From traditional cranberry sauce recipes to spicy cranberry relish, these flavorful condiments are guaranteed to be a hit at your holiday get-together.
There are just a few staple dishes that every Thanksgiving table needs, and no turkey or ham dish is complete without a side of sweet, tart cranberry sauce. Our Test Kitchen has been hard at work testing cranberry recipes, creating a cranberry dish to suit every palate. From classic recipes to anything but traditional, these cranberry dishes will add big, bold flavor to your holiday menu. Our classic chilled and molded Cranberry-Apricot Sauce is fruity and delicious, and our Cranberry-Jalapeno Salsa packs a spicy punch. With options ranging from zesty cranberry relishes, savory compotes, citrusy salads, and bold chutneys, you will surely find a way to incorporate the holiday berry into your Thanksgiving menu. If all else fails, you simply cannot go wrong with our Grandma Erma’s Spirited Cranberry Sauce – the secret ingredient is orange liqueur. Here’s a big bonus: most versions of this condiment keep for a while. Enjoy on Thanksgiving with your turkey and pork, and then use the leftovers for a sweet sandwich spread.
Recipe: Cranberry-Apricot Sauce
No Thanksgiving meal is complete without the sweet addition of cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is one of the Thanksgiving stalwarts—and the family around your table either loves it or leaves it. This recipe for Cranberry-Apricot Sauce adds a new flavor to this traditional favorite, adding in the fresh fruit taste of apricots. You can also use fresh or frozen cranberries for this dish. Sweetness lent by sugar and orange juice plus a jolt of tartness thanks to a touch of red wine vinegar, this chilled sauce is a mold-formed delight. So make this incredible side dish, and break the traditional mold with an innovative take on a Thanksgiving staple.
Recipe: Cranberry-Pecan Chutney
This twist on the Thanksgiving classic is a deliciously creative way to serve a cranberry sauce that guests will recognize—but also fawn over. The addition of pecans offers a delightful nuttiness that Southerners will appreciate, since pecans are a treasured staple on dinner tables (and dessert spreads) everywhere. This chutney is multipurpose. It goes with anything and everything. You can serve this versatile, zingy condiment with Chicken Liver Pâté as a toast topper and appetizer. You can also serve it with turkey as a relish later in the meal. There’s nothing nicer than a condiment that wears lots of hats, taking on new flavors as it is paired with different foods.
Recipe: Cranberry-Orange Relish
This relish will have you relishing its flavors once you taste its perfect combination of sweet and tart. Cranberry and orange pair together beautifully. Using only six ingredients, this relish brings flavor, color, and crunch to your Thanksgiving table—a dish packed with texture and flavor in just one dish. The flesh and juice of oranges and a shot of orange liqueur help balance the sharpness of the cranberries in this coarsely chopped condiment. If you prefer to make this recipe ahead, omit the pecans, and you may prepare it up to two days in advance. Add the pecans just before serving.
Spicy Cranberry-Orange Chutney
Recipe: Spicy Cranberry-Orange Chutney
We know that cranberry and orange go together like peas and carrots. Their flavors and textures blend so nicely, we’d like to add them to every dinner spread. This chutney recipe takes that pairing a step further and adds an irresistible spice to the cranberry orange duo we love so well. What is the origin of the spice? Red pepper jelly. It adds a bit of spicy flavor to this chutney, while chunky applesauce and orange zest gives the recipe texture and flavor. This spicy chutney pairs well with turkey or pork, so whip some up and watch the food disappear off the Thanksgiving table.
Grandma Erma's Spirited Cranberry Sauce
Grandma Erma knows how to throw a Thanksgiving soiree, and one of her most beloved dishes is her spirited cranberry sauce. It has just enough kick for any holiday festivity, and it is a great addition to any and all of your Thanksgiving meats and sides. You can keep this recipe, which was submitted by one of our readers, on hand for up to 3 weeks, so it is incredibly great for leftovers. You can serve it chilled or at room temperature. Check out the video linked below for a tutorial on how to make Grandma Erma’s Spirited Cranberry Sauce.
