Cranberry

Our 15 Best Cranberry Recipes—Sauces, Pies & So Much More

This juicy, puckery holiday staple can hold its own in all kinds of dishes, savory and sweet.

November 20, 2019
Photo by James Ransom

Look in any produce aisle of a grocery store this time of year, and you'll see bags upon bags—mountains, even!—of bright red cranberries. Millions of pounds of the fruit, which is a member of the evergreen family, are harvested between the months of September and November, through a fascinating wet harvesting technique (remember those old Ocean Spray commercials?).

While they're related to lingonberries, blueberries, and bilberries—cranberries are, as we all know, not quite like their juicy, berry cousins; they're intensely tart and not too sugary, allowing for them to take on all kinds of flavors.

To celebrate this punchy, puckery fruit, we're giving you our 13 best cranberry recipes, savory and sweet. You'll find pies, sauces, salads, and a whole lot more.

1. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon & Balsamic-Cranberry Glaze

What's better than two Thanksgiving staples, Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce? How about...the two of them together. Bacon adds a savory, smoky note to this star side dish (though any side dish can become a main if you try hard and believe in yourself).

2. Dutch Baby With Cranberry Orange Compote

A golden-brown, puffy pancake with citrusy cranberry compote is pretty much what everyone needs for dinner right now. Since there's no sugar in the batter, and only a bit in the compote (1/3 cup for a whole bag of berries!), this dish can eat a couple ways—just dust the dish with powdered sugar, or top it with a crispy fried egg, depending on your mood.

3. Roasted Cranberry Sauce With Orange

Roasting cranberries brings out their sweetness and jamminess, and adding minced shallots, celery, and rosemary helps balance that with some earthy savoriness. Try this cranberry sauce on roasted sweet potatoes, on ricotta toasts, or blended up into a balsamic vinaigrette—you can't go wrong.

4. Cranberry, Onion, And Ginger Chutney

Candied ginger and raisins help mellow out the sharp tang of cranberries in this full-of-flavor chutney, and mustard seeds and ground turmeric are a great, herbaceous complement to the sugary notes. This chutney's absolutely wonderful as the star of a cheese plate.

5. Cranberry, Tangerine, And Crystallized Ginger Relish

Name a more iconic trio than cranberry, orange, and ginger. Can't think of one? That's what I thought. If you want something exceedingly fresh, bright, and colorful for your Thanksgiving, look no further than this relish—all the ingredients are listed in the recipe name, basically! You may even find yourself making a double batch, like recipe author Lizthechef. P.S. The relish freezes beautifully, so you can enjoy cranberry sauce year round.

6. Pear, Brandy & Walnut Cranberry Sauce

Here, silky shredded pear, meaty walnuts, and cranberries cook down with brown sugar, cinnamon, fruity black peppercorns, and as much brandy as you like. The result is divine, especially with creamy burrata or ricotta.

7. Mama's Cranberry Salad

This cranberry salad is one of the most popular cranberry recipes on Food52, and for good reason—part-condiment, part-dessert, part-fruit salad, it's an enigma in the very best way. It's also a staple on community member kayb's holiday table, present year after year after year.

8. Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney

Sticky dried figs and hazelnuts join the cranberry party in this zippy, not-too-sweet delight of a chutney. Fresh thyme and red pepper flakes help temper the sweetness and give it some personality.

9. Cranberry Newton Bars

These bars are like your favorite childhood standby, but made much simpler. A zesty cranberry filling is sandwiched with crumbly, buttery newton-style dough, only to be cut into squares and enjoyed at snack time (or any time).

10. Cranberry Spelt Scones

Because cranberries aren't just for Thanksgiving dinner, try them for the next day's breakfast. These nutty, spelt-packed scones are perfect with a dollop of yogurt on the side.

11. Cranberry Sauce Pie

A healthy splash of Cointreau adds a citrusy zing to cranberry sauce, which is the filling for this pie. A sturdy, crumbly hot water crust helps the whole thing keep its structural integrity as it bakes and gets sliced up to serve.

12. Cranberry Pithivier

This pithivier—a crispy, flaky alternative to traditional pie, made with puff pastry—is filled with all the good stuff: fresh cranberries, bourbon, orange, and a touch of vanilla. According to recipe developer Erin McDowell, it's "an easy alternative for folks who don’t want to mess with pie dough."

13. Cranberry Cookie Bars

Leftover cranberry sauce gets put to brilliant use in this buttery, nutty cookie bar setup. You can also make a lot of these at once, giving your Thanksgiving overnight guests a great treat the next day.

14. Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream

This rich, chocolatey cake that's pretty in pink is also pretty simple. One of our co-founders, Merrill, started with our other co-founder, Amanda's chocolate dump-it cake; she then ingeniously cloaked it with a tangy cranberry buttercream.

15. Negroni Sbagliato Punch

This party punch takes some important cues from the traditional gin drink, but adds a whole heap of holiday flair (hello, showstopping ice ring!). It's perfect for any wintertime celebration.

What are your favorite cranberry recipes? Let us know in the comments.
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Brinda is the Managing Editor at Food52, where she also edits all of Food52's cookbooks and covers the latest and greatest books on the site (drop her a line with recs!). She likes chewy Neapolitan pizza, stinky cheese of all sorts, and tahini-flavored anything. Brinda lives in Brooklyn with 18 plants. Find her at @brindayesterday on Twitter and Instagram.

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