Zinfandel cranberry sauce

Forget serving cranberry sauce that slides out of the can on Thanksgiving Day. It’s easy to whip together this delicious fresh cranberry sauce that will dazzle your guests!

So elegant and so simple to make, this cranberry sauce will appeal to the senses with its rich color, spicy aroma and amazing taste. Guests will be tempted to sip from the serving spoon rather than drizzling the cranberry goodness over the turkey or dressing.

MORE: Have extra juice? Try this recipe! Cranberry wine Moscow mule

Prepare to jot down the recipe for guests or send them directly to the video before they leave for home. Yes, it’s that addicting!


Plan ahead for all of your holiday dinners by stocking up on fresh cranberries. This tangy berry is harvested each fall, and is usually only available through December.

The berries will last up to a month in the refrigerator in the original packaging. Cranberries can also be stored in the freezer up to a year, in case the urge hits to serve cranberry sauce over grilled chicken or pork during the summer.

Think you might have some extra sauce after turkey day is done? At the bottom of this article, don’t miss 10 ways to use leftover cranberry sauce!

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Zinfandel cranberry sauce



Yield 8-10


  • 1 (12-ounce) package cranberries, fresh
  • 2 cups of red Zinfandel wine (choose one with lots of spiciness)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Vietnamese cinnamon
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. In a non-reactive saucepan, combine the cranberries, wine, balsamic vinegar and cinnamon.
  2. If you’re unsure about how sweet the sauce will be, begin with one-half cup sugar, add more to taste.
  3. Bring the berries to a boil, then reduce to medium-low. The cranberries will cook completely in 20 minutes, bursting and turning deep red.
  4. Remove from the heat, drain and reserve 1 cup of juice for use in other recipes. Allow to cool slightly before refrigerating.
  5. Store in a clean bowl or jar in the refrigerator.


A non-reactive pan is one made of glass, ceramic or stainless steel. Avoid aluminum or copper pans for this recipe.

Also, Vietnamese cinnamon is stronger, both in taste and aroma, than other types of cinnamon. If it can’t be located, any type of cinnamon will work as a substitute, but you may need to increase the amount used in the recipe.

10 ways to use leftover cranberry sauce

If you do end up with leftover cranberry sauce, it will not go to waste. You’ll probably wish you had made extra once you discover the many ways to use the stuff! For instance:

  1. Add it to oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast in the morning.
  2. Use it as a topping for French toast, pancakes or waffles.
  3. Add half a cup of the sauce to pancake batter to make cranberry pancakes.
  4. Mix it with cream cheese, and smear some on a fresh bagel for breakfast.
  5. Add some to your favorite BBQ sauce to baste oven-baked or grilled chicken.
  6. Spread a little leftover sauce on a turkey sandwich for a yummy lunch treat or midnight snack.
  7. Warm sauce in microwave and drizzle over vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert.
  8. Using freshly ground meat (turkey, chicken and pork are best), make cranberry meatballs by substituting cranberry sauce for the tomato sauce.
  9. Combine it with a tablespoon or two of orange juice and use as a glaze for a pork roast, or grilled pork chops.
  10. Grab a loaf of crusty artisan bread to toast, then add cheese plus a spoon of cranberry goodness to top it off.