Skip to Content

Cherry Cranberry Sauce Recipe – How to Make it in 7 Simple Steps

A dish with fresh cherry cranberry sauce on a wooden table.

This recipe includes dried cherries which adds an additional layer of flavor and texture to the final product. The cherries are initially soaked in a cranberry juice cocktail and warmed to be re-hydrated before the cranberries are added.

The cranberries are then heated until they pop, releasing delicious juice into the sauce. Cranberries have a natural level of pectin in them, a chemical that helps the sauce firm up in refrigeration. Because of this pectin, this sauce will thicken as it cools.

A dish with fresh cranberry sauce on a wooden table.

Cherry Cranberry Sauce Recipe

April Freeman
If you think that cranberry sauce is a cylindrical gelatinous mass that is shaped with the grooves of the can from which it came, you have no idea what you have been missing all of these years. Real cranberry sauce features delicious, fruity, cranberries in a jelly-like sauce. Our recipe for Cherry Cranberry Sauce is tart and sweet and a cheerful red color, a perfect accompaniment for traditional roast turkey or other kinds of meat.
Prep Time 25 mins
Refrigeration Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings


  • Large Saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Dish with Tight Lid


  • cups Cranberry Juice Cocktail we used cherry cranberry cocktail
  • 4 ounces Dried Cherries
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 12 ounces Packaged Fresh Cranberries if you froze these in the winter, just thaw them overnight in your refrigerator
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Grated Orange Zest optional


  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the juice to a simmer.
    The cranberry juice is brought to a simmer in a large saucepan.
  • Add the dried cherries to the juice and take the pan off of the heat, turning off the stove. Let the cherries sit in the hot juice for about ten minutes to rehydrate the cherries.
  • Stir in the sugar, along with the cranberries, the cloves, and the orange zest.
    The rest of the ingredients are then added into the saucepan.
  • Turn the stovetop back on to medium heat, bringing the berries to a boil. Cook the berries and cherries together until the sauce begins to thicken and the cranberries soften. This should take about ten to twelve minutes. Stir the sauce frequently while you’re cooking it.
  • Take the pan off the heat and put it in a dish with a tightly fitting lid. Put the cranberry sauce in the refrigerator for at least four hours until it is fully chilled. As the sauce cools, it will thicken.
  • Serve the sauce cold. This sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days, and it is a great dish to make ahead of time.
  • Kitchen Tip: Fresh cranberries may be hard to find in the store all year round, so if you want to make cranberry sauce other times besides in winter, you should buy a few extra bags of cranberries in season. Pop the whole bag in the freezer, and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before you make this recipe.


Most people believe that cranberry sauce should be reserved for holiday dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas. And while this dish is good for those special holidays, there is no reason that you can’t enjoy our recipe for Cherry Cranberry Sauce all year round.
It is perfect to serve as a side dish with any poultry main dish. Additionally, it tastes fantastic along with the savory flavors of a pot roast. This Cherry Cranberry Sauce recipe is so good that there is no reason to limit it to the months of November and December.
One of the fruits that are native to North America, cranberries were an essential part of the diets of Native American tribes in the Northeastern portion of the continent. The tribes in New Jersey called these colorful little fruits “ibimi” which meant “bitter berry”.
The European immigrants that spoke German named this fruit the “crane berry” due to the fact that the flower of the plant on which the fruits grew resembled a crane. Later on, the name was changed to cranberry.
With high levels of vitamin C, cranberries were carried on ships that went on long sea voyages to prevent scurvy, a disease caused by a lack of this vitamin. Cranberries also have natural antibacterial properties, and for this reason, they can help reduce the buildup of plaque on the teeth and gum disease.
Additionally, the antibacterial qualities of the berry were the reason that Native American tribes used cranberries in treating cuts and wounds. They also made it into pemmican, a mixture of crushed cranberries and deer meat. The antibacterial qualities of the berries kept the meat from spoiling very quickly.
Cranberries prefer loose, sandy soils and cool climates. For this reason, they are generally grown in places like Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Washington State, New Jersey, and Oregon. Wisconsin produces more cranberries than any other state in the United States, with Massachusetts coming in at number 2 in cranberry production.
While many people have seen the flooded fields of cranberries, did you know that cranberries are not grown in water? They grow in specially constructed beds called bogs, but the bogs don’t usually have water in them. The flooding of the bog happens at harvest time.
The commercial grower will pump water into the bog and a mechanical gadget will beat the water, dislodging the berries from the plants. The berries float to the top of the water and are then gathered for packaging.
Keyword Cherry Cranberry Sauce, Recipe, Side Dish

All Recipes | Breakfast | Dinner (Mains) | Dessert | Side Dishes | Soups | Appetizers | Salads | Snacks | Beverages | Breads

Chat Box

Home Expert (Bot)
Hello, how are you? Ask me anything about interior design, home improvement, home decor, real estate, gardening and furniture.

Related: 19 Recipes with Cranberries

Chat Box

Home Expert (Bot)
Hello, how are you? Ask me anything about interior design, home improvement, home decor, real estate, gardening and furniture.