Savory Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe (Fresh And Delicious)

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Remember the classic pairing of tart cranberries and sweet apples? Try this Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe . Studies show that blending these two fruits is delightful and offers a great way to enhance your dishes. Typically, this sauce can elevate your main courses or desserts. If you’re deciding on a fresh twist for your meal, this may help. Ensure your ingredients are fresh for optimal flavor. Enjoy the key to a memorable dish!

Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads in your culinary journey, searching for a tangibly tart sauce and a satisfyingly sweet sauce? On a recent visit to a renowned Middle-Eastern eatery, I was introduced to a dish that brilliantly combined these two distinct flavors: Cranberry Apple Sauce.

Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe

My initial skepticism was soon replaced with pure astonishment. Typically, I have relished sauces during my travels across Europe, where each dish seemed like a voyage. But this was different. 

A close friend, well-acquainted with my palate, had once recommended this sauce after her kids couldn’t get enough of it. 

And now, I understand why. If you’re choosing a fresh, zesty companion for your meals steeped in rich cultural influences, look no further. 

Find a way to introduce this Cranberry Apple Sauce to your table, and it may just become a regular feature.

What Is Cranberry Apple Sauce? 

Cranberry Apple Sauce is a delightful blend of tart cranberries and sweet apples, typically simmered until they break into a smooth or slightly chunky sauce

This combination offers a harmonious balance of flavors, making it a popular accompaniment for various dishes. 

While it’s a staple during holiday feasts, its versatility ensures your dishes can shine any time of the year. 

Whether you serve it alongside roasted meats or use it as a filling for pastries, its vibrant color and taste can elevate your culinary experience. If you’re deciding on a new sauce, this may help invigorate your menu.

History Of Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe

The exact origins of Cranberry Apple Sauce are somewhat elusive. Still, its roots can be traced back to indigenous tribes of North America who valued cranberries for their nutritional properties and versatility. 

As European settlers arrived, they were introduced to these native berries. Apples, brought by these settlers, became a staple in the New World. 

Over time, blending cranberries and apples into a sauce was a natural evolution, given their complementary flavors. 

While it’s challenging to pinpoint a single inventor, the sauce became a communal creation, born from the mingling of native and settler culinary traditions.

Interesting Facts About Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe

Cranberry apple sauce is a delightful twist on traditional cranberry sauce, combining the tartness of cranberries with the sweet, crispness of apples. Interesting fact: It’s a versatile accompaniment for not only turkey but also desserts and breakfast items.

Nutritional Powerhouse

Cranberry Apple Sauce is rich in vitamins, particularly Vitamin C and antioxidants, essential for immune health.


The natural acidity and sugar content are preservatives, allowing the sauce to last longer than other fruit-based sauces.

Global Influence

While its roots are North American, variations of this sauce have found their way into European and Middle-Eastern cuisines, showcasing its universal appeal.

Versatile Use

Beyond being a side dish, it’s used in desserts, marinades, and cocktails.

Cranberry Color

The deep red hue of the sauce comes from compounds called anthocyanins, which have potential health benefits.

Historic Significance

Native Americans used cranberries for medicinal purposes, and the sauce may have been a way to ensure year-round consumption.

Kids’ Favorite

Many parents find a way to incorporate it into meals, given its sweet-tart flavor that typically appeals to young palates.

Jar and Ingredients

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

While rooted in North American traditions, Cranberry Apple Sauce has been adapted in various ways across the globe. 

In Europe, particularly in Scandinavia, the sauce may be spiced with cinnamon or cardamom, reflecting local culinary preferences. 

Middle-Eastern versions sometimes incorporate pomegranate molasses or honey, offering a deeper sweetness and tang. In some parts of Asia, the sauce can be found with a hint of ginger or local citrus zests. 

Latin American adaptations might include a touch of chili for an unexpected kick. These regional adaptations underscore the sauce’s versatility, ensuring your palate can experience a world of flavors in just one spoonful.

What Will Make You Love This Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe?

The allure of Cranberry Apple Sauce lies in its harmonious blend of flavors. Its vibrant color, a rich hue of red, immediately captivates the eye, hinting at the taste adventure to come. 

The tartness of the cranberries melds seamlessly with the sweet and mellow apples, creating a taste symphony in every bite. 

This sauce is not just a burst of flavor but also a nutritional treasure packed with vitamins and antioxidants. 

Its versatility is another charm. Whether pairing it with roasted meats or drizzling it over desserts, it consistently enhances the dish. Remember, a culinary journey isn’t always about complex recipes. 

