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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.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Apples in a white bowl.

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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.

Chunks of apples and cranberries in a silver pot.

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!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Apples in a white bowl.

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!
4.98 from 41 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 125kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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. Simmer until slightly thickened and the berries begin to pop, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature or chill.

Video

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 | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg
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