Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples, Pecans and Pineapple (5 Minutes and No Cooking!)

~ An all-time, family-favorite cranberry sauce recipe – perfect for Thanksgiving and the holidays! It’s so quick and easy, and bursting with wonderful sweet-tart flavors and great texture! Plus, it takes just a few moments in your food processor and can even be made in advance! ~

This Recipe Is:     Ready in 30 Minutes or Less    Make Ahead    Vegan (and Vegetarian)    Gluten Free  

Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples, Pecans and Pineapple Recipe (5 Minutes and No Cooking!) {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Do you remember last week, when I revealed that I’m in love with two different salads? (Oh, my cheating heart!)

Well, I’ve actually fallen head-over-heels for two different cranberry sauce recipes, too.

But, honestly, one of them has officially edged out the other one, to win the key to my cranberry heart.

Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples, Pecans and Pineapple Recipe (5 Minutes and No Cooking!) {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

I didn’t think it could happen. When I first made the Cranberry and Dried-Cherry Relish recipe that ran in “Bon Appétit” back in 2001, I thought it was a love that’d last forever. So simple, and that cranberry recipe was filled with such cardamom-my goodness. Mmmmmmm …

I looked forward to Thanksgiving every year … my excuse for a little rendezvous with my cranberry sauce sweetheart. People requested that I make it for holiday meals, and then they requested a copy of the recipe. I never thought I’d find a truer love (at least as far as cranberry love goes).

But then … I did.

Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples, Pecans and Pineapple Recipe (5 Minutes and No Cooking!) {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Depending on the size of your food processor, you may find that this recipe is a bit too much to fit comfortably in your processor all at once (although we made this work just fine). If so, feel free to process the ingredients in a couple of batches, and then pour both batches together at the end and stir thoroughly to combine them. So easy!

Last Thanksgiving, as we watched the Macy’s Parade and happily looked forward to our raucous day of extended-family shenanigans (as loyal THK readers know, my family doesn’t do un-fun holidays), I decided to throw caution to the wind and try a whole new twist on cranberry sauce … so I opened a little cranberry-sauce-recipe laboratory.

Oh fine. My “lab” pretty much only involved a knife and a food processor – simple but effective!

Now, we can discuss all day whether a true cranberry sauce has to be cooked, and whether a cranberry relish has to be un-cooked. After a bit of research, I can tell you there are recipes on all sides of this debate. Call it what you will … I was going for an easy, no-cook recipe with fabulous flavors and texture … so that’s what I made!

Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples, Pecans and Pineapple Recipe (5 Minutes and No Cooking!) {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

As you can see from the three different versions above, this cranberry sauce can be as smooth or as chunky as you like it. The only difference is a few seconds more or less in your food processor.

As my cranberry experiments began, I had visions of sugarplums pineapple dancing in my head. It seemed like the perfect sweet counterpoint to juicy, tart cranberries. Huh … why not?

I tinkered and adjusted, tasted and tinkered some more.

And ya know what? It was AWESOME!

How awesome, you ask?

So wonderfully, deliciously awesome that in a head-to-head showdown (as in: I took BOTH my new recipe and the old-fave “Bon Appétit” recipe to the Thanksgiving feast that day), this new cranberry sauce hands-down beat the tiny cranberry pants off my old true love. Kids … adults … all around the table, the votes poured in …

Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples, Pecans and Pineapple Recipe (5 Minutes and No Cooking!) {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

And this (super easy!) cranberry sauce was the clear winner!

The sweet, dried pineapple is a unique twist on traditional cranberry sauce, and it really does perfectly counter-balance the deliciously tart cranberries. The apples and pecans add a fantastic, crunchy texture, and the vanilla and cinnamon create a subtle, rich background.

Oh – and all you have to do is toss all the ingredients in the food processor! You’re done in just moments!

Seriously – what’s not to love!?!?

Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples, Pecans and Pineapple Recipe (5 Minutes and No Cooking!) {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

It stole my heart … and it’ll steal yours, too! (You’ve been warned!)

THK By Shelley

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Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples, Pecans and Pineapples (5 Minutes and No Cooking!)

Preparation 5 min. 2017-08-17T00:05:00+00:00 Cook Time 0 min. 2017-08-17T00:00:00+00:00
Serves About 3½ - 4¼ cups     adjust servings


  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 Ambrosia or Honeycrisp apple (or other firm, sweet-tart variety), peeled and coarsely chopped (to equal about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) dried chopped pineapple
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired consistency, scraping the sides once or twice if needed (see notes).
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, until serving.


Recipe Notes

Food processor: Depending on the exact size of your processor, it may be pretty full once all the ingredients are added. If so, you can process the ingredients for this recipe in two partial batches, and then stir both batches together at the end.

Consistency: The exact consistency of this recipe is entirely up to you. We think it's gorgeous and has great texture when left a bit chunkier, more like a traditional cranberry "relish." If you prefer, however, you can make it smoother, so it's closer to a typical cranberry "sauce." The exact consistency you choose will affect the final yield – when coarsely processed, this recipe will yield about 4¼ cups, but if you process it until rather smooth, it will yield about 3½ cups.

Make-ahead tips: This cranberry sauce can be made a day or two in advance. Keep refrigerated until serving.

We'd love to see your photos of this recipe! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and tag @TwoHealthyKitchens!



Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples, Pecans and Pineapple (5 Minutes and No Cooking!) — 22 Comments

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  2. Hey there! Thanks for this awesome recipe. I’m a blogger and plan to release a Thanksgiving: Eat This not That Round up tomorrow at my blog site. I plan to use this recipe and link back to this page both on the post and on the infographic I’m creating as part of the post. I hope you’ll share it! Looking forward to trying this next week!

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    • Oh, Joanne – I’m so with ya! Five-minute recipes are just the best! And especially when they’re this delicious, and so filled with nutritious ingredients, too! A win all around! Thanks a million for sharing our recipe! 😀 ~Shelley

  9. I love cranberry relish but so often it is presented without nuts.
    Cranberry relish must have nuts to be truly delicious.
    And so, this may become my favorite recipe for this holiday favorite.
    Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Ha! Well, I’m so glad my recipe passed the mandatory “nut test”! I sure hope it becomes just as much a fave for you as it is at my house! I’ve made it two years in a row now, and it’s such a hit! Not only did it easily beat the pants off my old-favorite recipe last year … but I knew it was still a keeper this year, when I heard my husband’s grandma (who is a sensational, stellar cook) say “Who made this cranberry sauce? It’s so good!!!” Oh yeah, that’s a serious stamp of approval! 😀 ~Shelley

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Oana! I hope you gave this recipe a try … and enjoyed it just as much as we do! And I totally agree … the fact that it’s just so simple and quick to make truly is a bonus during the busy holiday season! I love it when I can find delicious recipes that I’m genuinely excited about … and they’re fast and easy, too! 😀 ~Shelley

  10. Yum! I don’t have a cranberry sauce I’m partial too so I think I will try this one this year. It looks great and I love that it comes together so quickly!

    • Thanks so much, Lisa! I hope you loved it as much as we do! I’m actually making it into sort of an appetizer version to share with family again for Christmas! It’s just so good … and so very quick and easy (which is totally what I need around the busy-busy holidays!). I really appreciate your sweet comment! 😀 ~Shelley

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