15-Minutes Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe – A Touch Of Heat Flavor

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Introducing our Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe —a harmonious blend of tart cranberries, a subtle jalapeño kick, and aromatic spices. It’s a symphony of flavors and heat, ready in mere minutes, expertly balanced. Versatile and quick, it’s your secret weapon for adding excitement to any dish. Adjust the spice to suit your taste, creating a unique twist on a classic.

Many of you might face a common problem during festive dinners: how to give traditional recipes a fresh twist. Last Thanksgiving, I faced the same dilemma. While cranberry sauce adds flavor to a holiday meal, it can sometimes feel routine. 

Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Frequently, I’d hear murmurs about a need for something new. My top pick? A Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce. Taking action by adding jalapeno might seem daring.

Still, it’s a sought-after solution to bring a zest. You’ll typically find the blend of spicy and sweet captivating. 

However, it might be helpful to remember to be cautious with the number of jalapenos to suit everyone’s palate. This post will provide a mandatory addition to your festive recipes, ensuring your dinner stands out.

What Is The Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce?

The Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce is a unique blend of traditional cranberry sauce with a spicy kick. It combines the tartness of cranberries with the heat of jalapenos.

This sauce is excellent for those seeking a change from the conventional holiday accompaniments. Frequently used in festive meals, it offers a delightful contrast of flavors.

While cranberries bring a sweet tanginess, jalapenos introduce a warmth. It’s better to adjust the number of jalapenos according to your preference. 

You’ll typically find this sauce as a top pick in many modern holiday feasts. It offers a sought-after solution to the usual predictable flavors on the dinner table.

History Of Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe

The origin of the Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce is unclear, as many cuisines frequently adapt and merge traditions.

While cranberry sauces have been a staple in North American feasts, introducing jalapenos represents a fusion of flavors. 

The melding of spicy and sweet might be helpful to trace back to inventive chefs or home cooks wanting something different.

Though not mandatory in historical records, this sauce has become a top pick for those seeking a contemporary twist to traditional dishes.

Interesting Facts About Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  • While cranberries are native to North America, jalapenos originate from Mexico. Their combination symbolizes a culinary merging of borders.
  • Capsaicin, found in jalapenos, can help in metabolism; coupled with cranberries’ antioxidants, this sauce is excellent for health enthusiasts.
  • You’ll typically find varying heat levels in this sauce. It’s better to select jalapenos by their age; the older, the spicier.
  • Though a sought-after choice for holiday meals, this sauce frequently finds its way into sandwiches and wraps as a flavorful spread.
  • Its vibrant red color with green jalapeno specks is a visual delight, making it a top pick for presentation.

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

Regional adaptations of the Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce showcase diverse tastes. Here are some variations:

  • Southern U.S.: Infused with bourbon or whiskey, adding a deeper flavor profile.
  • Mexican: Incorporates roasted jalapenos and sometimes lime zest for an extra zing.
  • Indian: Spiced with cumin and ginger, it might be helpful to balance the sweetness.
  • European: Frequently features red wine or port, enriching the sauce’s depth.
  • Asian: A touch of soy sauce and sesame gives an umami kick.
  • Caribbean: Blended with rum and tropical fruits, making it a top pick for a fruity-spicy mix.
  • Middle Eastern: Enhanced with pomegranate molasses and spices, offering a tangy twist.

What Will Make You Love This Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe?

This Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce recipe stands out for several reasons:

  • Versatility: It pairs well with various dishes, from roasted meats to cheese platters.
  • Balanced Flavor: It combines the tartness of cranberries with jalapenos’ heat, striking a perfect harmony.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Its vibrant color enhances the presentation of any meal.
  • Nutritional Boost: Cranberries are rich in antioxidants, while jalapenos offer metabolism-boosting capsaicin.
  • Customizable Heat: It’s better to adjust the spiciness according to your preference.
  • Cultural Fusion: This sauce is great for those appreciating a blend of North American and Mexican culinary traditions.
  • Conversations Starter: Its unique blend will frequently be the talk of your dinner table.
bowl and spoon

Ingredients Table

Fresh or frozen cranberries12 ounces
Water1 cup
White sugar1 cup
Jalapeno peppers (seeded and minced)3
Lemon juice2 teaspoons
Sherry1/2 cup

Ingredient Tips

  • Cranberries: Opt for bright, firm cranberries. If using frozen, there’s no need to thaw.
  • Sugar: While white sugar is mandatory for a classic taste, you can experiment with brown sugar for a caramelized note.
  • Jalapenos: Wear gloves when handling. The heat lies in the seeds and membranes; remove them if you prefer a milder sauce.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is excellent for a vibrant tang. Ensure it’s free from seeds.
  • Sherry: Opt for a good quality sherry. It adds depth and richness.
  • Water: You’ll typically use it to simmer cranberries, but consider replacing it with orange juice for added flavor.

What Are The Variations Of Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe?

Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce can be adapted in various delightful ways:

  • Sweet Twist: Add a hint of orange zest or maple syrup for additional sweetness.
  • Herbaceous: Rosemary or thyme brings a fragrant undertone.
  • Heat Level: For an extra kick, include a dash of chili flakes.
  • Fruity Fusion: Mix in chopped apples or pears for texture and flavor.
  • Tangy Touch: Apple cider vinegar or balsamic can be a top pick for an added tang.
  • Nutty Note: Crushed pecans or walnuts provide a crunch.
  • Boozy Boost: A brandy or red wine splash can elevate the sauce.

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • Rinse the Berries: Using cold water, rinse the cranberries thoroughly. Drain off excess water.
  • Sugar Syrup: In a saucepan, combine water and sugar. Stir continuously until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Boil: Bring the sugar mixture to a boil.
  • Add Ingredients: Once boiling, incorporate the cranberries, minced jalapeno peppers, and lemon juice. Return the mixture to a boil.
  • Simmer: Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer gently for about 10 minutes, ensuring you stir occasionally.
  • Add Sherry: Pour in the sherry, mixing it well into the sauce.
  • Cooling Process: Take the saucepan off the heat and allow the sauce to cool completely at room temperature.
  • Storage: Transfer the sauce into a glass container and cover it once cooled.
  • Refrigeration: Store the sauce in the refrigerator. It’s better to let it rest overnight for flavors to meld.
  • Serving: Serve chilled with turkey or chicken for an enhanced dining experience.

Ferment Method

This recipe does not involve a fermentation process, but if one wishes to ferment, it might be helpful to add a fermenting starter and allow the mixture to sit in a cool, dark place for several days, checking periodically. However, be cautious, as this changes the taste and texture significantly.

Scaling The Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Scaling the Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce recipe is a straightforward solution to cater to different crowd sizes or preferences:

  • Doubling: Simply double each ingredient. Monitor the cooking time closely; it might need a slight extension.
  • Halving: Reduce each ingredient by half. This is great for smaller gatherings.
  • Adjusting Heat: For a milder flavor, reduce the jalapenos by half. Conversely, if more heat is desired, consider adding an extra jalapeno.
  • Consistency: If scaling up, you’ll typically need to extend the simmering time for a thicker consistency. For a thinner sauce, reduce simmering time.
  • Storage: For larger batches, ensure ample glass containers for refrigeration.
Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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

Absolutely! The Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce is versatile and extends beyond a mere accompaniment for poultry.

  • Marinade: Its blend of tartness and spice is excellent for marinating meats, especially chicken and pork. The acidity from the cranberries tenderizes while the jalapenos impart a kick.
  • Dipping Sauce: Paired with appetizers like spring rolls or cheese platters, it adds a unique flavor profile.
  • Salad Dressing: Mixed with olive oil, it becomes a sought-after salad dressing, offering a zesty twist.
  • Sandwich Spread: Elevate your sandwiches by spreading a thin layer.
  • With Grilled Vegetables: It complements grilled veggies beautifully as a drizzle or side.

