Cranberry relish and cranberry sauce recipes: beyond the jelly

Cranberry

A good cranberry sauce recipe pulls out all the flavors of the cranberry. Image: Flickr / halfchinese / CC-BY

For some people, a cranberry sauce recipe means opening up a can of a jelly-like substance. A good cranberry sauce recipe should be more than that, though. There are multiple ways you could approach a cranberry sauce recipe and pull even more flavor out of this Thanksgiving side dish.

The basics of a cranberry sauce recipe

A cranberry sauce recipe should fulfill a few basic criteria. Cranberries have a bright, acidic flavor that is perfect for pairing with turkey, stuffing or even vanilla ice cream. Cranberry sauce should be flavorful but not too acidic and not too sweet. It’s a tall order, but relatively easy to fill.

Blended cranberry relish recipe

A good blended cranberry sauce recipe is quick, easy, and should be simple enough you can ask the kids to take care of it. This cranberry sauce recipe creates a thick, relish-like cranberry sauce. Combine all these ingredients in a food processor or blender:

  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • One large orange, peeled and separated
  • 1 cup sugar or 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, ginger ale or 2 ounces good-quality whiskey

Cooked cranberry sauce recipe

If you prefer a cranberry sauce recipe that creates more of a dipping sauce, then a cooked cranberry sauce recipe could be perfect for you. In a non-reactive (stainless steel or aluminum) sauce pot over high heat, combine:

  • 1 12-ounce bag frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups ginger ale
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • zest of one small orange

Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and let simmer for 45 minutes, or until there is about 2 cups of thickened sauce. Mix with a stick or stand blender. Serve as a dipping sauce.

Using your leftover cranberry sauce recipe

If you have leftover cranberry sauce recipe after the Thanksgiving holiday, you’ve got several options. Keep it sealed in the fridge to put over ice cream. Or, combine 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the cranberry sauce recipe with 8 ounces cream cheese for a spread that is wonderfully tasty on a leftover turkey sandwich.

Read more of our Thanksgiving Recipe articles:

Thanksgiving recipes for kids
Sweet potato pie and sweet potato casserole recipes
Green bean casserole recipe
Turkey Brine recipe

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