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!

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


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.
Only Eats

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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?

250 comments on “Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce”

  1. Stunning, Averie, simply stunning!
    LOVE the flavor combinations – you hit the nail right on the head with this one. I don’t think this will even make it to the table ~ I’ll be eating it right out of the pot!
    Oh my goodness!

  2. Wow, this is beautiful and sounds delicious. It’s on my must make list!

  3. Wow, this is beautiful and sounds delicious. It’s on my must make list!

  4. This is absolutely stunning! Gorgeous color. And delicious flavor combination! Mmmm. Wine and berries need to go together more often!

  5. I just wanted to say that the opening line of this post might be the best ever.

  6. I don’t drink alcohol of any kind. What would your recommendations be on a good sub for that? This looks AMAZING!!

    • Maybe a non-alcoholic red wine? Maybe an unsweetened or not super sweet cranberry juice – and if it is sweet, you may want to reduce the sugar slightly – I would try for non-alch wine though!

  7. This one is making a debut this week, hope I don’t eat it all to myself. lol

  8. Love the addition of blueberries! Super creative. Hope you are well!

    • When I saw your name come across my email I thought, could it be…nah, wouldn’t be her. Then I thought, there is no one else in the world I’ve ever known with your name, and voila, it’s you!! :) I am thrilled to hear from you! I hope you guys are doing great. I think about you often and think back to the early days of blogging and how life changes but still stays the same. Hope you and your family have a great holiday season! xoxo

  9. Do you recommend this be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled? This is my first time making cranberry sauce, and (unfortunately), my only experience with it is the canned kind with the creepy lines. Thank you!

    • I think most people would serve it slightly chilled or at room temp. If you were making it to put over waffles or pancakes, I’d say warm. But I think ‘traditional’ cranberry sauce is stored in the fridge and then served, but I sort of like this at room temp b/c the flavors marry and taste better to me – so your preference.

  10. This sounds delicious! I’m learning how to adapt foods to be low in sugar though and I’m wondering what you might use as a sub for the sugar? I’m still really new to alternatives. I was thinking maybe a good cran/grape juice and lower the amount of sugar by half, using Stevia maybe?

    • You could possibly sub in stevia or another no-calorie sweetener that’s powder. I wouldn’t add more liquid/juice because you will have a sloppy mess. LMK how your recipe testing goes! I always hate buying$$ ingredients and tinkering around with recipes when I’m very uncertain how things will pan out and using sugar substitutes is not something I would do in this recipe because I love it so much as written…but I’ll gladly let you tinker :)

    • Making this as gifts for friends with dietary issues, I chose to make it using Coconut Sugar (and used just under the amount the recipe called for) which is much easier to digest. As I cooked this concoction, listening to the cranberries burst open was delightful! Now, for the taste. It’s wonderful! Very rich flavors.  Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  11. Your photos are absolutely stunning! I’m trying this recipe out for Thanksgiving…if any of it makes it to the table!

  12. Your photography is just simply gorgeous girl!! And I want to dive into that jar of cranberries!!! It looks soooo good!!

  13. I am so excited to try this! I will be testing it out this weekend, and if all goes well I’ll be contributing a great gluten free side on Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing

  14. This looks and sounds absolutely amazing! Do you think I could add more liquid and sugar to make it more jam-like so I can store it longer or give away as Christmas gifts?
    Cheers all the way from Denmark!

    • I wouldn’t add more liquid. Instead simply simmer for less time so that mixture doesn’t reduce down as much. However, I think you’ll find in reality it’s fairly runny. It’s also sweet enough to use on French toast or similar. Make a batch and then alter it after you give it one go-round as written.

  15. Looks delicious! I think I will make this for Thanksgiving…love the addition of blueberries!

  16. Wow! I just made this and the smell perfumed the house. This should be on the stove when you are selling your house because the perfume is intoxicating. I do not like cranberries but was trying out recipes to bring with me to Thanksgiving dinner and the taste is just as good as the smell. Thank you :)

    • I know, the smell is intoxicating (pun intended..LOL). I totally agree with you that this should be on the stove when you are selling your house! And so glad to hear that even as a non-cran lover, you still loved these!

  17. Can this be made ahead? How does it taste after a few days. I am traveling to my Thanksgiving, and have to work tomorrow night.

