Cranberry Recipes

Let the people give thanks to you, O God.
Let all the people give thanks to you.
Psalm 67:5

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.
~ Anna Quindlen

The holidays are upon us, and it’s time for two of my favorite activities, cooking and eating!  Some of my most treasured recipes are ones I’ve gathered from friends and relations at holiday get-togethers through the years.  Like most families, we have some long-standing food traditions when it comes to our holiday meals, and the festivities just wouldn’t be the same without these dishes.  However, I always try to throw in at least one or two new dishes each year, just to keep things interesting! Many of these new recipes often contain cranberries.

Several years ago, our family fell in love with a book entitled Cranberry Thanksgiving by Harry and Wende Devlin.  The Devlins eventually wrote an entire series about Maggie, Grandmother and Mr. Whiskers and their adventures of living in a small town in Massachusetts, which is cranberry-growing country.  Each book ends with a recipe containing cranberries.  Through the years we tried them all and developed a love for cranberries. Cranberry Thanksgiving and several other books in this series are available at the Pontotoc County Library. Be sure to check these out and enjoy them during the holidays with your little ones!

Cranberries are a cousin of the blueberry.  These tart, red berries, which are mainly cultivated in the northern United States and southern Canada, have long been valued for their ability to help prevent and treat illnesses. Proponents of this berry’s healthfulness claim that cranberries are good for everything from urinary tract infections to lowering your cholesterol and possibly even preventing certain types of cancer.

Fresh cranberries contain the highest levels of beneficial nutrients and are generally available from October through December, making them the perfect addition to holiday meals. Most Southern families cannot imagine their Thanksgiving table without a pan of cornbread dressing and an accompanying dish of cranberry relish.

Beyond relish, cranberries can be used in recipes for appetizers, beverages, salads, entrees,  side dishes, desserts and snacks. The possibilities are endless!  As an added bonus, these berries are not only tasty, but decorative. A clear bowl filled with cranberries, water and a few floating candles makes a stunning and inexpensive holiday centerpiece. You can find an array of ideas for both cooking and decorating with cranberries at http://www.oceanspray.com

Here are a few cranberry recipes that might be new to your family.  I hope you’ll try one or two this holiday season!

Appetizer - Hot Pepper Cranberry Jelly

1 cup canned whole cranberry sauce
1/2 cup apricot fruit spread
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese

Combine cranberry sauce, fruit spread, sugar, vinegar and pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved; do not boil. Transfer to a bowl to cool completely. Spoon over softened cream cheese.  Serve with crackers.

Beverage - Cranberry Cider

2 quarts apple cider
6 cups cranberry juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
Juice of one lemon

In a large pot, combine apple cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks with a slotted spoon. Serve hot.

Salad - Broccoli and Cranberry Salad

2 heads broccoli, washed, trimmed and cut into small florets
2 cups shredded co-jack cheese
1 cup dried cranberries
4 -6 slices of cooked, crumbled bacon
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine broccoli, cheese, cranberries, bacon bits and pecans.
Combine sugar, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper; mix well.
Pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Serve immediately.

Entrée - Cranberry Pork Chops

8 pork loin chops, 3/4 inch thick (dredged in a bit of flour, if you like)
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 (16 oz.) whole cranberry sauce
1/2 c. barbecue sauce
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water

In skillet, brown chops and season with salt and pepper. Drain excess fat. Combine cranberry sauce, barbecue sauce and ¼ cup of water. Pour over chops. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Remove chops to plate and keep warm. Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; whisk into sauce in skillet. Cook until thickened. Serve over rice.

Side Dish - Candied Yams with Cranberries

1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup dry, quick oats
½ - 1  teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter
2 (17 ounces) cans yams, drained
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 1 ½ quart casserole dish with cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, oats and cinnamon; cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Lightly toss 1 cup of crumb mixture with drained yams and cranberries. Spoon into a 1 1/2 quart casserole.

Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Top with marshmallows and return to oven until marshmallows are lightly browned.  Double this  recipe for a 9x13 pan.

Dessert - Cranberry Upside Down Cake

1 stick of butter
1 cup walnuts or pecans (halves or pieces)
4-5 cup fresh cranberries, washed and dried
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients to make according to package directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and bottom of 9"x13" pan. Sprinkle walnuts over butter. Sprinkle cranberries over nuts. Add white sugar and brown sugar, sprinkling evenly over cranberries.
Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box.  Pour cake batter over everything in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes, loosen cake from edge and turn upside down on a large serving platter.

Snack - Praline Pecans and Cranberries

3-1/2 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cover large baking sheet with heavy-duty foil; set aside.
Coat a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spread pecans in single layer in greased pan.
Combine brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in medium microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute; stir. Microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute or until boiling rapidly. Very carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda until well blended. Drizzle evenly over pecans; stir until evenly coated.
Bake 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes with wooden spoon. Immediately transfer mixture to foil-lined baking sheet, spreading pecans evenly with lightly greased spatula. Cool completely.
Break pecans apart. Combine pecans and cranberries in large bowl. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.


  1. Cranberry Thanksgiving was in our home library when I was a child. I got the book from my mom and put it in our home library. It is a favorite and we do have Cranberry Valentine's Day as well. Last year I found fresh cranberries reduced to 33 cents per pound. I stocked up my freezer and we have enjoyed them all year. I still have several pounds. One of our favorite treats is an apple/cranberry crunch served with vanilla ice cream. It delicious and makes a good breakfast the next morning.

    Have a great day!

  2. Congratulations on your weight loss! I am down 1/2 pound to a total of 2 1/2. LOL. Slow going!!

  3. You are doing great, Susieloulou!!!
    Keep up the good work!!!


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