This delicious Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce recipe is made with just 4 ingredients and is the perfect balance of tart, sweet and spicy flavors. Serve it alongside your favorite protein for an extra pop of flavor.
Classic Cranberry Sauce has long been a quintessential dish on winter holiday tables. In this Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce recipe, I've spiced up the classic with a touch of heat and jalapeno flavor for a modern take on the traditional version. As is, this recipe has a subtle jalapeno flavor without very much heat making it suitable for most palates. Consider doubling the jalapenos if you like things spicy.
This slightly spicy cranberry sauce is gluten-free, grain-free, vegan and dairy-free as is, making it suitable for a variety of dietary restrictions.
Serve this homemade cranberry sauce alongside the classic Thanksgiving holiday fare of turkey, gravy, stuffing and mashed potatoes, or serve it as a condiment to elevate any ordinary protein or main dish. I particularly like it with this Sheet Pan Pork Tenderloin. Spread some of the sauce on top of a block of cream cheese for an easy and delicious appetizer.
Here's what you need to make Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce:
- Fresh cranberries - bagged fresh cranberries, found on the produce aisle.
- Fresh jalapenos - fresh jalapeno peppers, found on the produce aisle.
- Granulated sugar - granulated white sugar, found on the baking aisle.
- Water - plain tap water works fine here, or filtered water if you prefer.
See recipe card for quantities.
Here's how to make Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce:
1. Use the knife and cutting board to slice the jalapenos (keeping the seeds and membranes.)
2. Place a small sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring intermittently until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low. Rinse the cranberries and add them to the pot along with the fresh jalapeno slices.
4. Simmer the cranberry mixture for 20 minutes, stirring intermittently until the sauce has thickened and the cranberries have burst. Cool on the counter for 20 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving.
Hint: This slightly spicy Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce can absolutely be eaten as a warm compote with your favorite meats or veggies. I particularly like it with turkey, pork tenderloin or chicken. Traditionally, cranberry sauce is served cold, so serve it straight from the fridge for a conventional approach.
Want to substitute an ingredient in Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce? Here's how:
- Cranberries - substitute an equal amount of raspberries or pomegranate seeds to a twist on this classic.
- Jalapenos - use one serrano pepper or habanero pepper in place of the jalapenos.
- Sugar - use an equal amount of an alternative sweetener in place of the sugar such as maple syrup, agave, honey or monk fruit.
- Water - use an equal amount of apple juice, pomegranate juice or orange juice in place of the water to add some extra flavor to the sauce.
Try one of these variations of Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce:
- Spicy - double the amount of jalapenos for a spicy cranberry sauce.
- Fruity - add ½ cup of fresh pomegranate seeds or orange segments to the finished sauce for some extra texture and flavor.
- Boozy - add a few tablespoons of bourbon to the finished sauce for a boozy cranberry sauce.
Or try this Homemade Applesauce (No Sugar Added.)
This equipment comes in handy when making Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce:
Refrigerator - To store this Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce in the refrigerator, simply transfer it to an airtight container once cooled, ensuring a tight seal to preserve its freshness. It can last up to a week in the refrigerator, allowing you to enjoy its delightful flavors over several meals.
Freezer - For longer-term storage, freeze the sauce in freezer-safe containers, leaving some room for expansion. It can be kept in the freezer for up to three months, offering a convenient and flavorful addition to your dishes whenever needed, even beyond the holiday season. Thaw in the refrigerator when ready to use for a burst of flavor anytime.
This fresh cranberry sauce can be prepped up to 3 or 4 days in advance to simplify and streamline holiday preparations. Simply prepare it and cool it as directed, then refrigerate it in an airtight container until serving.
Jazz up classic cranberry sauce by following this recipe and adding jalapeno for some extra flavor and a touch of spice. Additionally, you can add a few tablespoons of bourbon or some fresh orange segments or fresh pomegranate seeds to add more flavor and texture this dish.
Yes, cranberry sauce should be refrigerated. Due to its high moisture content and acidity, refrigeration helps prevent the growth of bacteria, ensuring the sauce remains safe and flavorful. Always store cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for optimal freshness and longevity.
If your cranberry sauce isn't setting, it may be due to insufficient pectin content in the cranberries. Pectin is a natural thickening agent found in fruits, and some batches of cranberries may have lower levels. To remedy this, you can try adding commercial pectin or increase the cooking time to allow the sauce to thicken further. Additionally, ensuring the proper ratio of sugar and acid and allowing the sauce to cool adequately can contribute to achieving the desired consistency.
Looking for other easy sauce recipes? Try these:
Pair this Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce with one of these easy dinner recipes for a balanced meal the whole family will love:
Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce
- Use the knife and cutting board to slice the jalapenos (keeping the seeds and membranes.)
- Place a small sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring intermittently until the sugar is dissolved.
- Then, reduce the heat to medium-low. Rinse the cranberries and add them to the pot along with the fresh jalapeno slices.
- Simmer the cranberry mixture for 20 minutes, stirring intermittently until the sauce has thickened and the cranberries have burst.
- Cool on the counter for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended