6 Easy Recipes Featuring Cranberries That You’re Going to Love

We all know the traditional festive dish that cranberries typically star in, but what many forget is that the red berry performs well in other dishes, too. Cranberries can be added to salads, soups, meats, and sweets to add a punch of fresh flavor and color. We’re rounding up six recipes that show how well cranberries can complement dishes of all varieties, and how easy they are to make. Pretty soon, you’ll be passing up the sauce in favor of these other dinners and desserts that star cranberries.

1. Cranberry-Avocado Salsa

bowl with cranberries

Cranberries | iStock.com

We’re kicking things off with a Martha Stewart recipe you can serve as an appetizer for your next party. Take your salsa up a notch by making this cranberry version. It’s basically the love child of guacamole and salsa with the addition of cranberries that pack a punch of flavor and color. For this salsa, you need avocados, cranberries, jalapeno, honey, and cilantro, and you’re good to go.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 minced jalapeno
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup halved cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Pita crisps or tortilla chips

Head to Martha Stewart’s website for the full recipe. 

2. Cranberry Sangria

sangria, wine

Sangria with cranberries | iStock.com

To serve alongside your salsa, make this in-season red drink by What’s Gaby Cooking. Cranberry sangria is a fun addition to your cocktail list as it keeps things light and sweet without overdoing it. This drink will cure your sweet tooth without giving you a sweet hangover the next morning, and its fresh seasonal flavors will make everyone feel festive while drinking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 2 persimmons, cut into small wedges
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges

Head to What’s Gaby Cooking for the full recipe. 

3. Kale Salad with Apple, Cranberries, and Pecans

Kale and edamame salad

Kale salad with cranberries | iStock.com

And if you need a detox salad after all the indulging, this next recipe from Cookie and Kate is for you. It also enlists cranberries, but this time, they’re of the dried variety, and they lay alongside apples, pecans, radishes, and goat cheese on a bed of kale. Cookie & Kate’s kale salad is dressed with a tangy honey mustard dressing and the salad can serve as a light lunch or dinner that your body will deserve after the holiday festivities.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup pecans
  • 8 ounces kale
  • 4 to 5 medium radishes
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese, chilled
Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Head to Cookie and Kate for the full recipe. 

4. Salmon with Cranberry-Pistachio Sauce

Grilled Raspberry Salmon

Salmon with cranberries | iStock.com

We already know that cranberry sauce pairs well with turkey, but it turns out, the sauce and salmon are a match made in foodie heaven, too. Betty Crocker has a cranberry-topped salmon recipe that will make your eyes pop. The salmon is broiled to perfection but the cranberry sauce is the real star of the show. The contrast of the sweet berries with the salty nuts yields a sauce everyone will rave over, and when you take the sauce and dress your salmon, you’ll forget all about the turkey.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 jar (10 ounces) red currant jelly
  • ½ cup chopped pistachio nuts

Salmon:

  • 2-pound salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Chopped pistachio nuts, if desired

Head to Betty Crocker for the full recipe. 

5. Cranberry-Maple Chicken

Chicken breast, grapes, cranberry sauce

Chicken with cranberries | iStock.com

Chicken also pairs well with cranberries, and this recipe from Taste of Home proves it. This poultry dish is simple enough to serve as a weekday dinner yet sophisticated enough to feed guests at your next dinner party. This chicken dish calls for your traditional boneless chicken breasts, but then it also enlists cranberries, sugar, and maple syrup to yield a sweet tangy sauce that will juxtapose the savory meat.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ¾ cup water
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 6 (4-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

Head to Taste of Home for the full recipe. 

6. Apple Cranberry squares

Cranberry Cake, blondies

Bars with apples and cranberries | iStock.com

Last but not least, a sweet. Baked By Rachel has a seasonal recipe for cranberry squares with apple that are perfect for the holiday season. The recipe enlists the plentiful winter produce and takes advantage of apples and cranberries at their peak. For these festive treats, you’ll first make your crust and then the sweet filling. The fool-proof instructions for the squares are simple and straightforward, and better yet, the ingredients on this dessert’s recipe list are ones you more than likely already have in your pantry. Pull out your ripe apples, leftover cranberries, butter, and flour, and get baking!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • ¾ cup oats
  • ½ cup butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 1 egg — whites only

Filling ingredients

  • 1 cup cranberries
  • ¼ cup apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ cup and 1 heaping tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 2 medium baking apples
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Head to Baked By Rachel for the full recipe.