Bowl and Spoon

Ingredients List

Cranberries12 ounces
Unsweetened apple juice concentrate6 ounces

Ingredient Tips 

  • Cranberries: Opt for fresh, firm cranberries. If they’re in season, it’s typically the best choice. However, frozen cranberries can also work well; just remember to thaw them before use.
  • Apple Juice Concentrate: Choose a high-quality, unsweetened version to control the sweetness of your sauce. It’s a key to maintaining the balance between tart and sweet.
  • Storage: Store cranberries in the refrigerator to maintain their freshness. Before using, rinse them under cold water and eliminate any soft or discolored ones.
  • Variety: Different apple concentrates can bring subtle flavor nuances. Try a tart apple variant for a zestier sauce if you’re deciding between varieties.
  • Sweetness: If you find the sauce too tart, you can adjust by adding a bit more apple juice concentrate.
  • Texture: You can strain the mixture after cooking for a smoother sauce. If you prefer chunkier, simply mash and serve.

What Are The Variations Of Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe? 

  • Spiced-Up: Incorporate spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or star anise for a warm, aromatic twist.
  • Citrusy Zest: Add orange or lemon zest to refresh the citrus undertone.
  • Herbal Touch: Fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme can offer the sauce a unique, savory spin.
  • Tropical Twist: Blend in pineapple or mango chunks for a tropical flair.
  • Berry Delight: Mix in other berries like blueberries or raspberries for added depth of flavor.
  • Sweeteners: Swap apple juice concentrate with maple syrup, honey, or pomegranate molasses for varied sweetness profiles.
  • Nutty Note: Add toasted walnuts or pecans and a nutty dimension for crunch.

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • Combine 12 ounces of cranberries and 6 ounces of unsweetened apple juice concentrate in a medium-sized saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  • Continue cooking until the cranberries have burst and the mixture thickens, typically taking about 15-20 minutes.
  • Taste the sauce. If it’s not sweet enough for your preference, add white sugar, one tablespoon at a time, stirring well after each addition to ensure it’s fully dissolved. Be cautious to avoid over-sweetening.
  • Once cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer the sauce to a container and place in the refrigerator. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Ferment Method (Optional)

  • While traditional Cranberry Apple Sauce isn’t typically fermented, you can ferment it for a tangy twist if you’re adventurous. 
  • After cooling the sauce to room temperature, transfer it to a sterilized jar, leaving an inch of headspace.
  • Ensure your sauce is below the liquid level to avoid mold. Seal the jar with a loose-fitting lid or cloth and let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 days. 
  • Check daily for bubbles indicating fermentation. Once done, refrigerate and enjoy within a week.

In every spoonful of Cranberry Apple Sauce, you’ll taste the perfect balance of fall flavors, a warm hug for your palate.

Scaling The Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe 

Scaling a recipe ensures you get the right quantity for your needs. For the Cranberry Apple Sauce:


  • Cranberries: 24 ounces
  • Unsweetened apple juice concentrate: 12 ounces
  • If you’re deciding to serve a larger crowd or wish to store extra, this may help.


  • Cranberries: 6 ounces
  • Unsweetened apple juice concentrate: 3 ounces
  • This is a great way to make a smaller batch for fewer servings.
Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

  • Marinade: It can serve as a unique marinade for meats, especially poultry. The acidic nature of cranberries helps tenderize the meat, while the sweet apple flavor complements it.
  • Dipping Sauce: This sauce pairs well with appetizers, especially fried items or cheese platters. Its sweet-tart profile offers a delightful contrast.
  • Dressing for Salads: This sauce can transform into a vibrant dressing mixed with olive oil, vinegar, and perhaps a sprinkle of salt. It’s perfect for fall salads with nuts, goat cheese, and roasted vegetables.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe?

Roasted Meats

It’s traditionally served with roasted turkey or chicken, providing a fruity contrast to the savory flavors.

Pork Dishes

Pork chops or roasted pork loin pair beautifully with this sauce, as pork often benefits from a fruit accompaniment.

Cheese Platters

Soft cheeses, like brie or camembert, taste divine with a dollop of this sauce.

Pancakes & Waffles

Drizzle it on top for a morning treat.

Sandwich Spreads

Add it to turkey or chicken sandwiches for moisture and flavor.


Serve alongside cheesecake or vanilla ice cream.

Grilled Vegetables

It provides a refreshing contrast to smoky, grilled flavors.

Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe?

  • Thanksgiving Turkey: Often a staple during the U.S. Thanksgiving feast, it complements the roasted flavors of the turkey.
  • Roast Chicken: Another poultry dish that benefits from the sweet-tart profile of the sauce.
  • Pork Loin Roast: Pork and fruit-based sauces are a time-tested favorite.
  • Brie en Croute: Warm baked brie wrapped in puff pastry, often served with a side of the sauce.
  • Holiday Ham: The sauce offers a contrasting taste to the saltiness of the ham.
  • Tofurkey: For vegetarian celebrations, this sauce adds zest and depth.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe Offers?

