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 averiecooks.com

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.

MY OTHER RECIPES

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

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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

  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?

263 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.

      https://www.averiecooks.com/2011/11/cranberry-orange-ginger-mango-chutney.html

      https://www.averiecooks.com/2012/11/cranberry-pineapple-mango-preserves.html

      • 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!!!

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