How to Cook Cranberries

My early experience was not to learn how to cook cranberries but how to string them. When I was about 5, Mom tried to teach me to use a needle and thread to string cranberries and popcorn. She said we would use these strings to decorate our Christmas tree. After a while the bright red cranberries and white popped corn started to look very pretty. I liked learning this but then I decided to eat a cranberry. Oh, how bitter! I had to spit that out of my mouth and I surely did not want anything including this berry.

How to Cook CranberriesHow to Cook Cranberries

As long as I can remember cranberries have always been available fresh around Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Most cooks know this berry for a great addition to salads, sauces, breads, rolls and chutneys. After I learned how to cook cranberries, I found because of the tartness, they also make great additions to entrees and side dishes. I now love this berry just as much in stuffing, casseroles and with many meat dishes as I do in sweet recipes.

If you are learning how to cook cranberries, cranberries can be purchased fresh, dried and in cans. There are also many other cranberry products used in cooking like sauce and juice. As I previously stated, cranberries are available fresh in most places around the holiday season. At this time, I usually stock up simply by purchasing several bags and throwing them in the freezer; so simple. I am always able to use these berries to make any cranberry product needed for my recipes or use as fresh berries. If you use a lot of dried berries, simply buy one bag specifically for drying.


Beef Pot Roast with Cranberry GravyBeef Pot Roast with Cranberry Gravy

Learn how to cook cranberries with a beef roast and gravy.

  • 4 Pounds rump OR chuck roast
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 Cup thinly sliced onion
  • ½ Cup chopped celery
  • 1 Cup water

How to Cook Cranberries in Gravy

  • 2 Cups fresh cranberries (Wash, remove stems and drain)
  • ¼ Cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • Salt/ pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Combine flour, salt and pepper in shallow dish; mix well.

Place roast in dish; rub surface with flour mixture coating well.

Heat bacon drippings over medium in a large Dutch oven.

Place roast in Dutch oven; brown on all sides taking about 20 minutes.

Add onion, celery and water; cover and bake 1 ½ hours.

TO MAKE CRANBERRY GRAVY add the cranberries to the pot.

Bake another 1 hour or until roast is tender.

Remove roast to warm platter; cover and keep warm.

Press cranberries and vegetables through a sieve into a saucepan.

Stir into saucepan the flour and sugar until smooth.

Bring mixture to boil over medium heat; reduce heat.

Simmer and stir about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Serve gravy with roast.

Makes 8 Servings; 2 ½ cups of gravy.


Cranberry Apple Stack PancakesCranberry Apple Stack Pancakes
Cranberry Apple Stack Pancakes Cut in WedgeCranberry Apple Stack Pancakes Cut in Wedge

Learn how to cook cranberries to serve with pancakes! 

  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 2 Cups baking mix
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/3 Cups milk
  • 2 Cups finely chopped apples (Peel and core)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Oil for griddle
  • Powder sugar

Heat cranberry sauce in a small saucepan; keep warm over low heat.

Combine baking mix, egg and milk in mixing bowl; beat by hand until smooth.

Heat griddle and brush with oil.

Fold in the apple, sugar and lemon juice; pour scant 1/2 cupfuls onto hot griddle.

Cook until pancakes dry around edges; turn and cook until golden brown.

Stack pancakes 5 tall filling in between with warm cranberry mixture.

Sift with powdered sugar; repeat with remaining batter.

Serve immediately with sausage links; serves 4 to 6.

NOTE: Makes 10 pancakes; 2 stacks. Cut each stack in three wedges. 


  • 2 Cups sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups water
  • 4 Cups fresh cranberries (Washed and sorted)
  • 2 Teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 6 Cups cubed smoked cooked ham
  • ½ Cup raisins

Combine sugar, water and salt in a large saucepan; bring to boil.

Boil uncovered for 5 minutes; add cranberries to saucepan. 

Boil uncovered about 5 minutes without stirring.

NOTE: Cranberry skins will start to pop.

Blend in lemon peel, ham and raisins.

Cook over medium heat until it bubbles stirring occasionally.

Serve hot over toast, biscuits or in pastry shells; serves 8 to 10.


Learn how to cook cranberries in stuffing for chicken or turkey. *See Note

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Green onions (Thinly sliced)
  • 1 Chopped chicken liver
  • 2 Stalks celery (Thinly sliced)
  • 2/3 Cup cooked long grain white rice
  • 3 Tablespoons cranberry sauce
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a large skillet; add onions, liver and celery.

