Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

Close-up of cranberry sauce
Chuck Cross / EyeEm / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
43 Calories
1g Fat
5g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 43
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 195mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 3g
Calcium 8mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You'll satisfy cravings for both tart and sweet with this cranberry barbecue sauce recipe. Perfect on turkey, this sauce features cranberry sauce, which blends nicely with tomato ketchup, orange juice, brown sugar, Worcestershire, and Dijon mustard to make a delicious basting sauce when grilling. The recipe comes together quickly on the stovetop, requiring just 15 minutes or so of simmering.

You can make this barbecue sauce with cranberry sauce or jelly, whichever one you prefer (or whatever is in the fridge from the holidays). You likely have the remaining ingredients in your pantry, meaning this is easy to whip up when you need a little boost for those Thanksgiving leftovers. If you like things spicy, don't be shy with the hot sauce, but if you want to make the barbecue sauce kid-friendly, feel free to leave it out.

Use this cranberry barbecue sauce when grilling a turkey, chicken breasts, or racks of ribs, or when slow cooking a pork tenderloin, and make sure to have enough on hand for those leftover turkey sandwiches as this sauce will make them amazing. It can also be served on the side as a dipping sauce for chicken nuggets, mixed into baked beans, used for pulled pork, or as a glaze for meatloaf.


  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce ​(or cranberry jelly)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (use more or less to suit tastes)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan over low heat.

  3. Simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir often, and watch carefully to make sure it doesn't burn.

  4. Remove from the heat, and allow the sauce to cool completely before using.

  5. Enjoy.

How to Store

Once cooled, you can store this cranberry barbecue sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. For longer storage, place in a zip-top bag in the freezer where it will last up to three months. 


If the cranberry sauce you are using has whole cranberries in it and you would like the barbecue sauce to be smooth, you can blend the mixture once it has finished cooking. Either use an immersion blender directly in the pot, or pour the sauce into a blender or food processor (it is safer to wait until the sauce is cooled) and process until it reaches your desired consistency.