This dish is part of a collection of classic back-of-the-package recipes that we’ve upgraded for your Thanksgiving table with a few simple twists.

This syrupy sauce has a depth of flavor that belies its short cooking time.

Recipe notes: For an alcohol-free version, substitute pomegranate juice for the red wine and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup.

The sauce can be made and refrigerated up to 2 weeks in advance.


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
  • 2 long strips tangerine, clementine or orange zest (optional)

Step 1

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, wine and, if desired, cinnamon and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the wine has reduced slightly, about 4 minutes. Add the cranberries and, if desired, the zest. Simmer until the cranberries soften and the sauce thickens, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; remove and discard the cinnamon and/or the zest, if using. Set aside to cool for at least several minutes and up to several hours. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Calories: 100; Total Fat: 0 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Sodium: 0 mg; Carbohydrates: 22 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 18 g; Protein: 0 g.