This recipe has been my favorite Thanksgiving cranberry sauce for over 20 years. It’s tart and tangy with much less added sugar than canned sauce because most of the sweetness comes from a variety of fresh, canned and dried fruit. The Recipe Redux theme this month focuses on colorful holiday recipes and cranberries certainly add a splash of natural, vibrant holiday hue to any table.
Sweet and Tangy Cranberry Sauce
- 2 (12) ounce bags fresh cranberries, rinsed (discard any squishy berries)
- 1 (20) ounce can crushed pineapple, in its own juice
- 2 (15) ounce canned mandarin oranges (drained)
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup white raisins
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Splash of orange juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a large saucepan, add cranberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, raisins, splash of orange juice and cinnamon stick. Cook on medium heat until cranberries “pop” and mixture becomes thickened, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more orange juice. Add sugar and remove from heat. Stir in walnuts. If the sauce is too tart, add more sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired sweetness. Cool to room temperature, remove cinnamon stick and store in airtight container in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Note: Just say NO to out of the can cranberry sauce. A ½ cup of Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce (the one that retains the shape of the can) contains 220 calories and 48 grams of added sugar (that’s 12 teaspoons of sugar).
You could substitute fresh pineapple and fresh oranges in this recipe but with everything else going on around the holidays, there is no shame in taking advantage of canned fruit (just be sure to get the fruit packed in their own juice).
Note: This recipe makes a large batch of sauce, plenty for your hungry holiday crowd.