Cranberry Apple Sauce

This quick and easy recipe for Cranberry Apple Sauce yields a sweet-tart condiment perfect for the holidays. Serve it with your favorite roasted turkey.

Photo by Brian Feulner/BDN

Photo by Brian Feulner/BDN

When I first started hosting Thanksgiving for my family, I played with the menu a lot. One year we’d have a cranberry chutney with our turkey. The next year, it’d be something different with a melody of flavors designed to elevate the standard sauce.

But one year, after many experiments and variations, I finally created the sauce that made my family say “that’s the one.” And eventually, our menu fell into place.

Ultimately the sauce that ended up being the one was the simplest I made. Instead of myriad spices, additions and flavorings, just sugar, water, lemon zest, apple and (of course) cranberries comprise this sauce. It’s easy enough to whip up in a short time, but flavorful enough that it stands apart. Instead of the sour versions of my childhood, this sauce is sweet-tart in a most pleasant way. The cool sauce is a nice contrast to the warm turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and all the fixin’s that accompany it.

And it’s fresh — which makes all the difference.

Cranberry Apple Sauce
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Serves: yields about 2¼ cups
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 apple (sweet and firm variety such as Fuji), peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch chunks
  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and lemon juice until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the cranberries and apples. Return mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to medium low. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring once in a while.
  2. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Then refrigerate until serving.


Sarah Walker Caron

About Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is editor of Bangor Metro magazine and senior features editor for the Bangor Daily News. She is the author of "The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook," (Sept. 2018, Rockridge Press) and the co-author of "Grains as Mains: Modern Recipes Using Ancient Grains" (March 2015, DK). Her recipes have appeared in the BDN, Betty Crocker publications, and more. She also writes about food at