Nothing beats the taste of the sweet and tart flavor of fresh cranberry sauce. Well, maybe when apples are added to the mix! 

This new cranberry apple sauce recipe adds slices of apples in the filling for a delish twist that can be used in recipes all year long! Serve it with the big turkey dinner, or add use it as a dip for all kinds of appetizers. So ditch that cranberry sauce from a can, and give this homemade recipe a try! 

plated Fresh Cranberry Apple Sauce with apple slices 

Apple Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  • Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy cranberry apple sauce! It’s such a delicious complement to chicken, pork, and even meatball appetizers!
  • This will be the last and best cranberry sauce recipe you’ll ever need and it’s so easy to make! Use it as a side, a spread, or a dip!
  • Cook apple cranberry sauce up to a couple of months in advance and freeze portions to use as needed!

cranberries , apples , lemon , sugar and spices to make Fresh Cranberry Apple Sauce with labels

Ingredients and Variations

CRANBERRIES: Fresh whole or frozen cranberries will work. Frozen cranberries don’t need to be thawed before using, simply add a few extra minutes to the cooking time to get the right consistency.

APPLES: Any apple will do! Red apples are sweeter and softer, while green apples are tart and will stay more firm in the sauce. Experiment with one or the other or use a combination of both!

SUGAR: White and brown sugar are combined for a mellow sweetness. Honey or maple syrup can be substituted as well.

SEASONINGS: Savory spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg add depth of flavor to the sweet/tart cranberries and apples. Pre-packaged apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice will do as well.

CITRUS: A splash of lemon juice with water is needed to cook the sauce and provides balance to the flavor. Lime or orange juice can be substituted in pinch if needed.

process of adding ingredients together to make Fresh Cranberry Apple Sauce

How To Make Apple Cranberry Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients except cranberries and apple slices and cook until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce until thickened.

Serving Suggestions

Cranberry apple sauce is excellent with meatballs for a tangy appetizer, as a dip for pork bites, with chicken, as a spread for a leftover turkey sandwich or use in turkey pinwheel appetizers.

Tips, Tricks, and Time Savers!

No time to peel apples? Simply dice them into small pieces. To bulk up the recipe without doubling it, mix in some canned cranberry jelly.

Store sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for a week. This sauce freezes well, so make it ahead, and store in a zippered bag in the freezer for about 3-4 months. Thaw in the refrigerator in time for that festive dinner, and stir before serving.

Fresh Cranberry Apple Sauce in a bowl with cinnamon sticks

Other Delish Festive Recipes!

plated Fresh Cranberry Apple Sauce with apple slices
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Fresh Apple Cranberry Sauce

Nothing compares to fresh cranberry sauce, except one that has apples in it! It makes the perfect accompaniment to a Thanksgiving turkey dinner.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly



  • 4 apples peeled*, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries


  • Peel and core apples, cutting them into ½ inch slices. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine water, lemon juice, sugars, and seasonings. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Add cranberries and apple slices, then bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.


  • *Apples can be peeled, or leave the peels on if preferred.
  • Refrigerate cranberry sauce in a covered container or about a week.
  • Freezer sauce in a zippered bag or container for about 3-4 months.
  • Thaw sauce in the refrigerator and stir before serving.
5 from 1 vote↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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Fresh Cranberry Apple Sauce in a bowl with apple slices and a title
Fresh Cranberry Apple Sauce in bowls with writing


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