Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce

Drinking wine and eating jam are two things I’m great at.

Doing them under the guise of ‘cranberry sauce’ is the best idea I’ve had for elevating cranberry sauce from a side dish to a starring dish.

Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce (vegan, GF) - Make your own cranberry sauce with amazing depth of flavor in 30 minutes! Easy recipe at

I love cranberry sauce, but I never make it with just cranberries. Too boring. I add pineapple and mango, or work in oranges and ginger.

This year I doctored up the cranberries with cabernet sauvignon and blueberries, and this blend is my favorite ever. I had to refrain from eating the whole batch in a day. So good. Like drinking wine and eating jam all in one, with texture, sweetness, tartness, and juicy berries in full force.

Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce (vegan, GF) - Make your own cranberry sauce with amazing depth of flavor in 30 minutes! Easy recipe at

If you’ve never made cranberry sauce using fresh cranberries and your only experience with it is from a can, and you think you ‘don’t like cranberries’, I don’t blame you. That’s like saying you don’t like cheese if your only experience is Cheeze Whiz. There’s just no comparison.

Cranberry sauce is supremely easy to make and I always wonder why people buy it in cans or containers. From start to finish, it takes 30 minutes, and all you need to do is toss everything into a kettle, stir intermittently, and a half hour later, you’ve got rich sauce with supreme depth of flavor.

Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce (vegan, GF) - Make your own cranberry sauce with amazing depth of flavor in 30 minutes! Easy recipe at

I used fresh cranberries and frozen blueberries. No need to thaw the blueberries first. If you have a mixed berry blend with blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries, that would be lovely, too.

I added a generous sprinkle of both cinnamon and cloves, which really adds extra flavor and the warming notes of the spices play off the wine. The cinnamon is noticeable and if you’re not a cinnamon fan, you may want to reduce the one tablespoon I used down to one teaspoon.

Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce (vegan, GF) - Make your own cranberry sauce with amazing depth of flavor in 30 minutes! Easy recipe at

I used two-buck Chuck (Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw $2.49 cabernet), but any type of merlot, shiraz, or your favorite red will work. Not into wine? You can use water, but that defeats the purpose and the flavor will not be nearly as rich and robust.

I don’t know how much alcohol cooks off and how much doesn’t. I would surmise most is cooked off, but it’s your call if this is appropriate for you or your family members. I put it into the same category as beer bread. There’s not enough and it’s stretched over too many servings, and it’s heated anyway, so no one will be catching a buzz from cranberries. Darn.

If you’re into wine, you’re going to go head over heels for this sauce. While it simmers, the scent of the wine reducing with the cinnamon and berries is heavenly. You don’t need scented candles with this simmering.

Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce (vegan, GF) - Make your own cranberry sauce with amazing depth of flavor in 30 minutes! Easy recipe at

As I was shoveling it by the spoonful, I kept thinking how many great anti-oxidants I was getting from the blueberries and all those great heart-healthy flavonoids found in red wine, and what a great service I was doing my body. Right.

Since I don’t eat turkey, or stuffing, and I’ve never been into mashed potatoes or gravy, and usually most vegetables are way too mushy and overcooked for my taste, Thanksgiving has never been a meal I look forward to, with the exception of the cranberry sauce.

You can have your turkey, stuffing, and everything else. I’m having this. And pie.

Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce (vegan, GF) - Make your own cranberry sauce with amazing depth of flavor in 30 minutes! Easy recipe at

Cabernet Cranberry & Blueberry Sauce - Move over boring cranberry sauce! Cranberries are so much better with blueberries & wine! Make your own sauce in 30 minutes and so easy!

Print Recipe

Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce

This cranberry sauce is like drinking wine and eating jam all in one, with texture, sweetness, tartness, and juicy berries. If you've never made your own cranberry sauce, this is the year to start. Everything is combined in one kettle and it's ready in 30 minutes. I used fresh cranberries and frozen blueberries; no need to thaw the blueberries first. If you have a mixed berry blend with blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries, that would be lovely. Your favorite red wine may be substituted in place of the cabernet. If you don't want to use wine, you could use water, although the flavor will be completely different. The sauce has a pleasant pop of spices, but always add to taste, and if you don't like bolder flavors, consider reducing the cinnamon and cloves. Make sure all wine used is vegan and gluten-free if necessary

Yield: about 20 ounces

Prep Time: 1 minute

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


one 8-ounce bag fresh cranberries
6-ounces frozen blueberries (about 1 1/2 cups), unthawed
1 cup cabernet sauvignon (or shiraz, merlot, or a favorite red wine)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cloves, or to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium to large kettle, and bring to a rolling boil, stirring intermittently. Make sure kettle has room for sauce to at least triple in volume. The juices from the berries release and as the mixture boils rapidly, it will foam and a too-small pot will easily overflow.
  2. Reduce heat to low and allow sauce to simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until reduced and thickened slightly, and most of the cranberries have burst. Sauce will thicken more as it cools.
  3. Transfer to heat-safe jars or containers with lids. Allow sauce to cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Sauce will keep airtight in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.

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Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Bliss Cake - The flavors of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars in a Soft, Easy, No-Mixer Cake! Recipe at

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Thanks for the entries in the West Elm $50 Gift Card Giveaway

Do you like cranberry sauce? How do you make yours?


