Tart like lemons, but vibrant like raspberries, these cranberry recipes are the perfect blend of lip-smacking, sweet and savory.
I have to be honest, I usually only use cranberries in dried form, over salads, or in cookies.
I love their color more than anything else and that they’re nice and small to mix into cakes and scones.
But they’re so overlooked when cooking or baking!
Cranberries are bursting with incredible flavor, loaded with antioxidants, and work well in everything from muffins and smoothies to grilled cheese and cocktails.
They might not be the best when eaten raw, but when added to these 30 cranberry recipes, you’ll definitely be reaching for more.
Cranberry Recipes for Breakfast
I’m a huge smoothie-lover, and I like to switch things up day-to-day.
Yesterday I had a creamy peanut butter treat and today I opted for the classic strawberry and banana.
But when I don’t want creamy or anything too sweet, cranberries are my go-to!
I love that note of sourness they bring to the mix without overpowering the banana and blueberries.
French toast is usually pretty sweet, and that’s just the way I like it!
This recipe is no exception thanks to the creamy custard and brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecan topping.
Now, you could add chocolate to the mix and make this extra indulgent. (I have in the past and it was amazing.)
But when you want something bright and festive, cranberries are the perfect option.
Steel-cut oats take a little longer to make, but they’re more than worth it in the end.
Follow this recipe and you’ll be left with a wonderfully creamy mix that you can jazz up with anything from Nutella to honey and chopped nuts.
Or, you can stick with today’s theme and make the simple cranberry sauce.
It’s vibrant, not too sweet, and has a nice citrus flavor thanks to the orange juice.
Like the recipe above, these muffins are tart and sweet.
Cranberry and orange are a match made in heaven, so don’t be surprised to see more of this as we go on down the list!
This recipe has measurements for fresh and dried cranberries, so it’s a matter of preference as to which you prefer.
Dried berries are a great option since they’re always available. To boost their flavor, try soaking them in some warm orange syrup first!
A lot of store-bought granola is either loaded with artificial sugars, or super expensive.
Why pay a whole lot for just a few portions, when you can make it at home so easily?
It tastes better homemade, too!
Grab some gluten-free oats if you have an allergy or any kind of old-fashioned oats if not. I like the flavor of maple syrup, but feel free to use honey if you prefer.
Making scones is a lot like making biscuits: you need to be gentle with the dough if you want them fluffy.
This recipe suggests you use your hands, but you can use a stand mixer easily enough. The key is to work slowly.
I like to add the dry to the bowl and mix it on low with the paddle before adding the butter in cubes.
Let it mix until it looks like breadcrumbs before adding in the milk.
Mix it on low, pouring the milk in slowly until it starts to come together (but not completely), and then let it sit for a few minutes.
Just before you turn the dough out, mix it on medium speed for about 5 seconds.
On the counter, just pat the dough down until it’s the right thickness.
Don’t roll it or re-work it. This should leave you with lovely light and fluffy scones.
Cranberry Appetizers and Sides
The best cranberry sauce should be sweet, tart, zesty, sticky, bright, and perfectly spiced.
Fresh berries are really the only option here (in my opinion) since they will cook and soften.
Frozen berries will soften too much and turn to mush after a while, where fresh should keep more of their shape.
So you made too much cranberry sauce? Then you have to make this cream cheese dip!
The holidays are a blur of family and feasting, and it’s great when you can use up leftovers without making people eat the same thing for days on end.
This dip is creamy and savory, with that hit of tart fruit from the cranberry sauce on top.
And all you’ll need to do is soften the cream cheese and pour it over the sauce.
Brie has an unusually fruity-creamy-nutty-cheesy flavor to it, and the texture is wonderfully silky.
It’s that unique flavor that makes this soft cheese pair so well with fruits.
You can use pears, figs, prunes, or apricots, but cranberries will make for a prettier dish.
Much like a tasty fondue, this retro cheese dish is coming back in style!
Other than crackers or breadsticks, this recipe needs just four ingredients and about ten minutes of your time.
Cream cheese is a must, but then you can add in whatever cheese you like! If you want to go fancy, try mixing in some Brie.
But if you want to keep it budget-friendly, cheddar is your best friend.
Cranberry Recipes for Lunch
If you’re a fan of salty-sweet food, these pinwheels will make you smile.
The saltiness of the feta is just what you need against the tart-sweet flavor of the berries.
The whole thing is mellowed out using cream cheese as a base, so nothing is too overpowering.
If you’re a fan of apples in your grilled cheese, you’ll love this holiday leftover sandwich!
Ideally, you need the cranberry sauce to be pretty thick, that way it doesn’t just seep out as the whole thing cooks.
But if you made your own, and it’s thinner, try mixing it with some cream cheese and spreading it on the bread.
I like to keep flatbreads at home for those lazy days when I don’t feel like cooking.
You can open them up and stuff them with chicken salad, or top them with some simple ingredients for an easy pizza.
They freeze well, too, and a couple of minutes in a toaster will thaw them out perfectly.
Alternatively, try making your own! There’s no need for proofing with this recipe, and they’re ready to eat in around a half-hour.
For me, a salad isn’t complete without a whole slew of fun toppings. I need color, flavor, and lots of texture to go along with all that lettuce!
This salad has all that and then some, using fresh apples for a tart crunch and bacon for some salty goodness.
Dried cranberries are a fantastic way to give this some color and add a level of chewiness to the mix.
