Cranberry Applesauce

Every fall we await the arrival of fresh cranberries in the grocery aisles. “Have you seen them yet?” “Are they in?” We compare notes for cranberry sightings at the local stores. When the cranberries do finally come in, we load up, so we have plenty of frozen cranberries to last us the year. Then we start cooking with them. Cranberry relish, cranberry sorbet, even cranberry salsa. We even have three different recipes for apple cranberry pie. One of my father’s favorite things to make is applesauce with cranberries added in for tartness, flavor, and color. We’ll eat it for breakfast, as a side for pork, or with ice cream for dessert.

Cranberry Applesauce Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 1 1/2 to 2 quarts.


  • 3 to 4 pounds of peeled, cored, roughly chopped Granny Smith apples (or other good cooking apple such as Golden Delicious, Fuji, Jonathan, Mcintosh, or Gravenstein)
  • 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1 Place all of the ingredients in a large (5-quart) pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 20-30 minutes, or until the apples can easily be mashed.

cranberry-applesauce-1.jpg cranberry-applesauce-2.jpg

2 Remove from heat. Mash the apples and cranberries with a potato masher to the consistency you want.

Serve hot as a side to pork or turkey. Or serve hot or cold as a dessert with some vanilla ice cream.

Store in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Or freeze for up to a year.

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Pineapple guava applesauce from Amber at Awake at the Whisk

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Showing 4 of 24 Comments

  • Susan

    This is so pretty! I’ve never made applesauce with cranberries in it. I will now! I never thought to freeze cranberries either..I need to do that this year since I’d like them available year’round.

    I used to make applesauce frequently for dinner when the kids were young, but I never canned it since apples are always available. I just peeled one apple per person, cored and chopped it up, threw it in a sauce pan and turned on the heat! I used my potato masher to smoosh it when it was done and served it warm with the cinnamon/sugar shaker at the table.

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Even though I live in cranberry land (southern New England) and drive past several bogs on a regular basis, I still have to wait for cranberries to hit the markets in late October. I start stockpiling them in the freezer, where they’ll keep for six months or more. One thing about cooking with cranberries, though: you almost always need to balance with sugar. My traditional applesauce is sugar-free, so I’ll try this with some sugar substitute.

  • Lisa

    Lovely and simple! This time of year, I am all about anything involving c-berries and/or pumpkin! You don’t by any chance have a recipe that incorporates both, do you? I would be in harvest heaven!! Thanks as always for the yummies!

    You might want to check out the butternut squash apple cranberry bake. You can sub sugar pumpkin for the butternut squash. ~Elise

  • The Purple Foodie

    WOW this is a lovely addition to regular applesauce. And makes it nice and pink too. But you know Elise, I don’t get fresh cranberries here. you think it would be okay with just cranberry juice? How much of it should I add? I have some granny smiths that I’ve bought just for that and a pink rosy colour would be just lovely. or maybe I will use some strawberries since they’re just coming into season!

    Hi Shaheen, I would just add some dried cranberries if you can get those, maybe 1/2 a cup. ~Elise

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