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

The Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce is not just for festive dinners; its unique flavor makes it a top pick for various dishes. Here are some recommendations:

  • Poultry: Traditionally paired with turkey, it’s equally delightful with chicken, especially roasted or grilled.
  • Pork: Whether pork chops, tenderloin, or pulled pork, this sauce provides a sweet and spicy balance.
  • Cheese Boards: It pairs beautifully with creamy cheeses, acting as a spicy contrast.
  • Sandwiches & Wraps: It adds a zesty touch to turkey or ham sandwiches and veggie wraps.
  • Seafood: Particularly with grilled fish, offering a tangy compliment.
  • Tofu & Tempeh: For vegetarian options, it provides a flavorful punch.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Drizzle the sauce or use it as a dip for an enhanced taste.
Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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

Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce is a sought-after addition to various classic dishes, giving them a contemporary twist:

  • Thanksgiving Turkey: An apparent top pick, where the sauce provides a spicy counterpart to the savory bird.
  • Christmas Ham: The sauce’s tangy flavor complements the sweetness of glazed ham.
  • Brie En Croute: A puff pastry wrapped brie, baked until golden, paired with this zesty sauce.
  • Roast Chicken: The sauce elevates the flavors, especially during holiday feasts.
  • Turkey Sandwiches: Post-holiday leftovers are frequently enhanced with a spread of this sauce.
  • Meatballs: Introduce a blend of sweetness and heat as a dipping sauce or glaze.
  • Tofu Steaks: Grilled or pan-seared, the sauce offers a delightful contrast.

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

The Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce recipe weaves a symphony of flavors:

  • Tartness: The cranberries deliver a sharp, tangy note, awakening the palate.
  • Sweetness: Sugar balances the tartness, offering a comforting, sweet backdrop.
  • Heat: Jalapenos introduce a fiery kick, giving the sauce its spicy edge.
  • Citrusy Brightness: Lemon juice adds a fresh, zesty undertone.
  • Rich Depth: Sherry infuses the sauce with a subtle warmth and richness.
  • Complexity: The combination creates a multi-layered taste profile, ensuring each bite is intriguing.
  • Umami Undertone: Fusing all these flavors provides a mild, savory touch.
Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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

Yes, the Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce can be stored and preserved for future use. After cooking:

  • Refrigeration: The sauce can last up to 2 weeks in an airtight glass container.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the sauce in portioned containers. It retains quality for up to 3 months.
  • Canning: It can be preserved for several months using sterilized jars and proper canning procedures
  • . Ensure to check the seal before consumption.
  • Shelf Life: Once opened, consuming within 7-10 days for optimal freshness is better.
  • Signs of Spoilage: Be cautious of off-odors, mold, or fermentation bubbles.

What Are The Substitutes For Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe?

If you’re seeking alternatives to Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce, several substitutes can cater to varied taste preferences:

  • Classic Cranberry Sauce: A simpler version without jalapenos, offering pure cranberry tartness.
  • Cranberry Orange Relish: Fresh cranberries mixed with orange zest and sugar provide a citrusy kick.
  • Mango Chutney: A tropical choice with sweet mangoes and spicy notes.
  • Raspberry Chipotle Sauce: A blend of sweet raspberries and smoky chipotle peppers.
  • Apricot Preserves with Chili Flakes: A mix of sweet apricot jam with a hint of heat.
  • Cranberry Apple Sauce: A fusion of tart cranberries with sweet apples.
  • Pomegranate Molasses: Thick, tart, and sweet, it’s great for those seeking depth without heat.
  • Peach Salsa: Combines fruity sweetness with a spicy kick.
Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

Adjusting the consistency of the Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce is a simple solution to suit varied preferences:

