Cranberries are a superfood and have a number of health benefits, including protection against cancer and vascular diseases, but on Thanksgiving, they tend to play second string to the other dishes like mashed potatoes, turkey, and pie. However, our eyes have recently been opened to a slew of Thanksgiving-specific cranberry recipes that have completely changed our view on the deep-hued fruit.
Make the most of this under-dog ingredient with time-tested, crowd-pleasing recipes, and you're sure to win some bragging rights.
Cranberry Sauce (With a Secret Ingredient)
This cranberry sauce (boasting a secret ingredient) from Sally's Baking Addiction, calls for whole cranberries and orange zest, but in place of port (commonly used in cranberry sauces), you'll use orange juice, brown sugar, and—the now-not-so-secret ingredient—vanilla extract.
It's a hit on its own, but you can also try it with blueberries, ginger, or cinnamon.
If your family rarely eats breakfast on the big day because you want to save room, not just for the main event, but also for the cheeseboard and array of dips that precede it, you'll love this salsa by Brilliantly Keto.
First of all, it's gorgeous to look at. Secondly, it's super easy to make. Just combine jalapeños, lime, green onions, cilantro, cranberries, and cumin in a food processor or blender.
Grab a small bowl, spread whipped cream cheese along the bottom, and then scoop the cranberry salsa on top of the cheese. Guests will be pleasantly surprised with the tart yet rich flavor on their crackers.
Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Sweet Potato Bites
These bite-sized morsels from Recipe Runner are perfect for tiding guests over as you wait for the turkey to finish in the oven. Plus, charming hors d'oeuvres are gluten-free, making them a tasty option for anyone with dietary restrictions.
They're also pretty healthy with a crispy sweet potato in place of crackers.
Do you know what all those appetizers go well with? Margaritas. Specifically, cranberry margaritas. Thanks to Gimme Some Oven, this cocktail will quickly become your go-to for holiday soirees. It's the perfect balance of sweet and tart, making it an instant classic. The hero ingredient may be the cranberries, but the orange-flavored liqueur is a close second.
Make a big batch and serve it in a punch bowl with a few lime slices and fresh cranberries bobbing on the surface.
Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta
This Peas and Crayons side dish is a refreshingly simple—and healthy—addition to any smorgasbord. Balance out the sweetness of the honey and butternut squash with the tart taste of fresh cranberries. If you want to embrace your sweet tooth, opt for dried cranberries instead.
Roasted Apple Cranberry Stuffing
What we love about this Budget Bytes stuffing is that you really get a lot of bang for your buck. Prepare to be shocked: This flavorful dish will cost you a whopping $5.86. Don't believe us? Check out the recipe, which breaks down the cost. More importantly, it's absolutely fantastic fresh out of the oven and even better in a leftovers sandwich the next day.
This delectable dish features all the usual suspects, including cranberries, apples, onions, and celery. Plus, pecans for an extra crunch.
Cranberry Blueberry Pie
We love the idea of introducing a pie flavor that people may never have tried before, like this cranberry blueberry pie from Completely Delicious. Who knows? It might even become a new favorite and replace the classics like pumpkin and pecan pie. Until then, though, we're happy to have a selection of pie options on our tables.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. "American cranberries and health benefits – an evolving story of 25 years." 2018