Sweet Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce Recipe For Your Tonight’s Feast

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

My best advice for those seeking a delightful addition to their meals is to try this Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce recipe. Its vibrant blend of tangy cranberries and sweet pomegranates enhances any dish. It elevates the taste and adds a pop of color to your plate. Don’t forget, it is better to serve it chilled for the best experience. If you’re not sure what to pair it with, you don’t have to worry – this sauce is versatile and complements a variety of dishes.

In my recent travels to Middle-Eastern and European countries, I’ve noticed a growing love for vibrant, tangy sauces that complement their traditional dishes.

Yet, one sauce stood out not just abroad but during a visit to a renowned restaurant in Paris and a dinner at a friend’s house in Istanbul: the Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce Recipe

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

Many don’t realize the dilemma of finding a sauce that marries well with savory and sweet dishes. I felt the same until I stumbled upon this versatile gem.

My best advice? When in doubt about what to bring to a friend’s dinner or serve to eager kids requesting something new, go for the Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce. 

This sauce offers a delightful blend that’s great for various palates. I’d recommend it as a staple in every kitchen throughout my culinary journeys.

What Is Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce? 

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce is a delightful blend of cranberries and pomegranates, resulting in a rich, tangy condiment.

It’s a versatile sauce that pairs well with various dishes, from roasted meats to desserts. Its vibrant red hue makes it a popular choice for festive occasions. 

This sauce is often homemade and great for adding a touch of sweetness and zest to your meals, though it’s also available in stores.

When in doubt about a complementary sauce, considering Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce is a good idea, as it offers a balance of tartness and sweetness that many find appealing.

History Of Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce 

The precise origins of Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce remain a bit elusive. While cranberries have a rich history in North America, especially among Native American tribes who used them for food and medicine, pomegranates trace their roots back to ancient Persia. 

Combining these two fruits in a sauce likely emerged as global trade and culinary experimentation evolved. It’s hard to pinpoint a single inventor.

Yet, this fusion can be attributed to creative chefs and home cooks seeking to merge the tartness of cranberries with the sweet depth of pomegranates. 

Interesting Facts About Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

  • Cranberries aren’t naturally sweet. The addition of pomegranate not only enhances flavor but also adds natural sweetness.
  • Both cranberries and pomegranates are known for their high antioxidant content, making the sauce a health-conscious choice.
  • The sauce can be great for adding a festive touch due to its rich, vibrant hue, often associated with holidays.
  • The versatility of Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce allows it to be used in both savory and dessert dishes.
  • When in doubt about its shelf life, remember that it can be frozen and used for up to a year.
  • While popular in North America, variations of this sauce are also finding their way into Middle Eastern and European cuisines.
  • It is better to use fresh fruits for the sauce, but in a pinch, frozen or dried versions can also work.
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce? 

  • In the Middle East, it’s not uncommon to find it infused with aromatic spices like cardamom or rose water, aligning with their love for rich flavors.
  • European adaptations, especially in the Mediterranean, might incorporate local herbs, such as basil or mint, for a refreshing twist.
  • In some Asian kitchens, the sauce might be paired with zesty ingredients like ginger or lemongrass, offering a delightful contrast.
  • Latin American versions might hint at chili or lime, aligning with their penchant for tangy, spicy notes.
  • It might be mixed with local fruits or honey for added depth in African cuisines.

What Will Make You Love This Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce?

  • Flavor Profile: Its harmonious blend of tart cranberries and sweet pomegranates creates a unique taste sensation.
  • Versatility: Great for both savory and sweet dishes, it effortlessly enhances a variety of meals.
  • Health Benefits: Both main ingredients are powerhouses of antioxidants, promoting good health.
  • Vibrant Hue: The rich red color adds an aesthetic touch to your dishes, making them more appealing.
  • Texture: It balances smooth and chunky, pleasing different palate preferences.
  • Homemade Goodness: When in doubt about additives in store-bought sauces, remember that making it at home ensures pure, fresh ingredients.
  • Global Appeal: Its adaptability to regional flavors means you can tweak it to suit your taste.
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

Ingredients List

Large tart apples2
Pomegranates (peeled and seeds separated)2
Pomegranate juice1 bottle (16 fl oz)
White sugar2 cups
Large oranges2
Fresh cranberries (rinsed and sorted)2 bags (12 ounce each)
Pecans (chopped)1 cup

Ingredient Tips 

  • Apples: Opt for firm apples like Granny Smith; they retain their shape better during cooking.
  • Pomegranates: Use a water bowl to separate seeds; submerged seeds sink while the white membrane floats.
  • Pomegranate Juice: If you’re health-conscious, choose a juice without added sugar.
  • White Sugar: You can adjust the quantity based on your desired sweetness level.
  • Oranges: Zest the oranges before juicing them for added flavor.
  • Cranberries: Fresh is best, yet frozen cranberries can also work. If you’re not sure, check for firmness and vibrant color.
  • Pecans: Toast them lightly before adding them to enhance their flavor and crunch.

