, many years ago). I believe it required quartering the prunes and simmering them for about 30 – 45 minutes. I don’t recall measurements, but I think you’d want a bit more water than needed for stewed prunes. The prunes and juice were left overnight in the refrigerator, then reheated before the feast. Sometimed, raisins were added. The result could be thickened if needed with a bit of arrowroot or corn startch if needed. I think some cloves or cinnamon may have been added. It went well with ham and biscuits. Hope this helps.

      • Nurse Jackie

        Yes Capt. Dave! My mother made them and I distinctly remember flavors of cinnamon and cloves. Very delicious. Even after they were refrigerated they were good the next day straight from the fridge.

  46. Anna

    I like to use apple juice instead of water- makes them almost a treat!

  47. Lori

    I like to put a cinnamon stick in the water while they stew! Extra flavor!!

    • Sadie's Summer

      I have heard that although deliciously tasty the addition of cinnamon to the prunes counteracts the digestive benefits of the prunes. Is this true?

      • Michtifus

        I havent heard that but cinnamon is what they call a fat blocker. So, i could see how that could be a possibility. Anything that would naturally block your body from absorbing fat, certainly seems counter productive to what prunes are trying to do! 😉

        • Celia Cole

          Actually, “blocking” fat absorption and rushing fat (and everything else) on through the digestive system are kind of the same thing. But, that’s all I know about the answer to the question.

          Opinion: too many worries over the interactions of foods for me. If you like them with cinnamon, eat them that way.

  48. Honeybee ♥

    Nice recipe!

  49. elzbieta z Łodzi

    good idea

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