~ 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 •
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.
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.
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!
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 …
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!?!?
It stole my heart … and it’ll steal yours, too! (You’ve been warned!)
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- 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
- Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired consistency, scraping the sides once or twice if needed (see notes).
- Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, until serving.
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 and Yield: 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 consistency you choose will affect the final yield – when coarsely processed, this recipe will yield about 4 1/4 cups, but if you process it until rather smooth, it will yield about 3 1/2 cups. (Note that, for the nutrition calculation below, we settled on a middle-ground of 4 cups.)
Make-ahead tips: This cranberry sauce can be made a day or two in advance. Keep refrigerated until serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 servings Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 108Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.