Fresh Cranberry Recipes That Go Beyond Sauce

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

Fresh Cranberry Recipes That Go Beyond Sauce
Cranberry recipes that go beyond saucee
Simply Recipes

Whether you are a die-hard fan of cranberry in the can or cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries you make so many recipes that go beyond the tart sauce we all know and love: Cranberry glazed meatballs, cranberry sorbet, muffins, bread, canapés.

Spooning a big dollop of cranberry sauce on your plate is the culinary highlight of the holiday season for cranberry lovers. Whether it's spiced with cinnamon, has hints of orange, or it’s spiked with rum, there’s nothing quite like that tangy, sweet flavor with a tartness and touch of bitter that leaves your mouth in a tiny pucker. With all of cranberry filled recipes to add to your holiday table I’m sure the sauce is going to be the last thing on everyone’s mind.

Cranberries are grown in wetlands in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin as well as parts of Canada. Fresh cranberries usually hit supermarkets in November and can be found throughout the holiday season.

You can take full advantage of in season cranberries year-round by stocking up and freezing them for later use. You can enjoy these cran-tastic recipes year-round if you so please. These appetizers, sides, breads, and desserts are a good reason to pick up an extra bag (or two).

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.

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.

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.