Dinner Cranberry Recipes
Ham makes such a nice change to the usual roast dinners, and when it’s sticky and glazed, people will be fighting for the last few slices!
The glaze is a simple reduction of your favorite cranberry sauce, sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne, which adds a nice note of heat under all that sweetness.
Just like making ribs, the ham needs to be glazed and then baked, before being basted with even more flavor.
Once cooked, it’ll be sticky, sweet, salty, and irresistible.
This one-pan wonder is sweet, tangy, and ready to eat in 30 minutes.
Chicken thighs are the best cut for this as they will soak up the marinade better and stay wonderfully juicy after the cook.
To ensure the chicken gets as much flavor as possible, be sure to add some of the onions and cranberries right on top, and even underneath.
This might seem like an odd combination, but I swear it works! We happily eat mango and pineapple with our tacos after all.
The important thing is to season the turkey well and amp up the flavor of the cranberry sauce with jalapeños.
I added a couple of diced chilis to mine and cooked it down until it was nice and thick.
Much like the ham recipe above, this glazed turkey is sticky, sweet, and deliciously savory.
Adding rosemary to the cranberry sauce is a great way to tailor it to the lighter meat, and I actually reduced the amount of orange in mine so it would shine through.
For something even better, try adding a layer of bacon over the cranberry sauce!
Cranberry Dessert Recipes
I think we all know that cranberries pair well with white chocolate, but have you ever tried it in ice cream?
Made with whipped cream and condensed milk, you don’t even need an ice cream maker for this recipe.
The base is pretty simple and super tasty, and you could add any number of fillings. I made it the other day with salted caramel and brownie bites!
Starbucks has a knack for making super moist and tasty sweetbreads, don’t they?
I don’t think I’ve ever made it out of there without a slice of pumpkin, lemon, or banana bread.
This cranberry loaf is lesser-known, and not available all year round. But when you get a taste, you’ll want to make it all the time.
It’s lightly spiced with cinnamon and has a touch of citrus from orange juice and zest.
Fresh cranberries are my favorite option, but frozen works too.
Just remember to thaw and drain the fruit or you’ll end up with a dense and soggy loaf.
This might look like the perfect little holiday treat (and it is!), but it’s delicious no matter the time of year.
I’m definitely one of those people that needs something sweet every day, and this bark is an excellent way to satisfy my sweet tooth without going overboard.
The chewy cranberries look fantastic on the creamy white chocolate, and if you take the time to temper it (or keep it in the fridge) the “snap” of the chocolate is to die for.
Instead of pumpkin seeds, I used chopped pistachios which were even better!
I can’t get over how great this fudge looks. It’s so simple, but you’ll find it hard to have just one piece.
A word of warning: this fudge is sweet! As in, it has white chocolate, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and marshmallow creme in there.
But it’s also super creamy, and the cranberries help to cut through the sweetness just right.
This is a little like ambrosia salad since they both contain crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and Cool Whip.
Where it differs, though, is that it has lashings of tart cranberry sauce mixed through, making it a lovely pink color.
I actually think this would be even tastier if you added mandarin oranges, too (like in the ambrosia salad) since cranberry and oranges were made for each other.
Shortbread cookies are a thing of beauty. Buttery, crispy, and crumbly, they are amazing on their own, and even better when you add in tasty extras.
To get the best texture, only mix the dough until it starts to come together. It should be shaggy and almost dry-looking.
Dump it all out on the counter and bring it together with your hands, pressing gently into a log and then rolling it up and wrapping it with plastic.
If you’re hosting a party, or if you just want something fresh at home to drink, try this refreshing fruit punch.
It uses pineapple and cranberry juice, so it’s not super sweet. And the ginger ale adds a nice bit of background spice.
Citrus is a must, and I think a mix of lime, lemon, and orange slices looks the best.
Lemonade is a classic summer drink, but I pretty much always need another flavor in the mix.
Though I usually opt for strawberries, I’ve been reaching for the cranberries a lot more this year!
To pack in as much flavor as possible, you’ll make a simple fruity syrup.
Just simmer the cranberries (frozen works perfectly) with sugar and lemon juice, and then top it up with sparkling water.
Super easy, and extra refreshing.
Gin is having a real moment these days. It seems everywhere you look there’s a new brand and flavor.
Though it’s not my favorite spirit, this cocktail is pretty darn tasty.
The piney and fruity notes from the gin blend really well with the tartness of the cranberries, plus the bitters round everything out, much like salt in your dinner.
Also known as a Cape Cod Cocktail, this recipe couldn’t be simpler.
It’s a simple blend of cranberry juice, vodka, and lime juice, which gets mixed up and poured straight over ice.
I don’t think it needs anything else, but if you like your drinks sweeter, try adding a dash of simple syrup.
This mocktail is similar to the lemonade from above, but it’s a little bit sweeter since it uses Sprite instead of sparkling water.
I prefer this recipe as I’m a lime-lover at heart! Plus, there’s no need to make a syrup for this.
Just mix everything in a pitcher and serve with plenty of fresh berries and lime slices.
Other than margaritas, sangria is my all-time favorite summer drink. It’s fruity, boozy, and a breeze to whip up at home.
Depending on your tastes, you can go for a sweeter or stronger red wine for the base. I tend to go for something sweet since it’s a cocktail!
I also like to add Cointreau instead of orange juice, and Sprite over club soda.
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