  18. This sounds so, so SO yummy! I am the only one who really eats cranberry sauce at the family table so I always bring it with me and then take it home again! Leftovers!! Just wanted to ask… my usual cranberry sauce recipe includes some ground ginger (love it). Do you think that I could add some to this one too? Thanks for the recipe !

    • Both of these include ginger too – love it! This was the first year I didn’t add any just because I was forcing myself to blog about something new :) But feel free! LMK how it goes.

      • Totally trying it (and then your other cran recipes!). Will def let you know how it goes :)

      • Great – LMK how they all go!

      • Okay — the cranberry blueberry sauce was amazing. I did add some ground ginger (1 tsp, maybe?) and it was great. The blueberries (which I was a little worried about at first, not being a blueberry lover) added a gorgeous dark color and complexity and paired so well with the wine and the spices. Seriously — this stuff was good. But HERE IS THE IMPORTANT THING! I’d made some chocolate French Silk pies (if you haven’t made them yet, please do!) that seemed just a touch too sweet/ rich and somehow I ended up spooning some of the cranberry sauce over them (probably because I was spooning it over everything I could find) and LORD have mercy. I may never make ANY pie without this sauce again. Thank you, Averie!!!

      • added a gorgeous dark color and complexity and paired so well with the wine and the spices = YES totally agreed, 100%

        As for the sauce for pie, yes, so good. You could put this stuff over ice cream, really dark chocolate brownies, stuff it in between 2 sugar cookies, top it over roasted veggies like brussles or sweet potatoes or squash – and yes, I’ve done all of those things as well as eating by the spoonful. I bet it’s great with French silk!

      • AHAHAHA STOP IT!! STOP!!! Those are such good ideas!!! It’s magic sauce! MAGIC SAUCE!!

  19. Made this today with cranberries, 1/2 c blueberries and 1/2 tart cherries. Used pinot noir. It is AMAZING !! To try it out I spread it on some French Toast.. and YUM!!

    • Oh love the combo of cran, BBs, and tart cherries and pinot noir! Wow – that sounds incredible! So glad you did tried it and found it to be amazing! I’d be eating it by the spoonful if I were you :)

  20. I made your cranberry-blueberry sauce tonight. It’s SO very tasty! Another Thanksgiving tradition is born in this household!! Thank you!

  21. I just made this, and the smell is heavenly! It tastes delicious! I only wish I had doubled it :) Thanks for a great recipe!

    • You’re the 3rd or 4th person today who’s written and said they made it and most have said they wish they doubled it! I just made another (my 3rd batch – in two weeks!) so that we can put some on the TG dinner table b/c I kept eating the other ones :) Glad you love it and yes it smells so good! One lady said you should make it if you’re trying to sell a house (forget cookies and make this..ha!)

  22. Cooking up a double batch right now! Though I am not quite sure I did it right. You said “6-oz bag” of Cranberries. I have never seen anything but the 8-oz OceanSpray bags. So I did 1 1/2 bags hoping it was not a typo. I actually have it cooking like this and the normal way on the package with just additional strawberries for the kids. So the kitchen smells awesome!!!

    • I think you misread the recipe b/c it states:
      one 8-ounce bag fresh cranberries
      6-ounces frozen blueberries (about 1 1/2 cups), unthawed

      I think you probably skimmed it and confused the blueberries for the cranberries. If you were making a double batch, you’d want to use 2 full size bags of cranberries (i.e. Ocean Spray or whatever your grocer has in stock right now fresh for the season – they’re always 8 oz) and then about 12 oz of bb’s, which is about 2 cups, give or take. I’m sure it will all work out but you could have added the second full bag of berries.

      Glad your house smells great!

  23. What do you mean by “unthawed” in reference to the frozen blueberries in your cranberry sauce. Keep them frozen, or thaw them?

  24. Just made the Cranberry Blueberry Sauce for our holiday meal for tomorrow. It is sooo delicious! I will be sharing this on my blog with a link back to you! Awesome recipe!!!

  25. I am making this right now and oh my god my apartment smells AMAZING!!!!

    Haven’t even had a taste yet but I know this will become a holiday regular for me. I love to cook and never shy away from complex dishes, but during the holidays an easy ‘dump it in the pot and let it boil’ recipe is so nice to have!

    The hardest part will be to keep this one to myself, I’m sure everyone who gets a taste (or even just a sniff) of this stuff will want to know how I made it. Thanks for sharing, expect hits on this page of your site to increase in the next few weeks ;)

    • Thanks for trying it and so glad you’re loving it! I love dump and stir recipes whenever possible – always :) And yes I made some (more!) last night, and my apt smells amazing even still! It lingered, in a good way. LMK what your friends/fam think!

