My Favorite Easy-to-Make Mulled Cranberry Sauce

Mulled Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce. It’s one of those things I never really thought much about growing up. It was always present during our big holiday meals, but we always used canned cranberry sauce. You know, the kind where you open the can on both ends and then jiggle it until it slides onto the serving dish in one fell swoop. I neither loved nor hated it. Had it not been present we may have felt something was amiss. It was not one of the more eagerly anticipated dishes. It made the table look more colorful, but not much else beyond that.

Fast forward to my first Thanksgiving with my husband’s family. His mom makes homemade cranberry sauce. Homemade! I had never really considered this to be something I might make in my own kitchen. I certainly had no idea how easy it is to prepare. But. One taste told me that I could no longer in good conscience go back to canned cranberry sauce again. Ever.

And I have not.

Below is my recipe for Mulled Cranberry Sauce. It’s one that has evolved after years of experimenting. My mother-in-law modified the recipe on the bag of cranberries, adding cinnamon when she made it. Just a hint. So delicious! After a few times of making her recipe, I took full license to experiment with my own flavor combinations, and this is the result.

Feel free to use my recipe, but also experiment with your own touches. It’s forgiving. Take out anything you don’t like…throw in flavors you think might work. Have fun with it!! I’d love to hear any of your modifications and suggestions in the comments.

**Leftover Tip: if you have leftovers, add them to Lemon Bars for an update on an old favorite! I have a link to my favorite Lemon Bar recipe in this post: Tuesdays with Frank.

Buon Appetito, Y’all!!


Cindy’s Mulled Cranberry Sauce 

– 1 12 ounce bag of cranberries (can be fresh or frozen)
– 3/4 cup dry red wine (I use one of those little bottles that come in a 4-pack)
– 1/4 c fresh orange juice, make sure to zest it first!!
– 1 cup of dark brown sugar (can also use regular cane, but the molasses in the dark brown sugar adds a flavor dimension)
– dash of cinnamon (I learned this one from my mother-in-law 😀)
– 1/8 tsp chipotle powder (just a hint of spice…but not too much!)
– 1/4 cup tart, dried cherries 
– 2 T Cointreau or Grand Marnier (can be omitted)
 
**other options: raisins, apples, dried cranberries (gives a texture dimension), nuts. Apple cider can be used in place of the red wine…so many variations. 
 
Directions: 
Rinse the cranberries in a colander, picking through and discarding any bad ones.
 
Bring the sugar and wine and orange juice to a boil, then add in the cranberries, cinnamon, chipotle powder and dried cherries. Once this returns to a boil, turn down and simmer until the berries burst, about 7-10 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the orange zest and Cointreau (or Grand Marnier). Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
 
Once it comes to room temperature, cover it, and place it in the refrigerator. It should last 10-14 days. You can also freeze this in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.  While it will last longer from a safety perspective, the taste will begin to diminish beyond that point.

Please share with your friends, thank you!

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