What Are The Variations Of Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce Recipe?

  • Spiced Version: Infuse the sauce with cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise for a warm, aromatic touch.
  • Herbal Twist: Incorporate fresh herbs like rosemary or mint for a refreshing aftertaste.
  • Tropical Fusion: Add pineapple or mango chunks for a tropical flavor burst.
  • Zesty Vibe: Introduce grated ginger or lemon zest to bring a zesty kick to the sauce.
  • Low-Sugar: Replace white sugar with honey, agave, or a sugar substitute for a healthier version.
  • Boozy Upgrade: Add a splash of red wine or orange liqueur, enhancing depth and richness.
  • Nut-Free: If you’re unsure about nut allergies, omit the pecans or replace them with seeds like sunflower or pumpkin.
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

Recipe Directions

  • Combine apple peelings, cores, pomegranate seeds, 1/2 cup juice, and 1/2 cup sugar in a pan; boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Mix chopped apples, orange zest, chopped oranges, cranberries, remaining juice, and sugar in a large pan; boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Strain the first mixture into the larger pan, pressing solids through a sieve.
  • Add nuts if preferred and cook for 10 more minutes.
  • Serve as desired.

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling a recipe involves adjusting the quantity of ingredients proportionally. For the Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce:

Doubling the Recipe

  • Use 4 large tart apples.
  • 4 pomegranates.
  • 2 bottles (32 fl oz) pomegranate juice.
  • 4 cups white sugar.
  • 4 large oranges.
  • 4 bags (24 ounces each) fresh cranberries.
  • 2 cups chopped pecans.

Halving the Recipe

  • Use 1 large tart apple.
  • 1 pomegranate.
  • 1/2 bottle (8 fl oz) pomegranate juice.
  • 1 cup white sugar.
  • 1 large orange.
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries.
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

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

  • Marinade: Its tangy and sweet profile can tenderize and flavor meats, especially poultry and pork. If you’re unsure about its concentration, dilute it with olive oil or water.
  • Dipping Sauce: Great for appetizers like spring rolls, grilled meats, or cheese platters. When in doubt, adjust its consistency by reducing it to thicken or adding juice to thin.
  • Dressing for Salads: Mix the sauce with olive oil, a splash of vinegar, and some seasonings. It pairs well with leafy greens, roasted veggies, or fruit salads. Its vibrant color and taste can elevate any salad.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce? 

  • Roasted Meats: Particularly turkey, chicken, and pork, where the sauce’s acidity balances the meat’s richness.
  • Cheese Boards: A dollop complements brie, camembert, or sharp cheddar beautifully.
  • Sandwiches & Wraps: Spread it as a condiment for an added burst of flavor.
  • Desserts: Pairs well with cheesecakes, vanilla ice cream, or pastries.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Its tart profile can enhance veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, or eggplant.
  • Breakfast: A topping for pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal.
  • Seafood: Try it with grilled salmon or shrimp.
  • Rice Dishes: Acts as a tangy side for pilafs or stuffings.
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce?

  • Thanksgiving Turkey: A traditional centerpiece where the sauce complements the roasted bird.
  • Christmas Ham: The tangy-sweet sauce balances the salty richness of the ham.
  • Baked Brie: Drizzled atop or spread underneath adds a delightful contrast to the creamy cheese.
  • Stuffings: Some variations include the sauce for a fruity touch.
  • Holiday Pies: Used as a filling or drizzle for an added tartness.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Especially root vegetables during autumn feasts.
  • Cheesecakes: As a topping or swirled in for a festive touch.

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

  • Tartness: Predominantly from cranberries, offering a mouth-puckering sensation.
  • Sweetness: Pomegranates lend a naturally sweet undertone, balanced further by added sugar.
  • Fruity: Both cranberries and pomegranates introduce a vibrant, juicy fruitiness.
  • Zesty: It can have a mild zesty kick if enhanced with citrus.
  • Nutty: When pecans or other nuts are added, they bring a subtle, earthy, nutty profile.
  • Complexity: The interplay of sweetness and sourness creates a layered taste.
  • Brightness: The sauce’s acidity provides a fresh, bright note that enlivens dishes.
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

