18 Cranberry Recipes That Go Beyond Sauce

Sweet and Savory Ways to Cook With the Winter Berry

Smear cranberry on bread

The Spruce

Autumn brings with it such a delicious array of flavors: Apples fresh from the orchard, plump pumpkins and squash, and of course, everyone's favorite gelatinous side—cranberry. Think outside of the cylinder with these delicious recipes that put cranberry in both sweet and savory presentations. You'll never look at the jiggly sauce the same way again.

  • 01 of 18

    Apple Cranberry Pie

    Easy apple cranberry pie recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Marry two of the season's star ingredients in a sweet-tart cranberry apple pie. Nestled beneath a flaky crust, the filling uses canned cranberry sauce and pie filling for a crowd-pleasing dessert that looks as good as it tastes. Even novice bakers can pull this one off, especially if you choose to use prepared pie crusts.

  • 02 of 18

    Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

    Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray 

    These sweet and tangy meatballs use jellied cranberry sauce with chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice for a finger-lickin' good glaze that turns humble ground beef into the star of the appetizer table. This recipe includes instructions for making your own meatballs, but you can also use frozen meatballs and make the sauce for a quicker prep.

  • 03 of 18

    Cabernet Cranberry Sauce

    Cabernet Cranberry Sauce

    Ray Kachatorian / Getty Images

    Don't shy away from the unusual ingredients in this homemade recipe. Cabernet wine adds a lovely depth, while salt and cayenne both kick the flavors up a notch. It will make your home smell amazing as it simmers away on the stove and can scale up to feed the whole crew.

  • 04 of 18

    Cranberry Crunch Bars

    Raspberry Cranberry Bars

    Jonelle Weaver / Getty Images

    These buttery bar cookies make a lovely addition to your dessert spread at holiday time or as part of the bake sale any time of year. Use up leftover homemade cranberry sauce in these tasty treats or pick up a jar of whole-berry or jellied sauce specifically for these. Store them tightly covered to retain that crunch.

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  • 05 of 18

    Cranberry Orange Muffins

    cranberry orange muffins

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Start the day off right with these ridiculously easy and tasty cranberry orange muffins. Baking your own muffins from scratch lets you control the ingredients better than a boxed mix and they're just as easy to pull together. Make extras and freeze them for later—just pop them in the microwave or toaster oven until warm. These taste great on Christmas morning or with a cup of coffee or tea anytime of year.

  • 06 of 18

    Cranberry Relish

    No-Cook Cranberry Relish

    The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo 

    This no-cook cranberry relish is surprisingly versatile. It's made in the food processor with three ingredients and ready in just 10 minutes. The relish is a great addition to an appetizer plate, as a snack spread for crackers or crusty bread, and offers a fresh cranberry topping for desserts and meats. It's also a tasty, seasonal condiment for sandwiches.

  • 07 of 18

    Cranberry Bread

    Cranberry Bread

    Kristina Vanni 

    This delicate cranberry bread is an elegant make-ahead recipe guaranteed to impress. Studded with chopped pecans and brightened with lemon zest, it's a delightful addition to afternoon tea or brunch.

  • 08 of 18

    Cranberry Apple Pork Chops

    pork chops

    Yvonne Duivenvoorden / Getty Images

    Adding a diced green apple and some fresh cranberries to baked pork chops brings out the meat's natural sweetness. For extra crunch, add some chopped walnuts or pecans, or use a pear, orange, or nectarine instead of the apple for a slightly different taste.

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  • 09 of 18

    Turkey Meatloaf with Cranberry Chili Glaze

    Turkey meatloaf with cranberry ad chili sauce recipe

    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    This unique, lighter twist on the standard meatloaf will bring the whole family running to the table. A chili and cranberry glaze adds a sweet-savory element to the meat, which stays tender thanks to the addition of ground pork. Use ground turkey thighs instead of pork, if you prefer. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable for a well-rounded meal.

  • 10 of 18

    Turkey, Cranberry, and Brie Sandwich

    Turkey cranberry brie sandwich recipe

    The Spruce

    Turkey and cranberry sauce go together like peanut butter and jelly and not just at Thanksgiving time. Creamy Brie contrasts beautifully with sweet and tangy cranberry, all atop some crusty bread for a delicious sandwich that tastes like the holidays. Try it with both homemade cranberry sauce or the canned kind, whatever you have available.

  • 11 of 18

    Sugared Cranberries

    sugared cranberries
    Diana Rattray

    Sugared cranberries are a festive addition to sweet holiday dishes. Boiled in sugar syrup and rolled in snow-like sugar, Perch one or two on the edge of a cocktail or use to decorate the top of a Christmas cake. Use the leftover sugar syrup to sweeten a punch or mulled wine.

  • 12 of 18

    Vegan Barley, Wild Rice, and Cranberry Pilaf

    Vegan barley, wild rice cranberry pilaf recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

    This whole grain salad uses hearty barley, wild rice, and cranberries seasoned with orange juice and olive oil for a slightly sweet flavor. A little crumbled feta (or feta substitute if you want to keep it vegan) gives it a salty kick and walnuts add crunch. It all comes together for a side dish for a holiday meal or as a light lunch anytime.

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  • 13 of 18

    Cranberry Brie Bites

    Cranberry Brie Bites

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

    Serve these easy and elegant puff pastry bites for a creamy, tart, and sweet appetizer that even non-cooks can create. Store-bought puff pastry sheets cuts down on complexity, so you can pull them together quickly for a stress-free gathering. Mix it up by using different cheeses and fillings once you master the basic technique.

  • 14 of 18

    Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding

    Cranberry orange bread pudding

    The Spruce 

    Use a rich and buttery bread like brioche or challah to make this sweet and unusual cranberry orange bread pudding that tops off any get-together with aplomb. Slightly stale bread works well in this recipe if you have leftover bread lying around. Serve with a drizzle of vanilla sauce or a little vanilla ice cream for contrast.

  • 15 of 18

    Cranberry Scones with Pomegranate Glaze

    Cranberry Scones with Pomegranate Glaze

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter

    A buttery, crumbly scone studded with dried cranberries and drizzled in a sweet and tangy pomegranate glaze makes a delicious addition to a special breakfast or a nice afternoon treat with a warm beverage. Scones taste and look like a fancy bakery favorite, but come together easily enough for even less confident bakers.

  • 16 of 18

    Winter Cranberry Margaritas

    Winter cranberry margarita recipe

    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

    If you like the tangy, citrusy taste of a classic margarita, you will love this slightly sweeter cranberry version. The recipe can become a large batch cocktail for a holiday party, and you can easily make it virgin by replacing the booze with margarita mix or just a little simple syrup. Make your own cranberry cocktail juice for the best flavor or substitute the store-bought kind for a quicker drink.

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  • 17 of 18

    Slow Cooker Honey Cranberry Pork Roast

    Glazed Pork Loin Roast

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Honey and tart cranberries add a delicious sweet and tangy character to this succulent pork in our simple, set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker roast. Pulse the cranberries in the food processor or use a food chopper to get them evenly diced. If you don't have honey, substitute cane syrup or brown sugar instead. Your house will smell so homey as this delicious dinner cooks.

  • 18 of 18

    Cranberry Biscuits

    Cranberry Biscuits

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    For a Southern twist on a holiday bread, try biscuits instead of bread or muffins. Not as sweet as scones or muffins, but a little fancier than your typical buttermilk biscuit, these go perfectly alongside any holiday meal. Try them with a smear of good butter for a decadent and rich bite.