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Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples

This Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples is made using fresh or frozen cranberries, orange juice, and cinnamon. This dish will have your home smelling like warm cider and it tastes like it, too!

apple cranberry sauce in a white bowl with a fresh apple

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Key Recipe Ingredients

  • Cranberries
  • Apples
  • Orange Juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Sugar or Sweetener
cranberries, sliced apples, cinnamon sticks, sugar, honey, and orange juice in separate bowls

What Type of Cranberries to Use. Fresh vs Frozen

You can use either fresh or frozen in this recipe. If using frozen you don’t have to defrost them, but I recommend rinsing off any ice crystals if present.

What Type of Apples to Use

I like to use Granny Smith apples because they are really crisp with a sharp taste, but they are tart. If you are looking for sweet cranberry sauce, go with something sweet. Other apples that will work great are: Fuji, Gala, Envy, and Golden Delicious. Pick apples that won’t get soggy (Red Delicious apples are an example).

apples, cranberries, honey, cinnamon sticks, and sugar in a skilet

How to Make the Recipe Healthy Without Sugar

You can omit the honey in this recipe and opt for sweetening the sauce solely with something like monkfuit. It’s a fruit extract with zero calories and zero carbs.

uncooked apple cranberry sauce in a pot

How to Make Cranberry Sauce with Apples

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Heat a saucepan or Dutch oven on medium-high heat and add cranberries, apples, sweetener, orange juice, honey, and cinnamon. Stir.
  2. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
  3. See below for slow cooker instructions.
uncooked apple cranberry sauce in a pot

Sauce Texture

It is important to decide the texture you will want for your sauce. That will vary the cook time. If you want the apples to still hold their structure, cook the sauce for less time. If you want all of the ingredients to blend together and form an actual sauce, cook it for more time.

How to Thicken Cranberry Sauce/Runny Cranberry Sauce

Using granulated sweetener helps with thickening cranberry sauce (it is used in this recipe). The sauce will also thicken after it’s refrigerated and chilled properly.

Cool the Sauce

Allow the sauce to fully cool prior to chilling it.

apple cranberry sauce in a pot

Chilling

I allow the sauce to chill for at least 2 hours in advance of serving.

Can You Make it Ahead?

This is the perfect dish to make ahead because properly stored it will last in the fridge for 10-14 days.

How to Store It

Store leftovers tightly covered and sealed in plastic or glass in the refrigerator.

Freezer Tips

Store the cranberry apple sauce tightly covered and sealed and it will last up to a year. It keeps it’s optimal freshness for 2 months.

apple cranberry sauce in a white bowl with a fresh apple

Pair With these Side Dish Recipes

Lobster Mac and Cheese
Southern Green Beans

Cornbread Dressing with Chicken
Caramel Apple Spice Starbucks

Pair With these Main Dish Recipes

Slow Cooker Turkey Legs
Slow Cooker Turkey Wings
Slow Cooker Boneless Turkey Breast
Smothered Turkey Wings
Baked Crab Legs
Baked Turkey Wings
Southern Baked Ham With Pineapple
Air Fryer Turkey
Air Fryer Baked Ham

Cajun Roasted Turkey
Air Fryer Cornish Hens

More Cranberry Recipes

Slow Cooker Crockpot Cranberry Sauce
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Mimosas

Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples

This Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples is made using fresh or frozen cranberries, orange juice, and cinnamon. This dish will have your home smelling like warm cider and it tastes like it, too!
Save this recipe here.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword apple cranberry sauce, cranberry apple sauce, cranberry sauce with apples
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 126kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz cranberries
  • 3-4 cups diced apples I used Granny Smith, diced into 1 inch chunks.
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener or sugar Start with 1 teaspoon and taste repeatedly until desired taste is met

Instructions

Stovetop Instructions

  • Heat a saucepan or Dutch oven on medium-high heat and add the cranberries, apples, sweetener, orange juice, honey, and cinnamon. Stir.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
  • Cook time will vary based on how you like your sauce. If you like for your cranberries to cook down, pop, and form a thick sauce cook it for longer until the cranberries pop.
    If you like to serve it with the cranberries intact, cook for less time. It's up to you.
    Simmer the sauce for at least 10-15 minutes or until your reach your desired texture.
  • Taste repeatedly and adjust sweetener and spices as necessary.
  • Allow the cranberry sauce to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate (covered) until chilled, around 2 hours.

Slow Cooker Crockpot Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker. (You may elect to add the sugar and sweeteners at the end so that you can adjust to taste.)
  • Cook on High for 3-4 hours or on Low for 7-8 hours.
  • Taste repeatedly and adjust sweetener and spices as necessary.
  • Allow the cranberry sauce to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate (covered) until chilled, around 2 hours.

Notes

You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries in this recipe. If using frozen you don’t have to defrost them, but I recommend rinsing off any ice crystals if present.
I like to use Granny Smith apples because they are really crisp with a sharp taste, but they are tart. If you are looking for sweet cranberry sauce, go with something sweet. Other apples that will work great are: Fuji, Gala, Envy, and Golden Delicious. Pick apples that won’t get soggy (Red Delicious apples are an example).
It is important to decide the texture you will want for your sauce. That will vary the cook time. If you want the apples to still hold their structure, cook the sauce for less time. If you want all of the ingredients to blend together and form an actual sauce, cook it for more time.
 
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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