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

  • Refrigeration: In an airtight container, the sauce can last 10-14 days in the fridge.
  • Freezing: Folder the sauce in airtight bags or containers for extended storage. It retains its quality for up to 12 months.
  • Canning: Properly canned in sterilized jars and sealed, it can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
  • Shelf Life: Once opened or if refrigerated, consume within 7-10 days for optimal freshness.
  • Signs of Spoilage: If it smells off, changes color or molds appear, discard it.
  • Classic Cranberry Sauce: A traditional choice, often sweetened with sugar or orange juice.
  • Cherry Sauce: A sweet and tart alternative, using fresh or frozen cherries.
  • Blueberry Compote: Offers a delightful sweetness, great for both savory and dessert dishes.
  • Raspberry Coulis: A tangy and smooth sauce often used for desserts.
  • Apple Chutney: With a blend of sweet and savory flavors, it pairs well with meats.
  • Red Wine Reduction: Great for roasted meats, adding a rich depth.
  • Blackberry Jam: Thinned with a bit of water or juice, it can mimic the fruity tartness.
  • Fig Preserves: A sweeter option, it complements cheese and roasted dishes.

What Are The Substitutes For Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce?

If you’re looking for substitutes for cranberry pomegranate sauce, consider these options:

  • Cranberry Sauce: You can simply use regular cranberry sauce as a substitute, although it won’t have the pomegranate flavor.
  • Pomegranate Molasses: Mix pomegranate molasses with regular cranberry sauce for a quick alternative. This will provide the pomegranate flavor.
  • Pomegranate Juice: Reduce pomegranate juice on the stove until it thickens to a sauce-like consistency, then use it in place of the cranberry pomegranate sauce.
  • Cherry Sauce: A cherry sauce can provide a similar sweet-tart flavor profile, although it won’t be an exact match.
  • Orange-Cranberry Sauce: If the pomegranate aspect is not essential, orange-cranberry sauce is a tasty substitute with a different fruity twist.
  • Homemade Fruit Compote: Make your own fruit compote using a combination of fruits like berries, cherries, and pomegranate seeds.
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

  • Thicken: Simmer the sauce on low heat, allowing the moisture to evaporate. Over time, it’ll become denser.
  • Cornstarch Slurry: Mix a teaspoon of cornstarch with cold water, then stir it into the sauce and heat until thickened.
  • Reduce Sugar: Sugar adds liquid consistency; using less can produce a thicker sauce.
  • Thin Out: If the sauce is too thick, add small amounts of water, juice, or broth until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Blending: For a smoother sauce, blend using a hand blender or food processor.
  • Straining: Strain the sauce through a sieve to achieve a thinner, seed-free consistency.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

  • Cold: When served as a refreshing accompaniment to salads, cheese boards, or cold cuts, a chilled sauce is ideal. Refrigerating also allows flavors to meld and intensify over time.
  • Warm: For roasted or grilled meats, a warm sauce can enhance the dish’s coziness and complement its hot temperature. It’s also common to serve it warm during festive meals like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • Room Temperature: Suitable for a versatile spread on sandwiches or wraps.
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

Nutritional Values

This sauce is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C from cranberries and pomegranates, with added sugars contributing to its caloric content.

What Are The Total Calories In Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce? 

The total calories in Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce vary based on ingredients and their quantities. On average, a serving (about 1/4 cup) of homemade Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce might contain around 100-150 calories, primarily from the sugar and fruits used. 

This estimate can change based on added ingredients like nuts. To get an accurate count for a specific recipe, one must analyze each ingredient’s nutritional content and sum them up accordingly.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

  • Gluten-Free: Naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  • Vegan: Doesn’t contain animal products, suitable for vegans.
  • Nut-Free: If you exclude the pecans, it’s safe for those with nut allergies.
  • Low Sodium: Naturally low in salt, suitable for those monitoring their sodium intake.
  • Sugar Content: Contains added sugar, which may not be suitable for people with diabetes or those on low-sugar diets.
  • Low Fat: Contains minimal fat unless nuts are added.
  • No Dairy: Naturally dairy-free, making it suitable for lactose intolerant individuals.

Nutrition Table 

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Over-sweetening: The natural tartness of cranberries and pomegranates is a highlight. Adding too much sugar can overshadow this.
  • Overcooking: Cooking for too long can break down the fruits excessively, leading to a mushy consistency.
  • Not Straining Properly: Ensure thorough straining if you want a smooth sauce without seeds or fruit bits.
  • Not Tasting As You Go: Fruits’ natural sweetness can vary, so it’s essential to taste and adjust accordingly.
  • Using Low-Quality Ingredients: Fresh, ripe fruits significantly enhance the flavor over canned or overripe alternatives.
  • Skipping Acid: A splash of citrus or vinegar can elevate the sauce, balancing the sweet profile.
  • Not Cooling Before Storing: Storing while hot can affect the texture and might lead to condensation, diluting the sauce.
  • Ignoring Texture: Some prefer a chunky sauce, while others like it smooth. Adjust the consistency to your preference.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

