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Traditional cranberry sauce gets a spicy makeover to keep Thanksgiving interesting! Spiced with cinnamon and cloves, this cranberry sauce will add a little flair to your holiday spread.
I am in complete disbelief that Thanksgiving is this week. Complete and utter shock. I swear, we were just scraping the last of the pumpkin pie off of the pie plate and simultaneously thinking about getting our Christmas tree up, but it turns out, a lot has happened since Thanksgiving last year.
Not only did we add another kiddo to our family, we moved, we hired employees (both for the blog and at the gym), and Matt and I just got back from our FIRST KIDLESS VACATION since before we had our almost 2 and 1/2 year old.
It. Was. Glorious. But that’s a post for another day, because of course I have a recipe to share with you based around the amazing food adventures we had while we were gone (sorry, Nashville is no longer there– we ate it).
But today, we’re focusing on Thanksgiving, because it is by far the best holiday there is. Yeah yeah, I do love Christmas, but I feel like we get to celebrate it for an entire month, and Thanksgiving has the greatest food and the best merriment around it.
Giving thanks for things we have? Heck yeah! Sign me up for celebrating that! Especially if it comes with a side of pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.
Oh, and traditional bread stuffing. Holla at your girl.
So before we get to the recipe, are you a cranberry sauce purist or no? Personally, I do not discriminate against any cranberry sauce.
In fact, despite the fact that I will always have homemade cranberry sauce on the Thanksgiving spread at our house, I will also always have the canned stuff, because I feel like it’s sacrilegious not to.
Load my plate up with a little bit of turkey, a ton of mashed potatoes, a hefty serving of bread stuffing, some veggies, a nice big spoonful of homemade cranberry sauce, and definitely an even bigger spoonful of the canned stuff.
I just can’t resist! I have to have some bites on Thanksgiving, and then I’m good. My holiday is complete.
I started making this homemade cranberry sauce when I first made my mulled cranberry sangria recipe. The byproduct of that mulled cranberry simple syrup is, essentially, cranberry sauce/chutney, so I’ve just been whipping that up for years without actually draining off the liquid for consuming. Easy peasy!
This recipe is really and truly very simple. It’s actually adapted from the recipe on the bag from Ocean Spray. I just add my own spices, which are cinnamon and cloves.
A quick boil and then 10-15 minute simmer will give you this fabulously flavored side dish that you’re sure to want to adopt as a staple at your Thanksgiving table.
What I really love most about this recipe is that it can be made WAY ahead of time. In fact, I made this cranberry sauce 2 weeks ago, photographed it, and then immediately popped it into the freezer.
FREEZE AHEAD OF TIME FOR ONE LESS THING TO DO ON THANKSGIVING!
Yeah, it’s fast, but that’s ONE LESS THING we have to do the day before or even day of Thanksgiving. We’ll just take it out of the freezer the night before Thanksgiving and it should be good and ready by the time we’re sitting down in the later afternoon.
And if not? Nuke it in the microwave. Because that won’t harm it one bit.
There’s also the option of letting it sit in the fridge for up to a week in advance. Like… You just can’t ask for easier than that (except the canned stuff).
I truly hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving, and please, enjoy the time you get to spend with your loved ones this holiday. There’s nothing like that holiday season from November to January, and we’re just getting started… So let’s make 2018 the best one yet!
Homemade Mulled Cranberry Sauce
- 12 oz package of fresh cranberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cranberries, sugar, water, cinnamon, and cloves.
- Bring mixture to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer.
- Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently and being careful not to let mixture boil over sides of saucepan. After simmering, cranberries will be macerated (if some are still whole, that's fine) and mixture will have thickened. Allow to cool, then refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, up to 2 weeks.
- Make ahead: this cranberry sauce can be made up to 1 week in advance. Store in the refrigerator, covered tightly, until ready to use. It also freezes well, up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.