Three Cranberry Sauce Recipes

Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving | A Well Crafted Party

I don’t host Thanksgiving. Instead, I’m very happy to be attending a Thanksgiving with friends and family where everyone brings a dish to share and everyone is an AMAZING cook. I tend to do a lot of parties around this time of year so I don’t have a ton of energy to put into making something super involved for the holiday. Which means, typically, every year I’m bringing the potatoes and cranberry sauce. If those are the only two things I’m responsible for then I’m going to make them DELISH.

Cranberry sauce is often an afterthought to the Thanksgiving meal. However, a great cranberry sauce can elevate a turkey quite well. I have three fall back cranberry sauces that I love to make. Some years, when feeling extra on top of it, I’ll bring all three so guests can have their choice.

Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving | A Well Crafted Party


Traditional Cranberry Sauce

A traditional cranberry sauce is SO easy to make. You need a sauce pan, cranberries, orange juice, and sugar to make this sauce. Occasionally I’ll add in something like a cherry or orange liquor to give it a bit of a kick.


  • 1 12 oz bag of cranberries
  • freshly squeezed juice of one large orange
  • 1 cup sugar
  • (Optional) 1 Tablespoon orange or cherry liquor


Put all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on medium heat stirring occasionally so the sugar doesn’t burn. Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until your berries are bursting and the sauce has thickened a bit. The sauce will further thicken once cooled. Serve warm or chilled. It will be extremely hot once finished so wait until it has cooled before tasting. If you feel that your sauce is too thick you can thin a bit with water.

Apple and Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce

Sometimes I want a little more texture to my cranberry sauce. Sweet apples are a great contrast to the tartness of cranberries.


  • 1 12 oz bag of cranberries
  • 2 fuji apples diced (or other favorite sweeter apple)
  • seeds of 1 pomegranate + any residual juices
  • 1 cup sugar
  • freshly squeezed juice of two Meyer lemons


Put all ingredients except for you pomegranate seeds into a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally so the sugar doesn’t burn. Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until you berries are bursting a bit and you can put a fork through your apple easily. Add in pomegranate seeds and juice and stir to incorporate. Chill. Serve Chilled.

Cranberry Salsa

This rendition of cranberry sauce is my favorite and is perfect on a leftover turkey sandwich. I tend to like the spicy things in life and will always opt for jalapeño when asked, so if you are similar in your flavor profile think about adding this to you Thanksgiving menu.


  • 1 120z bag of cranberries
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños seeded (depending on how spicy you want your salsa)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Juice of two large limes
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro (this is according to taste. I think I had about 1 tablespoon in mine because I don’t tend to love a lot of cilantro.)


  1. In a bowl mix your sugar and lime juice together until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Put the cranberries, jalapeños, red onion, and cilantro to a food processor and pulse until incorporated.
  3. Add the cranberry mixture to your lime and sugar mixture. Mix and let sit in fridge covered for 4 hours. The lime juice will soften the cranberries a bit.
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Jenni is a freelance writer and media assistant based in Portland, OR. A Well Crafted Party is a blog about all the little things to celebrate in life. Follow Jenni or A Well Crafted Party with BlogLovin, RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

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