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?

274 comments on “Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce”

  1. Wow, this is so creative! I already love cranberry sauce, and usually just make a pretty simple one with orange zest, but adding other fruits is such an awesome idea. That way you can keep eating it past Thanksgiving, on toast, a spoon, etc. :)

  2. Gorgeous sauce, I love that you added cabernet because the holidays always call for wine + more wine ;).

  3. Thanks for this recipe. I have both cranberries & blueberries in the freezer. Now to check the wine stash. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I always add oranges, cinnamon sticks, and ginger to my homemade cranberry sauce. I am obsessing over the idea of cabernet and blueberries together!

  5. Gah!! Boozy cranberry sauce! Absolute perfection. I would love this with baked brie, or simply by the spoonful.

  6. Yeah baby! This sounds great. I have a recipe with whiskey and orange I love but this is tempting. Of course, I also adore the smooth stuff from the can-I like having both options just to cover my bases:)

  7. Wow wee. The colour of this is so intense. Can’t waitvto try this out. Ps. How can you not like stuffing or mashed potatoes? Turkey I understand.

  8. Seriously!! It’s only 5am and I want this now!!! I can’t stress that enough! I know what my Sunday project is!

  9. This sounds delicious, do you think I could put it in a hot water bath to preserve it? I think it would make a great gift!

    • Yes I’m sure you can hot water bath/can it to preserve it but being that I didn’t test it, I can’t say for sure how long to process for, etc. but I would just treat it like you’d treat blueberry jam or similar. Lmk how it goes!

  10. Very clever twist, chef Averie! My mouth is watering – and I have fresh cranberries and blueberries in the fridge. Maybe I will blow up the planned chutney experiment and make your luscious sauce…

  11. A whole cup of wine! I love it! Pinning!

  12. We just finished an early lunch as I was dying to try this. It is positively superb–cranberries never had it so good!!! My husband said it was perfect over chicken and I had it over a mountain of spinach…and I couldn’t seem to keep my spoon out of the saucepan while it was cooling. I think it has such versatility and will go with so much–cheese and crackers, proteins, vanilla bean ice cream. The wine and spices are just right together and it is nice and thick after reducing. You have really created something special with this Averie–I can’t gush enough about it!! Oh–and thanks so much for the e-mail about the sugar too:). Have a great weekend–this recipe just got mine off to a happy start!

    • So glad you got that email..LOL So many irons in the fire some days (most days) that the details get a little fuzzy :)

      Anyway though this sauce – so glad you loved it! I agree that cranberries never had it so good! I was thinking that it could be good as anything from a sauce over pork/salmon/chicken (I eat none so can’t really say firsthand) or as a sauce over waffles, over plain cheesecake, on top of cracker & cheese, or a smear of cream cheese on a cracker then this sauce – sooo many options.

      I am glad you love it and feel I came up with something special. Thank you! :)

  13. oh wow blueberry and cranberry together sounds lovely! yum!

  14. OH MY GAWD….what a genius idea! I love that we both used booze in cranberry sauce. Great minds ;)

  15. I am digging this idea :) so perfect!!

  16. Wine in my cranberry sauce? LOVE IT! I just made a traditional version but I love your boozy twist. And thanks for the cranberry pin! You’re the best! :)

  17. Averie, this is one gorgeous sauce. I love that you paired tart cranberries with sweet blueberries. Pinned.

  18. I don’t comment much at all but have been following you for some time. I have watched your photography grow and grow and grow and the photos in this post are just FABULOUS and I may be even going to try the recipes. You have just forced me to pick up my camera again and get out of AUTO!

  19. Amen to your comparison of canned cranberry sauce to Cheese Wiz. This looks amazing! I just made some cranberry sauce spiked with brandy, which was like my baby step towards this recipe. This will definitely be next.

    Just dying over your photos! Stunning! Cranberry Sauce is so hard to photograph too, so well done you!

    • Glad you like the comparison! And the pics (and you’re right – dark things like this tend to just look like sludge unless you’re careful) and your cran sauce sounds more intense than mine if you’re hitting the hard stuff :)

      Just pinned your molasses cookies!

  20. Drinking wine and eating jam are hobbies of mine too! And you’re so right about homemade cranberry sauce, there’s just no comparison with its store bought counterpart. I’d definitely be eating this via spoon! Gorgeous photos!!

  21. This sauce is so very good! My mom is a wine drinker and since my folks are coming to our house for thanksgiving I thought this would be perfect! I made it today and think it is the most elegant tasting cranberry sauce I have ever had. I thought that making it a couple weeks ahead of time might be better so that the flavors can totally marry, I hope I made a good decision, but I will taste it several times before then because it’s a very delicious flavor that keeps calling me back. I took your advise and decided to make this year be the year I make my own cranberry sauce, so so glad that I did! Thank you so much Averie! Your description of this sauce is what sold me, even over your beautiful photos!

    • What an awesome comment! First, “the most elegant tasting cranberry sauce I have ever had” – thank you! And I am so glad my description sold you, even over the photos. Wow, that’s pretty high praise. Thank you!

      And I’m sure the flavors will marry more as time goes on but honestly I was not able to keep my spoon out of the jar and literally was having a half-cup here, a third-cup there, and the 1 full mason jar and about half to 2/3-full that I got in a second jar, well, they are long gone and I’ve since re-made it and will probably remake again..LOL

      So happy you love it and that this was the year you made your own sauce! LMK what your mom thinks!

  22. The cranberry sauce has always been my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I don’t get too excited about the meal either, but I love the cranberry sauce, and I love the wine ….I’ve made red wine blueberry sauce and cranberry sauce, but never thought to mix the two together. I’ll have to try this sometime! Thanks for sharing.

  23. averie, this sauce looks to die for! I am definitely going to try it for our Thanksgiving meal – and I bet it smells heavenly while simmering

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