  • Thicker Sauce: Extend the simmering time, allowing more liquid to evaporate.
  • Thinner Sauce: Add more water or sherry during the simmering process.
  • Blending: Blend the sauce using a hand blender for a smoother consistency.
  • Straining: Push the sauce through a sieve to remove chunks, achieving a velvety texture.
  • Cornstarch: Mix a teaspoon of cornstarch with cold water. Add to the sauce and simmer until it thickens.
  • Adding Fruit: Incorporate chopped apples or pears, which release pectin and naturally thicken the sauce.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

The serving temperature of Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce largely depends on personal preference and the dish it’s accompanying:

  • Cold: Refrigerating and serving the sauce cold can enhance its tartness and offer a refreshing contrast, especially with warm dishes like roasted turkey.
  • Warm: Heating the sauce can elevate its richness and make the flavors meld better, suitable for hot main courses.
  • Room Temperature: Allowing the sauce to sit out and reach room temperature can be a middle ground, highlighting its freshness and depth.
  • Pairing Consideration: Cold sauce is great for contrast with cold salads or sandwiches. Conversely, with hot meat dishes, a warm sauce compliments the meal.
  • Versatility: This sauce frequently becomes a sought-after addition to various meals regardless of temperature.
Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values

When considering the nutritional values of the Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce, several vital components come to the forefront:

  • Calories: Primarily derived from sugar and cranberries.
  • Carbohydrates: Predominantly from the cranberries and white sugar.
  • Dietary Fiber: Courtesy of the cranberries.
  • Vitamins: Notably, vitamin C from cranberries and jalapenos.
  • Minerals: Small amounts of potassium and magnesium.
  • Sugars: Mainly from the added white sugar.
  • Proteins: Minimal presence in the sauce.
  • Fats: Negligible, as the sauce lacks fatty ingredients.

What Are The Total Calories In Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe?

Estimating the caloric content of the Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce based on its ingredients:

  • Cranberries: 12 ounces typically contain around 123 calories.
  • White Sugar: 1 cup has approximately 774 calories.
  • Jalapeno Peppers: Negligible at about 5 calories for three.
  • Lemon Juice: 2 teaspoons contain around 2 calories.
  • Sherry: 1/2 cup could be about 150 calories, varying based on type.

So, the estimated total for the recipe is around 1,054 calories. 

Dietary Restrictions Of The Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe

The Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce caters to various dietary needs but also has some considerations:

  • Vegan/Vegetarian: The sauce is suitable as it contains no animal products.
  • Gluten-Free: Naturally gluten-free, but always check specific product labels, especially for the sherry.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: Not the best pick due to the sugar content. For a low-carb version, consider sugar substitutes.
  • Diabetics: The high sugar level might be a concern. Opt for sugar-free alternatives or reduce the sugar amount.
  • Allergies: No common allergens are present, but individual sensitivities, especially to sherry, must be cautious.
  • Alcohol Sensitivity: Contains sherry, which, although cooked, might retain some alcohol.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

While making Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce, certain pitfalls can affect the final product:

  • Overcooking: Simmering too long can make the sauce overly thick and reduce its fresh cranberry taste.
  • Too Much Sugar: Excessive sugar can overpower the tartness of the cranberries.
  • Seeds in Jalapenos: Leaving seeds can make the sauce extremely spicy.
  • Not Tasting as You Go: It might be helpful to adjust sugar, lemon juice, and jalapenos as you cook to get the balance right.
  • Using a Metal Container: Storing in metal can alter the sauce’s taste.
  • Not Rinsing Cranberries: Skipping this step can leave impurities.
  • Skipping Lemon Juice: It’s mandatory for brightness and balancing flavors.
  • Overpowering with Sherry: Too much can overshadow the cranberry jalapeno combination.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

Maximizing leftover Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce requires a touch of creativity:

