Forget about store-bought cranberry sauce. This homemade apple cranberry sauce will be a new family tradition for you! This cranberry sauce with apples is tangy, sweet, and unbelievably easy!
We have so many delicious Thanksgiving recipes here including Persian spiced turkey, homemade stuffing and an easy turkey gravy recipe. Top it with this homemade apple cranberry sauce and you'll have a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner!
Why this apple cranberry sauce recipe works
The combination of cranberries, apple and orange juice makes this homemade cranberry apple sauce really tasty. Another tip that makes this sauce extremely delicious is to add the orange pulp to the sauce. The pulp does make a difference!
I only added a third of a cup of maple syrup to the sauce but you can adjust the amount of maple syrup according to your taste and how sweet you want the sauce to be.
Ingredients to make naturally sweetened cranberry sauce with apples
To make this easy cranberry sauce with apples you need:
- Cranberry juice
- Apple cider or apple juice
- Maple syrup
How to make apple cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving
Simply put cranberries, chopped apples, juice of two oranges, cranberry juice, apple cider and maple syrup in a medium sauce pan or a pot over medium heat and bring it to a slow simmer. Stir occasionally and let it cook until the apples are a little soft and cranberries have popped.
How to make cranberry sauce in slow cooker
Making apple cranberry sauce in slow cooker is so easy and is great for Thanksgiving since you can even do it ahead of time or just in the morning and let it cook until Thanksgiving dinner. Place cranberries, apples, orange juice, maple syrup, apple cider and cranberry juice in the slow cooker and place on the lid. Cook on high for three hours.
How to make cranberry sauce in Instant Pot
If you want to be quick and efficient, instant pot cranberry sauce is a great option. Simple put all the ingredients for homemade cranberry sauce in the instant pot and secure the lid. Press "Pressure cook" or "Manual" and set the timer for 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes cooking time is done, let the instant pot release pressure naturally for 5 minutes. Do a quick release and open the lid. Press "Saute" and let the cranberry sauce simmer until it reaches desired consistency and thickness.
How long can you keep cranberry sauce in the refrigerator?
You can keep cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Usually there is some leftover cranberry sauce. Check this article out to see what to do with leftover cranberry sauce.
Is apple cranberry sauce served hot or cold?
You can serve cranberry sauce hot, warm, room temperature or cold. It completely depends on how you and your family likes the cranberry sauce to be. I usually like to serve it at room temperature.
Homemade cranberry sauce is the best!
One of the traditions that I'm starting in our family is my homemade cranberry apple sauce. Last year we were in Seattle with Kyle's parents for Thanksgiving and we had all of his relatives over, which was just amazing. Kyle's dad always does the turkey so I didn't want to mess with that, especially because we had almost 35 guests - so I offered to make cranberry sauce because, seriously, you just can't mess up cranberry sauce.
Anyway, I made the cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving last year and I did a very basic one, nothing fancy. I don't like to brag but some people did say it was the best cranberry sauce they've ever had. So this year, I'm giving my cranberry sauce a nice touch with some apples and it's going to be awesome!
More Thanksgiving recipes:
- Ross Geller's Thanksgiving Sandwich
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- Roasted Turkey Breast
- Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- Crustless Pumpkin Pie
- Sage Parmesan Garlic Buns
Notes and tips to make Homemade apple cranberry sauce
- To make this easy cranberry apple sauce you can also use frozen cranberries. Let them thaw in the fridge and continue with the recipe as instructed.
- To make ginger apple cranberry sauce, add 1 teaspoon of grated ginger to the cranberry sauce while it's simmering.
- For cinnamon apple cranberry sauce use one cinnamon stick in the sauce in the beginning with all the other ingredients.
- If the cranberry sauce is too runny, simmer until it's thickened. This apple cranberry sauce will also thicken when it has cooled down.
Homemade Cranberry Apple Sauce
- 2 lb cranberries
- 2 apples chopped (I used one mcintosh and granny smith)
- Juice of 2 oranges plus pulp
- ½ cup cranberry juice
- ½ cup apple cider
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- Place all the ingredients in a pot, place over medium heat and cook for 20-25 minutes until cranberries pop and the sauce thickens.
- Serve warm or cold.
- Store in airtight containers.
- Cranberry sauce in slow cooker:
- Cranberry sauce in Instant Pot:
Hi! I can't wait to try this for thanksgiving! Question, is it the juice of 2 oranges PLUS another 1/2 cup of orange juice? Just making sure!
Hi Rebekah! My apologies, that's actually 1/2 cup cranberry juice! Just corrected! 🙂
Thanks! Would that be unsweetened cranberry juice?
Both unsweetened and sweetened would work, but definitely taste before serving and if it's not sweet enough, add more maple syrup 🙂
We can use of dry cranberries instead (#) fresh?
Hi Lia 🙂 You can use dried cranberries but in that case leave the maple syrup out as the cranberries are already sweet and add 1/2 cup water to help the cranberries plump. To have the similar consistency, you can add 2 tsp corn starch 🙂
Megan @ MegUnprocessed
Looks vibrant and very appetizing!
Alice @ hip foodie mom
Love it that you don't use sugar. Usually cranberry sauce has so much sugar. Can't wait to try this one!
I hope you like it! I'm totally obsessed with maple syrup I use it all the time!