16 Cranberry Recipes That Go Beyond Sauce

Cranberry sauce is great, but those bright bold berries can make both sweet and savory recipes shine. Try these 16 recipes that include glazed meatballs, sorbet, muffins, bread, canapés, and more!

Cranberry recipes that go beyond saucee

Simply Recipes

Spooning a big dollop of cranberry sauce on your plate is a culinary highlight of the holiday season for cranberry lovers. There’s nothing quite like that tangy, sweet flavor with a tartness and a touch of bitter that leaves your mouth in a tiny pucker. But, sauce is not the only dish fresh (or frozen) cranberries make better. There are many cranberry filled recipes to add to the table during the holiday season and beyond.

These 16 appetizers, sides, breads, and desserts are a good reason to pick up an extra bag (or two).

Robin Shreeves joins Lori Rice in compiling this list.

  • Air Fryer Cranberry Brie Canapés

    cranberry brie canapes

    These canapés are bite size and ready for snacking. Creamy brie with its earthy sweetness pairs nicely with the spiced whole cranberry sauce dolloped on top before serving.

  • Apple Cranberry Currant Crumble Pie

    Apple Cranberry Currant Crumble Pie
    Elise Bauer

    Cranberries bake into a jam-like filling in this pie. When partnered with Granny Smith apples and sweet currants, the flavors balance each other and make for a colorful presentation.

  • Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake

    Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake
    Elise Bauer

    This side dish might steal the show from your beloved cranberry sauce. Winter squash and apples bake until tender and blend with a brown sugar topping that’s dotted with bites of fresh cranberry. It’s a big winner at the Thanksgiving table.

  • Chocolate Cranberry Zucchini Muffins

    Chocolate Zucchini Cranberry Muffins
    Emma Christensen

    Breakfast is about to get a whole lot better with these rich chocolate muffins. They’re like eating a chocolate covered cranberry with the bonus of secretly getting in your veggies. The shredded zucchini keeps these muffins tender.

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  • Cranberry Glazed Meatballs

    Cranberry Glazed Meatballs
    Elise Bauer

    Ground turkey meatballs are skillet-cooked and simmered in a sauce made of cranberries, ginger, orange, and just a touch of cayenne. It’s a sweet and savory mix that makes a welcomed appetizer. Pass around the toothpicks, please!

  • Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

    Cranberry Nut Bread

    Elise Bauer

    This quick bread is loaded with pieces of fresh cranberry and marries that tartness with the zesty, sweet flavor of orange. This recipe uses walnuts, but pecans or a mix of both create a tasty twist on the original.

  • Cranberry Sorbet

    Cranberry Sorbet
    Elise Bauer

    Sometimes a meal calls for a light, refreshing dessert and this recipe comes to the rescue. If you tire of the classic cranberry orange flavor, the recipe also suggests substituting lime zest for a new fruit-forward combination.

  • Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

    Cranberry Upside Down Cake
    Elise Bauer

    As if the tangy, caramelized cranberries aren’t enough of a treat in this dessert, they are baked into a dense yet delicate sour cream cake. If you like a traditional pineapple upside down cake, this cranberry version is truly next level.

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  • Focaccia with Caramelized Onions, Cranberries, and Brie

    A cutting board with slices of focaccia topped with caramelized onions, cranberries, and brie.
    Sally Vargas

    You already know fresh cranberries go well with brie. When combined with caramelized onions and used to top fresh baked bread, it becomes an impressive slice-and-serve starter or snack that no one can resist.

  • Pear and Cranberry Rustic Tart

    Pear Cranberry Rustic Tart
    Elise Bauer

    No need for advanced pie skills here. Rustic tart is code for incredibly easy to make. This one wraps flaky crust around a seasonal combination of fresh pears and cranberries for a fall dessert you’ll look forward to every year.

  • Cranberry Applesauce

    Cranberry Applesauce in a bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Cranberries add tartness, flavor, and color to this applesauce that's perfect to eat for breakfast, as a side for pork, or with ice cream for dessert. Fresh apple, cranberries, sugar, lemon juice, water, and a little water go into a large pot. It simmers for about a half hour, then mash like potatoes...and yum.

  • Cranberry Walnut Baked Brie

    Baked brie with cranberry sauce and candied walnuts on a serving tay with crackers and fruit set around it.

    Simply Recipes / Jessica Gavin

    Baked brie is always a welcome appetizer at parties. Add a cranberry/candied walnut topping on it after it's baked, and it becomes a welcome appetizer at holiday parties. The candied walnuts are simple to make, but make a little extra because you'll probably want some just for eating on their own.

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  • Turkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa

    turkey tacos with cranberry salsa on a black plate
    Elise Bauer

    A tasty way to use up leftover turkey and cranberries after Thanksgiving, these tacos are packed with diced turkey plus cheese, lettuce, and a cranberry salsa made from fresh or frozen cranberries. You'll have lunch or dinner on the table in under a half hour.

  • Brandied Cranberries

    brandied cranberries in a bowl
    Elise Bauer

    This recipe is sauce-like, but not truly a sauce. Cranberries cook with sugar, brandy, and orange zest. The result is firm, almost like a jelly, and the brandied cranberries make a scrumptious topping for baked brie, as a condiment on a cheese board, or as a side for pork or chicken.

  • Cranberry Orange Scones

    Citrus and cranberry scones on plate with butter.

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Imagine a large mug of coffee and one of these buttery, flaky scones on a chilly morning, and you'll want to get right work on whipping up a batch of these treats. Start from scratch or try this: Make the dough and freeze the shaped, unbaked scones individually. Then pull as many as you need each morning to bake straight from the freezer for fresh, hot scones any time you want them.

  • Cranberry Relish

    raw cranberry relish in a bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Add a little interest to your leftover turkey sandwiches with this raw cranberry relish. Simply process together raw cranberries, tart green apples, a large seedless orange, and sugar. Then give it about 45 minutes for all the sugar to dissolve and the flavor to meld together.