  • Sweetness: The apple juice concentrate provides a natural sweetness, balancing the overall taste.
  • Tartness: Cranberries bring a distinct tartness, a hallmark of this sauce.
  • Fruity: Cranberries and apples offer a fresh, fruity undertone.
  • Richness: When cooked down, the sauce acquires a deep, rich flavor profile reminiscent of preserves.
  • Brightness: The acidity of the cranberries lends a bright, zesty note.
  • Smoothness: The texture, especially when thoroughly cooked, becomes smooth and velvety, enhancing the mouthfeel.
Jar and Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

  • Refrigeration: After cooking, allow the sauce to cool, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate. It typically remains fresh for up to 2 weeks.
  • Freezing: For extended storage, freeze the sauce in portioned containers or freezer bags. It can last up to 12 months in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator before use.
  • Canning: If you’re proficient, this sauce can be canned using the water bath method. This ensures a shelf life of up to a year when stored in a cool, dark place.

What Are The Substitutes For Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe?

  • Plain Cranberry Sauce: Offers a tartness similar to the combined version, though without the apple’s sweetness.
  • Applesauce: Provides the sweet apple flavor but lacks the tart cranberry kick.
  • Cranberry Jelly: A smoother, jellied version of cranberry sauce that’s sweetened and set.
  • Mixed Berry Compote: Combining raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries can mimic the sweet-tart balance.
  • Pomegranate Molasses: Offers a deep, tangy flavor that can be a unique alternative.
  • Peach or Apricot Preserves: For a sweeter alternative with a fruity profile.
Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

  • Too Thin: Continue cooking on low-medium heat, allowing the excess moisture to evaporate. This typically thickens the sauce. Another option is to mash the cranberries more, releasing their natural pectin, which aids in thickening.
  • Too Thick: Add a little water or more unsweetened apple juice concentrate. Stir well and heat briefly to integrate and achieve the desired consistency.
  • Smoother Texture: Use a blender or immersion blender to puree the sauce. Alternatively, pass it through a sieve or mesh strainer.
  • Chunkier Texture: Mash the cranberries and apples less during cooking or add some whole cranberries towards the end.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

Cranberry Apple Sauce can be served both cold or warm, depending on the dish and personal preference:

  • Cold: It’s often chilled and served cold as a refreshing contrast to hot dishes, especially during festive meals like Thanksgiving. The cool, fruity tang is invigorating.
  • Warm: Serving it warm is a great way to release the aromatic flavors, especially comforting during colder seasons. It pairs well with warm dishes like roasted meats or pancakes.
Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values

This Cranberry Apple Sauce is rich in vitamin C and fiber, offering a delightful blend of natural sugars and antioxidants.

What Are The Total Calories In Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe?

The total calories in Cranberry Apple Sauce largely depend on the specific ingredients and any added sweeteners. 

Typically, 12 ounces of cranberries have about 123 calories, and 6 ounces of unsweetened apple juice concentrate can range between 330 to 390 calories. 

Thus, the entire batch might contain approximately 453 to 513 calories. However, it’s crucial to consult the specific nutrition labels of your ingredients or conduct a precise nutritional analysis for a more accurate count.

Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe

Cranberry apple sauce with a harmonious dance of tart and sweet, creating a symphony on your taste buds.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe

  • Gluten-Free: The sauce is typically gluten-free, making it suitable for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities.
  • Vegan & Vegetarian: No animal products are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
  • No Added Sugars: If prepared without added sugar, it suits those watching their sugar intake.
  • Low Sodium: No added salts make it a good choice for low-sodium diets.
  • Nut-Free: Free from tree nuts and peanuts.
  • Dairy-Free: Contains no milk or milk products.
  • Allergens: Check apple juice concentrate for any potential allergens.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Over Sweetening: It’s tempting to add too much sugar or sweeteners. Always start with a minimal amount and adjust according to taste, especially since apple juice concentrate already adds sweetness.
  • Overcooking: Cooking the cranberries for too long can diminish their vibrant color and alter the fresh taste of the sauce. Cranberries only need to be cooked until they burst.
  • Not Adjusting for Tartness: Cranberries can vary in tartness. Taste as you go and adjust the sweetness as needed.
  • Ignoring Consistency: Some might prefer a chunkier sauce, while others want smoother. Pay attention to your desired texture.
  • Skipping the Straining: If you’re aiming for a super-smooth sauce, ensure you strain out the skins for the best texture.
  • Using Low-Quality Ingredients: Fresh, ripe cranberries and good-quality apple juice concentrate can significantly affect the final flavor.
  • Not Letting it Rest: Like many sauces, Cranberry Apple Sauce often tastes better after it has had some time to sit and let the flavors meld together.
  • Storing Improperly: Ensure your sauce is cooled before refrigerating. Using a clean, airtight container will extend its shelf life.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