Sauté mixture 5 minutes; stir in remaining ingredients.

Stuff chicken immediately before roasting.

Roast until chicken and stuffing are thoroughly cooked; 172 F degrees to 180 F degrees internal temperature.

NOTE: Recipe is enough for 1 chicken; double for 12 pound turkey. 


Learn how to cook cranberries when making muffins.

  • 1 Cup fresh cranberries (Cut in quarters)
  • 8 Tablespoons sugar (Divided)
  • 1 ¾ Cups flour
  • 2 ½ Teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Egg
  • ¾ Cup milk
  • 1/3 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • Cinnamon-sugar

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Sprinkle cranberries with 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside.

Sift remaining sugar, flour, baking powder and salt into large bowl

In another bowl beat egg, milk and oil; pour into a well in dry ingredients.

Stir mixture just to moisten; add berries and lemon peel.

Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full; sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Bake about 22 minutes until pick comes out clean; makes about 6 jumbo muffins.


Learn how to cook cranberries by chopping in nut bread.

  • 1 Egg
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 2 ¼ Cups flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons grated orange rind
  • ½ Cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 Cup cranberries (Chop coarsely)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Beat egg in large mixing bowl; add sugar mixing well.

Stir sour cream into egg mixture; set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add flour mixture to creamed mixture stirring just to moisten.

Stir in orange rind, walnuts and cranberries.

Spoon into buttered loaf pan (9X5X3 inches); bake 55 to 60 minutes.

Cool 10 minutes in pan; invert and cool on wire rack.

Makes 1 loaf.


Salad recipes are great if you are learning how to cook cranberries.

  • 1 Package (3 Ounces) raspberry gelatin
  • 2 Cups boiling water (Divided)
  • 1 Can (16 Ounce) Whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 Package (3 Ounces) lemon gelatin
  • 1 Package (3 Ounces) cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Can (8 ½ Ounces) crushed pineapple (NOT drained)
  • 1 Cup whipping cream
  • 1 Cup miniature marshmallows

Dissolve raspberry gelatin in 1 CUP of the boiling water; stir in cranberry sauce.

Pour gelatin mixture into a 1 ½ quart round mold; chill until partially set.

Dissolve lemon gelatin in 1 CUP of boiling water; set aside to cool.

In mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese and mayonnaise.

Gradually add lemon gelatin to cheese mixture; stir in the pineapple.

Chill lemon cheese mixture until partially set.

Beat whipping cream until stiff; fold into the lemon cheese mixture.

Fold in the marshmallows; spread mixture over the cranberry mixture.

Chill until well set; serves 10 to 12.


When learning how to cook cranberries try making chutney recipes.

  • 2 Bags (12 Ounces each) fresh cranberries
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Cup chopped onions
  • 1 Cup golden raisins
  • 3 Cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 Cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Cup chopped walnuts

Combine cranberries and next 9 ingredients in a large saucepan.

Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat; REDUCE heat to a simmer.

Partially cover and simmer 15 minutes until onions are translucent; stir occasionally.

Add the corn syrup, vinegar and walnuts; set on medium heat.

Cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until thickened stirring frequently.

Ladle into clean jars and top with lids; STORE IN REFRIGERATOR.

Makes 6 cups.

PORK MEDALLIONS with dried cranberry sauce

If you are learning how to cook cranberries, you will find many entree recipes. 

  • 1 Large red bell pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 Medium purple onion (Chopped fine)
  • 2 Shallots (Chop fine)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • ½ Cup sweet red wine
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Ripe pear (Peel and chop)
  • 2 Teaspoons grated orange rind
  • ½ Cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 Pounds pork tenderloin (Trim and cut into 8 slices)
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Fresh thyme sprigs OPTIONAL GARNISH

Preheat oven to 500F degrees.

Place red bell pepper on foil lined baking sheet.

Bake 20 minutes until skins blister turning one time.


Place pepper immediately into heavy duty zip lock bag.

Seal bag and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins.

Peel pepper, remove and discard seeds; cut into strips.

Pour oil into a large skillet; place over medium heat until hot.

Add onion and shallot to skillet; cook and stir 10 minutes.

Add ginger, wine, vinegar and sugar to the skillet; bring to boil.

REDUCE heat to simmer and cook stirring occasionally.

Cook about 10 minutes until liquid is reduced by three fourths.

Add pepper strips, pear and next 5 ingredients to skillet.

Simmer and stir occasionally until pear is tender about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and keep warm.

TO PREPARE MEDALLIONS flatten each slice slightly with meat mallet.

Spray another skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium high.

Season each slice with salt and pepper; brown on both sides.

Place pork in shallow baking dish or pan; cover with warm pepper mixture.

Cover and bake about 20 to 30 minutes until meat is tender; serves 8.


Learn how to cook cranberries in many breakfast recipes.

Bottom Layer

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (Clean and drain)
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup chopped pecans

Batter for Top Layer

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Cup flour
  • ½ Cup Melted butter
  • ¼ cup melted solid shortening

Preheat oven to 325F degrees; grease 10 inch spring form pan.

Spread cranberries on bottom of prepared pan.

Sprinkle with sugar and pecans.

FOR TOP beat eggs until foamy; gradually beat in sugar until light.

Add flour, melted butter and melted shortening; beat until well blended.

Pour batter over the cranberries; bake about 1 hour.


If you are learning how to cook cranberries when combined with turkey the flavor is great! 

  • 1 Pound cooked turkey (Cut into ½ inch cubes)
  • 4 Large celery stalks (Cut across in thin slices)
  • 1 Green bell pepper (Diced)
  • ½ Cup chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Watercress greens OPTIONAL garnish
  • Walnut halves OPTIONAL garnish

Place turkey cubes in a medium bowl.

Stir into turkey celery, bell pepper and walnuts; set aside.

In a small bowl combine sour cream and cranberry sauce.

Stir in vinegar, salt and pepper; pour mixture over turkey mixture.

Toss to coat and spoon into serving dishes; garnish if desired.


  • 1 Quart whole baby green beans (OR 2 cans cut)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Melt butter in skillet with lid over medium heat.

Drain most liquid from green beans; toss in butter.

Sprinkle cranberries over top of beans; cover with lid.

Heat mixture until hot and serve.

GINGERED ACORN SQUASH with spiced cranberry sauce

  • 6 Small acorn squash
  • 1 Cup water
  • ½ Cup butter
  • 2 Cloves garlic (Minced)
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • ¾ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon white pepper
  • Spiced Cranberry Sauce (Recipe Below)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Cut squash in half crosswise; remove and discard seeds.

NOTE: You will have bottoms and the tops where the stems were.

Place cut side down on jelly roll pan; add 1 cup water.

Bake for 1 hour or until tender; drain.

Scoop pulp from BOTTOM halves leaving ½ inch shells; set aside.

Mash the pulp which was removed.

Melt butter in large skillet and add garlic; cook and stir until tender.

Stir in squash, whipping cream and next 3 ingredients.

Cook and stir over low heat until thoroughly heated.

Spoon mixture into shells (Bottoms): place tops on.

Serve with spiced cranberry. 

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Piece (3 inches) fresh ginger
  • 1 Firm pear (Diced)
  • 1 Teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 12 Ounces cranberries (Fresh or frozen)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Bring water sugar and ginger to a boil in a heavy saucepan.

Stir constantly for 5 minutes; add pear and lemon rind.

Return to a boil; cook 3 minutes stirring occasionally.

Stir in cranberries; REDUCE heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes (NO stirring).

NOTE: Cranberry skins will pop.

Remove from heat and cool; cover and chill.

Discard ginger; stir in lemon juice just before serving.

Makes 2 ½ cups.


  • 4 Cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 ½ Cups water (Divided)
  • 3 Cups sugar
  • 1 Medium orange (Peel and chop fine)
  • ½ Cup chopped nuts
  • 1/3 Cup raisins

Combine cranberries and ¾ cup of water in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil.

Cover, REDUCE heat and simmer 6 to 8 minutes until skins pop.

Drain berries and put through a food mill; return to Dutch oven.

Add remaining ingredients to Dutch oven; bring to boil stirring frequently.

REDUCE heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Quickly spoon hot mixture into hot sterilized jars leaving ¼ inch headspace.

Wipe rims clean; cover at once with lids; screw on metal jar rings.

Process in boiling water bath 15 minutes; makes 4 half pints.