  26. So I made it and the house smelled like happiness and it tastes amazing but…1. It is so thick I could slice it. 2. It feels grainy. Did I over cook it and is the grittiness from the spices? Any thoughts on what might work best to thin it down a little? I was wondering about using some apple juice. I plan on spooning this over cream cheese and serving it with crackers as an appetizer.

    • Yes you just over-simmered it. You reduced it down to the point where there’s very little liquid left it sounds like, thus it’s very thick and when anything gets that thick, the graininess will be more pronounced. Just add a splash of cranberry juice and stir until you get to your desired consistency and next time, reduce your simmering time :)

  27. I made this last night for today’s Thanksgiving feast, and it was wonderful. Such depth and complexity of flavor! Not to mention a cinch to make. Thank you, and happy Thanksgiving! :)

  28. This was DELICIOUS! I used it to top a baked brie for a Thanksgiving appetizer and it was a huge hit, I will be enjoying the leftover sauce for dessert for a while.

    • That’s awesome you used it with brie. Mmm, I bet so good! I usually use hot pepper jelly with brie and yes, eat this sauce by the spoonful for dessert :) Or you know, stirred into your morning yogurt or whatever. Thanks for trying it!

  29. I did make this for Thanksgiving. I used 1 teaspoon cinnamon and just a couple of shakes of cloves. With these modifications I found it to be really delicious.

  30. I have all the ingredients and can barely wait to make this as it sound heavenly! I do have a quick question about canning it though, is canning possible and would you just process it like jam, without the pectin of course.

    I’d like to try to at least double it and maybe use smaller jars for portion control for me lol and gifts as Christmas is fast approaching.


    • I would say make a single batch at first if you plan to can it and yes, I would say process like jam, no pectin. But b/c I haven’t tried it, I can’t say for sure. Then after you’re confident you have things down pat, make in bulk. Enjoy! LMK how the canning goes!

  31. Can I give this recipe a hot water bath to make it shelf safe?

  32. Just made this recipe x 6 as Christmas gifts for my colleagues. What a pleasure to make :) Great Job!

  33. Hi Averie, thank you for this amazing recipe. Made my first batch today. After sampling decided that one was not enough. Will be making at least one more for holiday gifts. Can’t wait to try it with our turkey dinner at Christmas.

    • So glad that you tried it, love it, and are making another batch(es). That’s how I was right before Thanksgiving. I kept thinking, okay this will last me til the big day. Wrong. I kept eating it – and then making more :)

  34. I made this delicious sauce and gave it away as Christmas gifts. One co-worker used it very creatively! He makes his own rum, and told me that he used some of the sauce along with mint oil to make a fantastic Mojito. How’s that for thinking outside the box?

    • That sounds great! I actually had combined it with some basil as sort of a dip/spread/chutney for veggies. I love the idea of mint for a mojito even better :) Smart guy! Thanks for trying it, sharing with him, and sharing the story!

      • I want to thank YOU! I am not a very skilled cook but this recipe looked too tasty to pass up. Plus, your directions were so clear and detailed I thought I couldn’t mess it up. I was doubly happy that I was able to successfully pull it off.I was able to make something unique and delicious. Um, I like the idea of using it with veggies. Will try it with my next batch!

      • Happy to hear you pulled it off and that it was a big success!

  35. Absolutely incredible! I love and so does everyone I’ve shared it with. Thanks!!!

  36. I would love to make this and give as gifts! Can you tell me if this recipe can be “canned”? Thank you!

  37. I made a batch last night as a trial run for Thanksgiving. Instead of opening a new bottle of wine, I used up the remains of three open bottles of wine that were leftover from cooking/drinking (a cab, a pinot noir and a red zin). This is an exceptionally delicious recipe! My husband and I ate it by the spoonfuls – delectable. We also served it with brie and crackers – amazing. I plan to make several batches, can it and give away as Christmas gifts with a wedge of Cambazola cheese and a box of crackers.

    Thank you Averie, I have been searching for “the” cranberry sauce recipe and this fits the bill.