  • Smoothie Additive: Blend with yogurt, banana, and honey.
  • Pancake/Waffle Topping: A fruity alternative to traditional syrups.
  • Stir into Oatmeal: For a tart and sweet breakfast kick.
  • Sandwich Spread: Combine with cream cheese or use in turkey sandwiches.
  • Baking Ingredient: Mix into muffin or bread batter for moistness and flavor.
  • Dessert Topping: Drizzle over ice cream or cheesecake.
  • Mix with Yogurt: For a quick snack or breakfast.
  • Meat Glaze: Brush over chicken or pork before roasting.
  • Salad Dressing: Blend with olive oil, vinegar, and some herbs.
  • Mix in Cocktails: Adds a fruity twist to beverages.
Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Saucepan: Medium-sized to cook the cranberries and apples together.
  • Wooden Spoon: Useful for stirring and mashing the fruits while they cook.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: Removing the cranberry skins helps achieve a smoother consistency.
  • Immersion Blender or Regular Blender: For those who prefer a smooth sauce.
  • Citrus Zester: If you wish to add a hint of citrus zest for extra flavor.
  • Masher: Handy for achieving a chunkier texture.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate ingredient quantities.
  • Airtight Containers: For storing any leftover sauce.
  • Canning Equipment: If you decide to preserve larger batches.
  • Thermometer: Ensures the right temperature of canning.

Frequently Asked Questions  

Can I Use Fresh Apple Juice Instead Of Apple Juice Concentrate?

Yes, you can use fresh apple juice. However, the concentrate provides a stronger apple flavor and added sweetness. You may need to adjust the sweetness level to your liking if using fresh juice.

How Long Can I Store The Cranberry Apple Sauce In The Refrigerator?

When stored in an airtight container, the sauce typically lasts up to a week in the refrigerator. Ensure it’s kept cold and check for signs of spoilage before consuming.

Can I Freeze The Sauce For Longer Storage?

Absolutely! Freeze the sauce in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. It can last for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.

Is It Possible To Add Other Spices Or Flavors To The Sauce?

Certainly, many people enjoy adding a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or even orange zest for extra flavor. Feel free to experiment and personalize the recipe.

Can I Use This Sauce In Baking Or Other Recipes?

Yes, Cranberry Apple Sauce can be a great addition to muffins, bread, or other baked goods. It also works as a filling for pastries or a mix-in for yogurt and smoothies.

Perfect Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe With Saucy Delights

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Savor a blend of tart cranberries and sweet apples in this Cranberry Apple Sauce, perfect as a refreshing side or a zesty topping.


  • 12 ounces 12 Cranberries

  • 6 ounces 6 Unsweetened apple juice concentrate

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation
    Wash the cranberries thoroughly under running water. Remove any stems or bad berries.
    Measure out 6 ounces of unsweetened apple juice concentrate.
  • Cooking
    In the saucepan, combine the cranberries and apple juice concentrate.
    Place the saucepan over medium heat.
    As the mixture heats, stir occasionally using the wooden spoon to prevent any sticking to the bottom of the pan.
    Continue to cook until the cranberries burst, which typically takes 10-15 minutes.
    Optional: For added depth of flavor, add some citrus zest using the citrus zester.
  • Adjusting Texture
    For a chunkier sauce: Use the masher to mash the cranberries to your desired consistency.
    For a smoother sauce: Either use an immersion blender directly in the pot or transfer the mixture to a regular blender. Blend until smooth.
    Optional: If you’ve blended the sauce and want an even silkier texture, pass it through the fine mesh strainer to remove any leftover cranberry skins.
  • Taste And Adjust
    Give the sauce a taste. If it’s not sweet enough for your liking, add some white sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired sweetness is achieved.
  • Cooling And Storing
    Remove the sauce from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
    Transfer the sauce to an airtight container.
    Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken further.
  • Serving
    The Cranberry Apple Sauce can be served cold or slightly warmed, based on your preference.

Recipe Video


  • Fresh cranberries yield the best flavor but frozen can also be used.
  • Adjust the sweetness level based on the tartness of cranberries and personal preference.
  • If using frozen cranberries, extend the cooking time slightly.
  • Avoid overcooking; prolonged heating can diminish the vibrant color and fresh taste.
  • Consider adding a pinch of salt or lemon zest for an extra zing.

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Welcome, fellow flavor enthusiasts to the world of Sauce Chick, where every flavor tells a tale of creativity, passion, and the harmonious fusion of spices and sauces.

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