  • Sandwich Spread: Elevate sandwiches, especially turkey or chicken ones.
  • Yogurt Parfait: Layer with yogurt and granola for a zesty breakfast.
  • Glaze: Brush over roasted meats or grilled vegetables.
  • Pizza Topping: Use as a base for a festive pizza with cheese and meats.
  • Dessert Drizzle: Over ice cream, pancakes, or waffles.
  • Stir into Oatmeal: For a spicy, sweet morning treat.
  • Cocktail Mixer: Mix into festive drinks or mocktails for a tangy twist.
  • Salad Dressing Base: Blend with olive oil, vinegar, and seasoning.
  • Pasta Sauce Starter: Mix with tomatoes and spices for a unique pasta sauce.
Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

Special Tools/Equipment Needed

  • Saucepan: Mandatory for simmering the sauce ingredients.
  • Wooden Spoon: Useful for stirring and ensuring even cooking.
  • Chopping Board & Knife: For mincing jalapenos and prepping cranberries.
  • Hand Blender: If a smoother consistency is sought-after.
  • Sieve/Strainer: Helpful to strain for a velvety texture.
  • Glass Jars: For storing the sauce, ensuring it retains its flavor.
  • Zester or Grater: If incorporating citrus zest for added flavor.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Ensuring accurate ingredient amounts.
  • Thermometer: To monitor temperature, especially if canning.
  • Canning Equipment: If planning to preserve the sauce for extended periods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Dried Cranberries Instead Of Fresh Or Frozen?

While fresh or frozen cranberries are the top picks for this sauce, dried cranberries can be used in a pinch. However, you’ll typically need to adjust the sugar levels and water content.

How Can I Make This Sauce Less Spicy?

To reduce the spice, be cautious with the number of jalapenos used. Removing seeds and inner membranes also helps in reducing the heat.

Is There A Non-Alcoholic Substitute For Sherry?

Apple or white grape juice is great for substituting sherry, giving a similar depth without alcohol.

How Long Does This Sauce Last In The Refrigerator?

The sauce lasts 10-14 days when stored in an airtight container.

Can This Sauce Be Frozen For Future Use?

Yes, it’s a sought-after solution for longer preservation. Pour the sauce into freezer-safe containers, leaving some space for expansion. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

15-Minutes Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce Recipe – A Touch Of Heat Flavor

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Course: Hot Sauces


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The Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce melds tart cranberries with spicy jalapenos, enhanced by a dash of lemon juice and sherry. This sauce is a delightful fusion of sweet, tart, and spicy flavors. It’s great for pairing with meats, especially during festive occasions, or as a zesty twist to traditional dishes. 


  • 12 ounces 12 Fresh or frozen cranberries

  • 1 cup 1 Water

  • 1 cup 1 White sugar

  • 3 3 Jalapeno peppers

  • 2 teaspoons 2 Lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Sherry

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Rinse the cranberries in cold water and drain.
  • In a saucepan, combine water and white sugar. Stir well until sugar dissolves.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Add the cranberries, minced jalapeno peppers, and lemon juice to the saucepan.
  • Return the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat.
  • Allow it to simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour in the sherry, stirring thoroughly to combine.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Let the sauce cool completely at room temperature.
  • Once cooled, transfer the sauce to a glass container with a cover.
  • Store in the refrigerator.
  • Serve with turkey, chicken, or other desired dishes when ready.

Recipe Video


  • For a milder spice, use fewer jalapenos or remove seeds.
  • Adjust sugar levels according to taste preference.
  • Fresh cranberries yield a brighter flavor compared to frozen ones.
  • Lemon juice adds a zesty note and aids in preserving color.
  • The sauce thickens upon cooling, so don’t over-reduce during cooking.
  • If a smoother texture is desired, blend the sauce after cooking.
  • Sherry adds depth, but it’s optional; omit or substitute with apple juice if preferred.
  • The sauce’s flavor intensifies after a day, making it even more delightful.

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