    • I love your mix-and-match approach with the wine, totally perfect and love using up what’s already open! I am so glad this is THE cranberry sauce for you and that you adore it as much as I do. Yes, eating it by the spoonful sounds about right :) And with cheese like brie and crackers, even better! I think it’s awesome that you plan to make and give this away…what an extremely thoughtful gift. You have lucky friends and family! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and I am glad you’re happy. There are sooo many cranberry sauce recipes but I do think this one is the best :)

  38. This sounds AMAZING!!! I am definitely making this ASAP! :-)
    I wanted to add for anyone else wondering, you can use not-from-concentrate, unsweetened 100% RED GRAPE juice in place of the wine. You might want to add 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar to the 1cup portion to reduce the sweetness and make it taste more like real wine. The key is the non-concentrated part — it has a very pure “grape” flavor, which is what makes wine special. Plus, all those great heart-healthy flavonoids that you were so happy about being in red wine actually come from the GRAPES that wine is made from, so drinking grape juice has the exact same health benefits, without the alcohol — YAY!! :-D

    THANKS for posting this recipe!! I am off to lurk around your other recipes and see what else I can make this week…..!!!

  39. What do you recommend using as an alternative if I don’t have a kettle to make this?

  40. Was just thinking about a cranberry something-or-other I could serve with our newly released Ice Wine. This looks to be JUST the ticket! Thank you!

  41. Hello! First of all, this recipe is so creative. I can’t wait to try it! In fact, really…I can’t wait! I have all of the ingredients in a pot on my stove, but I just wanted to double check that I’m doing it right. I read the recipe 10 times- but I’m second guessing that I’m missing liquid because the wine is not enough to cover the berries. Am I missing something or should I just relax and start heating? Thanks!

  42. I am giving jams, jellies and pickles this year for Christmas. I came across this recipe and decided to “jam it”. I doubled the recipe, added 3 tblsp. of pectin, and processed it in a water bath(10 minutes). It turned out GREAT. It yielded 7 half pint jars. (Six of my friends and family members will be very happy…hey, I had to keep one for myself!) Sorry to tell you, I am calling it Ken’s CabCranBlue jam! LOL…Thanks!

    • Love your CabCranBlue Jam. Mmmm, I am about to make a double-triple ish sized batch of this on Monday to last all week and was actually thinking of canning it. I’ve boiled some versions so long that it’s practically jam anyway, without even needing the pectin, but I’ve never water bathed it. Good to know 10 minutes and 3 tbsp of pectin did the trick. I cannot tell you how many people have asked me that – now I know. Thanks, Ken! And you have some very lucky friends & family!

  43. Is there a reason for the Frozen blueberries? Can I use fresh or will it mess up the result?

  44. A+++ I pulled 3 cranberry recipes off Pinterest to try for Thanksgiving. One with pineapple and mango, one with cider, oj + apricots and this Cabernet blueberry sauce. This was the clear favorite. Wonderful flavor without being too tart or sweet. One pot and no chopping. I will definitely make this again at Christmas and make enough to give away as small gifts……..I used 1/2Tb cinnamon,1/2tsp ginger, and 1/8tsp cloves. Thank you!

    • I’m thrilled that my recipe was the clear favorite! That’s great to hear and so glad you love it as much as I do and will make again for Xmas and for little gifts! How wonderful! Happy Holidays!

  45. What about a port wine?

  46. Oh my! Just made this for Thanksgiving tomorrow…..amazing! I didn’t add cloves, because I don’t like cloves, and I used Merlot. Fantastic. I hope my family loves it as much as I do!

  47. I made this a couple days ago and just tried some today. SO GOOD!

  48. Oh My, Oh My!! How did I not find this recipe last year?!! (when I made a cabernet-cranberry sauce for the first time) This year I decided to raise the bar on a winey cranberry sauce recipe. Then I found yours (and me, with lotsa frozen blueberries from my garden) This is the BEST STUFF EVER!!!

    I added a whole, shredded Cutie- small mandarin orange- to the pot. And after cooking I stirred in a scant tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Perfection. Thanks for your great posts.

    • SO glad you loved this and how amazing that you had lotsa frozen home-grown garden blueberries (OMG!)! And I can see where a little balsamic would be awesome, too! So glad you enjoyed it and think it’s the best ever! Me too :)

  49. This recipe is a WIN! I stumbled across it earlier this week, and decided to try it out for Thanksgiving lunch… and it was a huge hit! I had a guy tell me that it was the best cranberry sauce he’d ever had. Thanks for the recipe – it’s going to be a family holiday staple.

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