  • Smoothie Additive: Blend into fruit smoothies for added tang and flavor.
  • Yogurt Topping: Stir into plain yogurt for a fruity breakfast twist.
  • Baking: Swirl into muffin or pancake batter for added moisture and taste.
  • Cocktails: Use as a base for festive drinks or mocktails.
  • Ice Cream Topping: Drizzle over vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
  • Sandwich Spread: Combine with mayo or cream cheese for sandwiches or wraps.
  • Oatmeal Stir-In: Mix into morning oatmeal or porridge.
  • Grilled Proteins: Glaze over grilled chicken, pork, or tofu.
  • Salad Dressing: Blend with olive oil, vinegar, and seasoning.
  • Frozen Treats: Incorporate into homemade popsicles or sorbets.
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Saucepan: Preferably heavy-bottomed to prevent the sauce from scorching.
  • Wooden Spoon: For stirring the sauce consistently.
  • Strainer or Sieve: If desired, strain out seeds and ensure a smooth consistency.
  • Citrus Zester: If adding citrus notes, this tool helps extract zest without the bitter pith.
  • Juicer: Handy for extracting fresh pomegranate or citrus juice.
  • Knife & Cutting Board: For chopping fruits and other ingredients.
  • Mixing Bowls: Useful for separating ingredients and collecting strained liquids.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons: Ensures accurate ingredient quantities.
  • Blender or Food Processor: If a smoother consistency is preferred.
  • Canning Jars & Lids: For those intending to store or preserve the sauce for extended periods.

Frequently Asked Questions  

Can I Use Frozen Cranberries Instead Of Fresh Ones?

Yes, frozen cranberries can be used in place of fresh ones. They might even release more pectin, resulting in a thicker sauce.

Is It Possible To Reduce The Sugar Without Affecting The Sauce’s Consistency?

While sugar contributes to the sauce’s sweetness and consistency, you can reduce it according to taste. However, it might result in a tartar sauce.

How Long Can I Store The Sauce In The Refrigerator?

When stored in an airtight container, the sauce remains fresh for 10-14 days in the fridge.

Can I Can Or Bottle This Sauce For Long-Term Storage?

Absolutely! Using proper canning procedures, the sauce can be preserved in sterilized jars and stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

What Can I Do If My Sauce Is Too Thin Or Thick?

You can thin it out with a bit of water or juice if it is too thick. Simmering for a longer time can help reduce and thicken it if it is too thin. Alternatively, a cornstarch slurry can be added for thickening.

Sweet Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce Recipe For Your Tonight’s Feast

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Sauces


Prep time




Ferment/Rest Time



Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce blends the tang of cranberries with the sweetness of pomegranates. Perfectly balancing tart and sugary notes, this versatile sauce enriches meats, desserts, and more. Its vibrant hue and rich flavor make it a must-have for festive occasions and everyday meals.


  • 2 2 Large tart apples

  • 2 2 Pomegranates (peeled and seeds separated)

  • 16 fl oz 16 Pomegranate juice

  • 2 cups 2 White sugar

  • 2 2 Large oranges

  • 12 ounce 12 Fresh cranberries (rinsed and sorted)

  • 1 cup 1 Pecans (chopped)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Start by coring and peeling the apples. Keep the cores and peelings intact.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup sugar, apple peelings, cores, and pomegranate seeds into a small pot. Turn the heat up to high and boil it.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat, allowing it to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • While that simmers, finely chop the peeled apples and place them in a large saucepan.
  • Carefully zest half of one orange, finely chop the zest and combine with the apples in the large pan.
  • Proceed to peel and coarsely chop the oranges. Add them to the pan, followed by the cranberries, pomegranate juice, and sugar.
  • Place the large saucepan on high heat and bring its contents to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for another 30 minutes.
  • Once the small saucepan mixture is done simmering, remove it from the heat. Strain its juice into the larger saucepan, pressing the solids through a sieve to extract maximum flavor, and discard seeds and peels.
  • If desired, you can stir in the chopped pecans for added texture.
  • Allow the entire mixture in the large pan to cook for 10 minutes.
  • Your sauce is now ready! You can serve it warm, at room temperature, or even chilled, based on your preference.

Recipe Video


  • Adjust sugar based on the tartness of fruits and personal preference.
  • Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice yields the best flavor.
  • The sauce can be made days in advance, allowing flavors to meld.
  • Toasting pecans enhances their flavor and crunchiness.
  • If the sauce thickens too much upon cooling, simply add a splash of juice or water when reheating.

Leave a Comment

Author picture


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.

More About Me