Homemade 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!

In my family, Thanksgiving is all about traditions. This is especially true when it comes to the menu.

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

Pin Now To Save!PIN IT

The turkey goes in the oven, not a barrel for deep-frying. We do not add gorgonzola, pears, and walnuts to our stuffing. Our potatoes are mashed, not roasted. Green bean casserole is required. 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! I like to use Granny Smith apples. They are tart as far as apples go, but they still taste sweet compared to cranberries. They also hold their shape nicely in the sauce.

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

Apples add an element of surprise without raising eyebrows or causing alarm. Applesauce on Thanksgiving sounds… appropriate. Mixed in with cranberry sauce it sounds… perfect.

Luckily, Cranberry Sauce is probably the easiest course on your Thanksgiving menu already. Chopping up an apple or two and stirring in some cinnamon is all it takes, and it doesn’t take long. With just that extra minute or two, you’ll have elevated your Homemade Cranberry Sauce without ruffling feathers or being a pretentious food snob.

And that’s great! Because if there is one thing Thanksgiving is not about, it’s food snobbery.

At least not in my family.

See the recipe notes for easy Make Ahead instructions!

Save this Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Apples to your “Side Dishes” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

5 from 16 votes

Homemade 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!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword apples, cranberries
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 125kcal
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries picked over
  • 1 cup cooking apples peeled and diced , I like to use Granny Smith
  • In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, water, cinnamon, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
  • 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, about 1 hour.

Recipe Notes

If you're using frozen cranberries, just add about 2 minutes to simmering time (no need to thaw).
Make it ahead! Just follow the recipe as is, cool it completely, and then keep refrigerated for up to 4 days in advance. Or, freeze it a month ahead and just thaw in the refrigerator overnight before you want to serve it. Easy!

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcal

This post contains affiliate links. For more information on my Affiliate and Advertising Policy, please click here.

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This form collects your name, email, and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
This form collects your name, email and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Sarah

    Just finished, looks and tastes amazing! I added about a 1/2 tsp lemon juice for a little bit of acidity! Thanks for sharing your recipe! 

    1. meggan

      Thank you so much, Sarah! I will definitely test this next with lemon juice and will update the recipe. Thanks a lot for the idea. I’m doing a million recipes with cranberries right now, I can’t wait to share them all! Cranberry Cream Cheese danishes, Cranberry Cream Cheese Galettes, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Cranberries with Bacon and Walnuts. I’m obsessed with cranberries! Take care, thanks again, and have a great weekend!

  2. i found 3 year old frozen cranberries in the freezer and just turned them into this- i used apples i had on hand, unfortunately the didn’t fall apart- next time ( in 4 years, i guess ) i will cook the apples a bit before adding the cranberries. nevertheless delicious! thank you for this no-fuss recipe! :)

    1. meggan

      Hi Daniela! I am sorry to hear it didn’t turn out as you had hoped. I don’t think my apples fell apart either, I was hoping for chunks in my cranberry sauce. I will research some different options for apples and include notes for some that fall apart and some that don’t so people can decide what they want. Thank you so much for your feedback! Have a great weekend.

  3. Christina

    What kind of apples are best to use?

    1. meggan

      Hi Christina, that’s a really great question. I like to use apples that hold their shape and don’t turn to mush such as Braeburn, Jonathan, Winesap, and Empire. Honeycrisp, Mutsu, and Pink Lady are also great. If you want something “basic” you can’t go wrong with Granny Smith. I hope this helps! I’ll definitely update the post to include this info. Thanks for asking.

  4. Jamie

    I just made this tonight as a test run for making it for Thanksgiving. It SO yummy! And so very easy to make!5 stars

    1. meggan

      Yay, Jamie! Kudos to you for planning ahead and testing out recipes in advance. :) I’m so glad you liked the recipe! I am really excited to make this one myself. Take care!

  5. Ala Shih

    I love apples and cinnamon for fall flavors! They warm me right up. We didn’t even get to eat cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving, so I’m definitely making this one on my own, Meggan!

  6. Kathleen @ hapanom

    This dish is SO beautiful! I’ve never paired cranberries with apples before! The combination with cinnamon sounds incredible!

  7. You know, I’ve never made my own cranberry sauce! I think I need to go on a hunt to find some fresh cranberries (not sure how easy to find they are over here … I reckon frozen might be my best bet). This looks so easy to make, Meggan, and I love that you’ve made a sort of cross between apple and cranberry sauce! Hope you’ve had a wonderful thanksgiving!5 stars

  8. Love this simple classic recipe. One question – what is “picked over”? i.e. in the ingredients, Cranberries line5 stars

    1. Hi Nagi! :) I always love your questions. Makes me feel useful. When I say “picked over” it means you sort of sift through the cranberries with your hands and discard any that look damaged or sad. I would use the same terminology for looking at lentils while washing them. You pick out the rocks that are mixed in with lentils, if there are any. Ditto on beans. Thanks for reading the post. :)

  9. I never had cranberry sauce but I love cranberries! I only can find frozen cranberries here and glad I can use them too! The sauce looks so shiny and beautiful! Can’t wait to try this with some butter and freshly baked bread :)

  10. Janette @ Culinary Ginger

    I had never had cranberry sauce until I moved to the U.S. Can’t believe what I was missing. I love the addition of the apples, a perfectly sweet and tart treat.5 stars

Scroll to top