Cooking Video: Spirited Cranberry Sauce
Hot-and-Spicy Cranberry-Pear Chutney
A often overlooked but incredibly delicious berry and fruit pairing is the duo of cranberry and pear. Especially at Thanksgiving, these two ingredients add zing and sweet creaminess to any dish they are in. When paired together in the chutney, they amplify each other’s flavors and give you a tasty condiment to add to any and all of your Thanksgiving dishes. This versatile, quick, and easy chutney also makes a wonderful gift for family and friends. All you have to do is jar it and tie a beautiful ribbon around the neck of the jar, and you have a lovely, thoughtful gift. One recipe yields about 6 cups and will keep up to 1 month in the refrigerator.
Recipe: Cranberry Salsa
For a festive addition, nothing is more show stopping than a cranberry salsa. Your Thanksgiving table will thank you for whipping up this easy recipe, which adds a fruity kick to everything from turkey to treats. The ingredients list is easy enough to round up. Cilantro, jalapeño peppers, and navel oranges combine to add a both a spicy and citrusy kick to this recipe for Cranberry Salsa. Plus, it will look gorgeous on your Thanksgiving table. Deep red and plummy, there are few things more festive. It is just beautiful in a cut glass jar and transported by the spoonful to slices of turkey and toast points.
Spicy Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce
Recipe: Spicy Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce
This spicy condiment is a great way to use leftover cranberry sauce. Try it with Turkey Tostadas for a festive spin on Thanksgiving dinner. We love a traditional Thanksgiving staple with a kick, and this condiment puts a flavorful on the cranberry sauce that we all know and love. With a spicy infusion of chipotle spice, this cranberry sauce goes from familiar to fantastic. It will find its way to every corner of your Thanksgiving dinner plate because it pairs so well with so many delicious Thanksgiving stalwarts, elevating them to the level of oh so tasty holiday masterpieces.
Recipe: Clementine-Cranberry Salsa
Serve this brightly flavored condiment alongside turkey fajitas, grilled chicken, or pork. Like it hot? Keep the jalapeño seeds and enjoy the heat. The infusion of citrus is a wonderfully flavorful addition to this cranberry salsa. Clementine and cranberry, a unique pairing, blend beautifully. The tartness of cranberry and sweet citrus of clementine are a truly ingenious pairing. Together, they will create a salsa that you will want to spoon atop any and every dish, including the turkey and sides that will inevitably grace your plate this holiday. Add some creative flavor to the traditional dishes with this Clementine Cranberry Salsa.
Caramelized Onion-Cranberry Compote
If there’s one ingredient that is too often overlooked, it is the caramelized onion. So smooth, sweet, and flavorful, it can add sophisticated (and crowd pleasing) flavor to any meal. We’ve been known to pencil in the addition of caramelized onion to many a recipe card, and for good reason. It is an underappreciated player in the kitchen. It is especially nice in this Thanksgiving appetizer, which can also be used as a condiment to flavor other dishes. You can make this a day ahead and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce
Recipe: Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce
A mix of fresh and dried cranberries team up with Granny Smith apples for an irresistible holiday treat. Make a double batch, and send the extra home with guests. There’s nothing quite as autumnal as a spoonful of this delectable treat. It makes any dish that much more festive, adding both flavor and vibrant color to your Thanksgiving dinner plate. We like this one so much, though, that it has become a go-to whenever we want to jazz up a typical weeknight dinner. It takes no time at all to make, and it uses the two ingredients that are ubiquitous around this time of year—cranberries and apples.
Recipe: Cranberry Compote
Our grandmothers have perfected this dish, and thanks to this recipe, we’re catching up. In no time, we’ll be able to take responsibility for this dish off her hands so she can focus on the turkey. It’s all about Thanksgiving teamwork. Make this compote at your next holiday meal for a delicious and classic side dish that will please the whole table—aunts, cousins, and great-uncles alike. It is simply inspired when paired with a delicious, tender slice of turkey. All you need is a dollop of this mixture to add some flavor and fun to your Thanksgiving holiday table.
Recipe: Cranberry-Jalapeño Salsa
Show off the festive flavor of cranberries with this sweet-hot salsa. It’s an inspired combination that will have your guests fawning over the flavorful blend of juicy salsa. It’s a curious combination that just works. For ultimate convenience, you can make it ahead and freeze up to one month before your holiday gathering. With just a quick thaw, you’ll have this cranberry-jalapeño salsa on the table in no time, ready to be enjoyed on the tasty vehicles of crackers and chips. This salsa is a great addition to a holiday crudité appetizer platter, and its freshness pairs well with fresh, crisp veggies too.
Spicy Cranberry Salsa
Recipe: Spicy Cranberry Salsa
There’s something about the creamy tartness of cranberry that pairs so well with spice. This salsa is a versatile condiment—or appetizer—that can work wonders with leftovers. It’s great as an addition to your turkey platter on the Thanksgiving dinner table, but it really can pair with anything. This is our new go-to condiment to use on everything from tamales to turkey sandwiches. It won’t steal the show, but it will elevate everything it is paired with, bringing out spicy cranberry notes and showcasing the tender juiciness of your Thanksgiving Day bird. We couldn’t ask for more in a condiment.
Learn How To Make It: What to Do with Leftover Cranberries
Old-School Cranberry Salad
Recipe: Old-School Cranberry Salad
Cranberry salad is a family favorite at Thanksgiving, and it is a recipe that we love to have our readers share with us. Here is one of the most enjoyed recipes for this delight, given a twist with the addition of maraschino cherries. We will let the recipe's author explain: "My cranberry salad has become a staple at our Thanksgiving table because of its beautiful color, taste, and texture. Everyone seems to love this dish. I started adding the maraschino cherries to temper the tartness of the cranberries. The other fruits were added to satisfy family members' tastes. This recipe has a lot of flexibility, and that's why I love it so much." —SL reader Shawn Jackson, Fishers, IN.
New-School Cranberry Salad
Recipe: New-School Cranberry Salad
Sometimes the best way to think about classic foods is to think about new ways to interpret them for the present day. With a focus on local ingredients and fresh-from-the-farm produce, fruits, and vegetables, we like to think about how we can take what we love from our family traditions and make them even better. We were so inspired by Old-School Cranberry Salad that we created this new version using fresh oranges and pineapple in place of canned and subbing dried cherries for maraschinos. This recipe also includes Bartlett pears, which we know you will love. So enjoy a New School Cranberry Salad on your Thanksgiving table this year.
Texas Cranberry Chutney
Recipe: Texas Cranberry Chutney
This is a condiment that the Lone Star State can be proud of. A sweet-tangy accompaniment to a variety of grilled meats, this delicious Texas Cranberry Chutney also makes a mouthwatering appetizer when served over cream cheese or warm Brie. It is a wonderful blend that brings out the holiday inspired and seasonally beloved flavors of cranberry. It’s not overwhelming. Instead, it becomes a lovely complement to meats and veggies. Don’t be surprised when scoops of chutney find their way across the tasty landscape of your plate. (They’ll make it even tastier.) Be sure to send a jar home with your guests.
Cranberry Clementine Relish
Recipe: Cranberry Clementine Relish
If there’s one condiment that Southerners know how to perfect, it’s relish. We relish our time in the kitchen, and if that time results in a new, flavorful relish to brighten up our Thanksgiving dishes, it’s even better. The cranberries in this recipe are left raw, and they are shredded for extra crunch and tartness. This is a gourmet addition to an already creative dish. You won’t believe what fantastic flavor results from the ingredients in this wonderful recipe. Be sure to use clementines that, unlike tangerines, are seedless. This will ensure less work and a smooth finish that is totally absent of pesky seeds.
Recipe: Cranberry Chutney
This chutney recipe is loaded with spices like ginger, lime, and jalapeño pepper, ensuring that it is packed with flavors. The result is utterly unique. We can assure you that you’ve never tasted the likes of this chutney. It is such a stunner, but it’s not polarizing, so you will be able to make it a go-to condiment and addition to your Turkey spread. It’s at home on any Thanksgiving table, plus it adds a bit of zip and zing to a traditional meal. The trio of ginger, lime, and jalapeño are a genius combination, adding spice, heat, and a heady citrus pop. Careful. It’s addictive.