One bite of this easy Fresh Cranberry Sauce and you’ll wonder why you ever bought the canned stuff! Made in less than 20 minutes, this cranberry relish with tart cherries and savory shallots can be made ahead of time and frozen - perfect for Thanksgiving!
With all of the food to make for Thanksgiving, I understand if you’re reluctant to take on another recipe. Between the turkey, the stuffing, the potatoes, the pies, it can get to be a lot.
But this Homemade Cranberry Sauce - made with fresh cranberries, shallots, dried tart cherries and a generous splash of blackberry liqueur - is sooooooo easy and far outshines anything you can buy in a can. Plus you can make it weeks in advance and pop it in the freezer for the big day.
One bite of this sweet and savory relish and you’ll wonder why you didn’t make your own before now.
A few ingredient notes:
- You can use fresh or frozen cranberries in this sauce.
- Tart dried cherries keep the flavor balanced. If you can only find sweet dried cherries, dial down the sugar a bit.
- Creme de cassis is a blackcurrant flavored liqueur. If you prefer an alcohol free substitute, try a blackcurrant syrup.
After the initial chopping, there isn’t much to this recipe other than cooking it on the stove top. Total cooking time is 20 minutes start to finish!
Step one: Saute shallots until tender.
Step two: Stir in cherries, cranberries, sugar and liqueur. Cook until cranberries start to pop.
Step three: Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest.
Absolutely! Frozen berries will work just as well in this recipe. I always buy a few extra bags of fresh cranberries when they are in season and stash them in the freezer for all of my favorite cranberry recipes.
Yes, but I suggest reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe to account for the sweeter cherries. Tip: I usually buy my dried tart cherries at Trader Joe's or Costco.
Make ahead tips
This recipe can easily be made ahead of time, which is great when you’re making it for a busy holiday like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter.
Store it in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also pop it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
It goes without saying that cranberry sauce belongs on your Thanksgiving table, right?
- Not hosting a huge crowd this year? Make a turkey breast instead! We’ve got a complete guide for How to Cook a Turkey Breast. It’s way easier than you think!
- No turkey dinner is complete without potatoes. You can reheat these Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes in the Crock Pot which is key during a meal when oven space is in high demand.
- Don’t forget this stuffing! This homemade Cornbread Stuffing with sausage has a robust taste that pairs perfectly with the mild flavor of turkey.
You’ll find all of our side dish recipes in our archives.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped shallots
- ⅔ cup dried tart cherries
- ½ cup blackcurrant liqueur often called creme de cassis
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in shallots and saute for 3 minutes or until shallots are tender.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add cherries, liqueur, sugar and cranberries. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop.
- Remove sauce from heat and stir in zest. Cool before storing tightly covered in the refrigerator.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.
You’ll never buy a can again after one bite of this sweet and savory Homemade Cranberry Sauce! This easy relish recipe uses fresh or frozen cranberries and can easily be made weeks ahead of time and frozen - a real time saver for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter!