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.

Adapted from “A New Way to Cook” by Sally Schneider (Artisan, 2001).Tested by Becky Krystal; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.

For links to the other recipes in this package, read the story: Turn back-of-the-package recipes into a memorable Thanksgiving meal with these simple upgrades

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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.