Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is an often overlooked and underestimated Thanksgiving side dish—yet there are plenty of ways to punch up the flavor and make it a holiday-spotlight stealer. Traditionally jellylike and typically quite sweet, we like improvising on this classic recipe by adding port, orange zest and cinnamon to bring out the seasonal tartness of the berries. One of our favorite ways to upgrade cranberry sauce is with dried sour cherries and a bit of orange juice; it’s not overly sweet, and the citrus provides brightness without overpowering the cranberries. Whether you’re a cranberry sauce innovator or staunchly loyal to the canned version, Food & Wine’s guide has a recipe for every skill set and holiday table.

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Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Fuji Apple

Rating: Unrated
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Cranberries only need to be cooked for a few minutes before they burst and form a terrific cranberry sauce. Melissa Rubel Jacobson has a number of recipes for them. To mold the sauce so it's sliceable, she adds an apple, which is loaded with pectin, a natural gelling agent. Slideshow: More Holiday Side Dishes Plus: F&W's Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide 

Top 5 Cranberry Sauce Upgrades

Cranberry sauce is part of the Thanksgiving trinity along with turkey and mashed potatoes, but many home cooks still rely on the canned stuff while dedicating major efforts to the other plates on the table. Despite the nostalgia and ease that comes with using jellied or other prepared versions, there’s something remarkable about serving a homemade batch that’s tangy, sweet and vibrantly colored. Here, five tips for DIY cranberry sauce.

Perfecting Thanksgiving Dinner: Best Cranberry Sauce Recipes

From simple cranberry relish to port-spiked cranberry sauce, Food & Wine offers the best recipes for this tangy-sweet Thanksgiving essential.