  1. Hi! I pinned this to a group board and a lady is asking me if she can can it so it will last longer? Thanks! Kellie

  2. I made this last year (the smell was heavenly! ) but couldn’t get the kids to try it, cause they didn’t like the skins. This year I added a Granny Smith apple (to add some natural pectin) and then when it was done cooking, I put in the blender then through a fine sieve. OMG, so good. More like jam then anything. So delicious. Kids were all over it! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. This was incredible! The smell was awesome throughout the house. I’ve been using this as a spread on English muffins and it is soooo good! I did have a problem with there being a lot of excess liquid and not really solidifying like cranberry sauce should. Next time I’ll probably cut the liquid down a bit. Even so it didn’t stop me from eating it. Great recipe!

    • Glad you’re enjoying it! Some batches of blueberries or cranberries are just extra juicy I’ve made this so many times and every once in awhile you get a ‘juicy’ batch. The way I counteract that is just simmer/boil/reduce longer and it will thicken up!

  4. This was a wonderful addition to my table. I made enough to give a couple of jars as gifts.

  5. Is it OK to use frozen cranberries (fresh are almost impossible to procure in Australia)?

    • Probably although I haven’t tried it. Just watch the texture/liquid/consistency because I don’t know how their juiciness level compares to fresh and how thing will change with frozen vs. fresh but just use your judgment with regard for how long to boil.

    • Thanks – will see how it goes.
      I have had your recipe pinned for a year now and it has taken me this long to find some non-dried cranberries to play with. Any excuse to open a bottle of wine, really!

    • Seriously the BEST cranberries ever. I’ve had this recipe up for a few years and every year people write to say this is the end-all-be-all of cranberry recipes and this will be their forever go-to. It’s mine. LMK how it goes for you! And enjoy the wine :)

    • Have just mad a batch and there was no problem with the frozen cranberries. Blueberries were frozen too. The cooking times were the same as in your recipe. Cinnamon flavour is overpowering, so perhaps have a stronger brand here. I have also “canned it” so will leave for a month or so and taste to see if there is much difference in flavour once it matures.

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it worked out well for you. All tastebuds and brands of cinnamon vary, so tone it down to taste, as you need to for the next batch. I think it could mellow and marry over time as it sits, just guessing, but that’s my hunch.

  6. I made this today. I found the cinnamon and cloves a bit much so I added some more cranberries, but maybe I should have waited until it “aged” a bit and then tried it before adding things.

    • It is robustly flavored and I do love it that way. Something to consider is that all spice brands do vary in their intensity and how much ‘pop’ of flavor they deliver and maybe yours gave an extra big pop of flavor. But yes it does mellow and the flavors do marry over time. But you can always reduce the spices next time to your taste. Thanks for trying the recipe.

    • I know my cinnamon is really strong. I got some “special” stuff that I love. 

    • Ahh, well that’s your answer then. You do have some extra strong stuff! Good to know when you’re baking/cooking, go easy-handed with it!

  7. Can you freeze it?

  8. Do you think this could be “canned” ?

    • Many people have asked/commented about this in the past and if you re-read through the comments, I’m pretty sure some people have done it. I personally haven’t but I’m sure you could if you’re familiar with canning in general. LMK how it goes!

  9. Does the Cabernet cranberry blueberry sauce get eaten cold or reheated?

  10. Just wanted to leave a note saying that THIS is our  holiday tradition now. I made two batches (tgiving and christmas last year) and they were both hits last year!

    This year, I’m jarring them for gifts! 

  11. I made this recipe today (simmered for 30 minutes) and it definitely did not triple in size. The only way I deviated from the recipe is by cutting the sugar by 1/3. What would you guess the reason for this is? 

    • Less sugar will definitely result in less bubbling and would have contributed the sauce not getting as ‘big’. It’s not a big deal either way, but I always like to give ample warning to those who are newer in the kitchen because if they use too small of a pot, it would likely overflow in this recipe.

  12. I’ve been making cranberry sauce the standard way for years and wanted to change it up a bit this year.  I saw your post for your recipe and gave it a whirl.  We had Friendsgiving dinner last night and have the huge traditional Thanksgiving coming up in a few days so I quadrupled the recipe and divided into to large pots. I loved the color, the smell and how easy this recipe is.  The only thing would do differently is cut the spices in half, especially anyone making it for the first time so you get a sense of how much cinnamon and clove you want. I only put 2/3 of the cloves and it was still very, very strong.  Also, I simmered the batch for over 30 minutes because of the double batch size and could taste the grit of the cloves.  Has anyone else made comments or had that experience?  Is there a trick to dissolving the cloves better?  Now that I’ve made it once, I will definitely make it again with just the one adjustment!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and glad that it was, overall, a success. Cloves (and all spices), based on brand, freshness, etc. will vary in their intensity and sometimes it takes a bit to figure out the perfect ratios for your personal preferences. I have never had an issue with gritiness yet I’ve never 4x’ed the batch so that could have contributed. Glad you’ll make it again!

  13. This recipe is what I’m thankful for this year! You did amazing job. We had an early thanksgiving and my guests went crazy for this “cranberry” sauce. I always hated traditional cranberry sauce, but this will be our replacement. Thank you!

  14. I have this on the stove now, and it smells so good. I am using about double the amount of cranberries with a 12oz bag of blueberries and some supplemental mixed berries that were hanging out in my freezer. I also added some honey, lemon zest and juice of one lemon. Also, I used a lighter red wine. :) 

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! I love adding lemon juice to this, too, and also working in any supplemental freezer stashes of random, half-used bags of frozen berries. You really can’t go wrong with this one!

  15. I made this cranberry sauce last night and OMG I couldn’t stop eating it.   Ok so i can’t wait to put this over a some cheese with crackers…     Thank you so much for sharing. 

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