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Update your Cranberry Sauce with apples for a simple and sweet twist on the classic Thanksgiving side. Tasty without getting too crazy!

A bowl of cranberry sauce with apples.

In my family, Thanksgiving is all about traditions. The turkey goes in the oven, not in a barrel for deep-frying. We do not add gorgonzola, pears, and walnuts to our stuffing. Our potatoes are mashed, not roasted. And our dinner rolls are the ones Grandma used to make.

So when it comes to cranberry sauce, there isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room. It must still look and mostly taste like cranberry sauce. But I can get away with adding apples! Apples add an element of surprise without upsetting anyone, and apples mixed with cranberries somehow makes a lot of sense.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Cranberry Sauce with Apples Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Cranberry Sauce ingredients labeled and in various bowls.

Ingredient notes

  • Cranberries: Fresh cranberries freeze really well, so stock up when you see them. If your cranberries are already frozen, no need to thaw. Just cook them straight from the freezer and add 2 minutes to the simmering time.
  • Apples: I like tart Granny Smith apples because they hold their shape in the sauce.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, add sugar, water, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Stir in cranberries and apples.
Cranberries and apples cooking in a saucepan.
  1. Simmer until slightly thickened and the berries begin to pop, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature or chill.
Cranberries and apples cooking in a saucepan.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 3 cups of sauce, enough for 12 (¼ cup) servings.
  • Make ahead: Cool the cranberry sauce completely, then keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. Or, freeze it up to one month in advance. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
  • Freezer: Cooled sauce can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  • With orange: For a citrus twist, try this cranberry sauce recipe with orange zest and orange juice.
A bowl of cranberry sauce with apples.

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A bowl of cranberry sauce with apples.

Cranberry Sauce with Apples

Update your Homemade Cranberry Sauce with apples for a simple and sweet twist on the classic Thanksgiving side. Tasty without getting too crazy!
Author: Meggan Hill
4.99 from 121 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 125

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries picked over (see note 1)
  • 1 cup tart apples peeled and diced (see note 2)

Instructions 

  • In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, water, cinnamon, and salt. to boil. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  • Stir in cranberries and apples. Simmer until slightly thickened and the berries begin to pop, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature or chill.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Cranberries: Fresh cranberries freeze really well, so stock up when you see them. If your cranberries are already frozen, no need to thaw. Just cook them straight from the freezer and add 2 minutes to the simmering time.
  2. Apples: I like tart Granny Smith apples because they hold their shape in the sauce.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 3 cups of sauce, enough for 12 (¼ cup) servings.
  4. Make ahead: Cool the cranberry sauce completely, then keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. Or, freeze it up to one month in advance. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
  5. Freezer: Cooled sauce can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  6. With orange: For a citrus twist, try this cranberry sauce recipe with orange zest and orange juice.

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 75mgPotassium: 53mgFiber: 2gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 34IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. I have made different cranberry sauces during the past many years. This is the BEST I’ve ever made. My family raves about it!5 stars

  2. I am 88 now and I can remember my mother making this same recipe every Thanksgiving for our crowd of nine. It would not be Thanksgiving without this crowd pleaser. The aroma alone was enticing. I still follow her recipe – which, as a child, thought it was her own recipe! I am now disallusioned but ….stlll love it and make it.5 stars

    1. What a sweet memory, Kay! Thank you so much for sharing about your mom! It’s so lovely how even just the smell of something can bring back wonderful memories. Take care!

  3. Great recipe! I added 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (fresh lemon juice) to this recipe. Are used honey crisp apples about a cup and a half. After the cranberries were cooked I took a potato masher to pop the remaining cranberries. Very delicious! Thank you! :)5 stars

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