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Oct 4, 2007 08:43 AM

looking for a recipe for a gourmet cranberry sauce that remains relatively traditional


I am going to a potluck Thanksgiving Day Dinner this weekend (I live in Canada and our Thanksgiving is this weekend).

Anyway, I have been tasked to bring cranberry sauce .... for 58 people. I have been looking online and wanted to do something a little more gourmet but I am cognisant of the fact that most people will want something pretty traditional and I need to make sure I don't get too far off the beaten path.

I have been looking around online but most recipes seem to be either nothing special or at the other end of the spectrum where some serious innovation is going on. I like innovation but don't want to deviate too much.

Are there any recipes people would strongly recommend in terms of a gourmet version, if you will, of a traditional cranberry sauce?


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  1. I don't know if it is gourmet - but it's very tasty. We add sliced candied ginger to cranberry sauce made using the recipe on the back of the Ocean Spray package (with a little less sugar) and then add toasted slivered almonds just before serving. It's best to let it sit for a couple of days to maximize the ginger flavor.

    1. I have been making a cranberry chutney from Gourmet's November 2000 magazine issue. The recipes are all amazing. They are a little "gourmet" without straying too much away from tradition and they aren't fussy.
      Cranberry Chutney:

      5 shallots chopped coarsely
      1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
      1 (12 oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
      2/3 cup sugar
      1/4 cup cider vinegar
      1 teaspoon minced garlic
      1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon black pepper

      Cook shallots in oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over mederate heat, stirring occasionally until softened. Stir in remaining inredients. Simmer, stirring occasionally until berries just pop.
      **Chutney can be made up to 1 week ahead and chilled, covered.

      2 Replies
      1. re: monavano

        This is a great spruced-up cranberry sauce. Very simple, but it tastes really great and looks fancy, because of all the different ingredients.

        1. re: monavano

          Here is my very favorite cranberry chutney -- I make a more traditional sauce as well (triple cranberry sauce from Bon Appetit/ epicurious (posted below)

          But I love this, and make for me -- hey, the cook can enjoy too, eh?

        2. Have you checked out Bon Appetit magazine always has great cranberry sauce recipes, and they are all archived on epicurious. I have made the dried cherry w/ cloves cranberry sauce many times, and also one that had dried apricots. I remember most of the recipes being fairly traditional... with a twist. Since you'll be serving a crowd, maybe you could make three different sauces: one traditional (trditional to me because it's what I grew up with is the raw relish that includes a whole orange-- I think recipe is on the oceanspray bag), then one that is more adventurous--- something with some spice, maybe chipotle, and one that just sounds good to you--- I do highly recommend the dried cherry clove version. My Mom will just eat a whole bowl full of it for a snack. I have also pureed the leftovers and used it as a dessert sauce.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hollyeve

            another bon appetit recipe archived on epicurious that i like is the piquant cranberry sauce. really simple but spruced up with fresh thyme and dijon mustard.

          2. For this many people, you could make 2 or 3 different cranberry sauces. Here is my favorite... pretty traditional but I love it:

            Makes: 3 1/2 cups, about 12 servings

            6 cups (24 oz) fresh cranberries
            2/3 cup sugar
            2/3 cup brown sugar
            1/2 cup fresh tangerine juice
            1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
            1 tablespoon vanilla

            Put everything except vanilla in a saucepan, and over high heat bring to simmering. Turn down heat, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries are tender (lots of them pot open), about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla, let cool. Serve, or chill airtight up to 1 week.

            1. For an easy & traditional cranberry sauce, I use the Joy of Cooking recipe. It calls for cranberries (I get them fresh from huge vats at the market), sugar, water and grated orange rind. That's it, nothing else. It's good & it's what I'd make for such a big group. I find it lets the natural cranberry flavor stand out. I like traditional recipes for holidays.

              4 Replies
              1. re: morebubbles

                I do this too - my clients LOVE it, but I also add about 2 ounces of Grand Marnier at the end.

                1. re: maisonbistro

                  We're thinking alike! I was going to add that for those that would like their cranberry sauce with a little different kick, a bit of Cointreau or Grand Marnier could be added at the end. maybe separate a bowl with the different batch & label it as cranberry sauce with whatever added liqueur.

                  1. re: maisonbistro

                    what an awesome idea! I'll be doing that this year. I have found that no one in my family will eat regular cranberry sauce but everyone loves the cranberry relish.

                  2. re: morebubbles

                    I make this one too, and it's great.