Kick it up a notch this holiday season with some delicious jalapeno cranberry sauce. Subtly spicy and a great twist on a holiday classic.
Using whole cranberries, fresh jalapenos, and orange zest, this whole berry cranberry sauce is packed with flavor and freshness in every bite. Serve it up at your holiday tables and it’s sure to be an instant favorite among your family and friends.
This cranberry sauce is an unexpected surprise that only brings joy. With sweetness, tart berries, freshness, and a kick of spice, every bite is as welcomed as the last. Serve it for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and make sure to make extra because this is one side dish you’re going to want to enjoy as leftovers later too.
- Orange zest
- Granulated sugar
For the exact measurements needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to Make Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce
- In a medium-sized saucepan, combine all of the ingredients.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Mash your cranberries periodically while stirring the mixture occasionally.
- Simmer the mix together for about 15-20 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and thick.
- Sugar: You can use light brown sugar in place of the granulated sugar if needed. The flavor changes will be subtle but still taste good. You can also add in more or less sugar if desired to get the mixture to your liking as some will enjoy their cranberry sauce sweeter while others like it more tart.
- Cranberries. If needed, you can use frozen whole cranberries instead of fresh ones. The cooking time will increase a few minutes as the berries thaw and come to a boil but the end results should be the same. This is great if you’re trying to use up berries you bought on sale last year and froze for such occasions!
- Jalapeno: If desired you can omit the jalapeno completely or divide the sauce into two portions and only add the jalapeno to one half, keeping the other basic and plain for those that don’t want a spicy sauce.
- Spice. You can make this dish more or less spicy depending on how you prepare the jalapenos. For example, the seeds and membranes of the jalapeno really pack a lot of the spice and heat in them so to make your dish spicier, you’d want to add in those things. For a less spicy sauce, do not use the seeds or membranes of the jalapeno.
- Safety tip: When working with fresh jalapenos make sure to wear gloves. Wearing latex gloves will help to prevent you from burning your hands from the spicy jalapeno oils. You should also make sure to not do things such as touch your face, your child, or your eyes as the oils can be transmitted and cause painful burning sensations to wherever you touched.
- If you touched something or did not wear gloves when handling fresh jalapenos, you can make your skin feel a little more soothing by holding your hands in a large cup of ice-cold milk. I know it sounds weird, but the casein in milk helps to block some of the spices from oils which is also why it’s recommended to drink milk after eating something spicy.
- Recipe pairings: What goes well with jalapeno cranberry sauce? Well, everything (or just about). This side dish would be great served alongside some cornbread, thanksgiving turkey, sweetened roasted ham, mashed potatoes, and more.
- Storage. Keep your sauce stored in an airtight or covered container in the fridge for up to a few days. You can warm the sauce before serving or eat it cold as it is often served both ways.
Yes, if overcooked, the sugars in the mixture will crystallize and become clumpy. This is not what we want at all so make sure not to overcook your cranberry sauce and instead just cook it until it looks thick and reduced.
Homemade cranberry sauce can easily be frozen in an airtight container. Just make sure to thaw it overnight in the fridge before serving it up the next day. Frozen cranberry sauce can last up to 3 or 4 months in the freezer, so there’s plenty of time to find uses for it.
This is an age-old tradition that has been going on for centuries as it is believed cranberries were consumed in one form or another at the very first thanksgiving when the pilgrims landed in America. Since then, cranberries have become a traditional side dish in almost every household, usually served in sauce form, whether it was bought from a can or prepared fresh.
Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce
- 1 pound cranberries
- 1 jalapeno minced
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 pinch salt
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Mash the cranberries periodically, stirring occasionally.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sauce is reduced and thick.
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