Christmas cranberry applesauce

Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger make this cranberry applesauce taste like Christmas. Follow the tips for canning the sauce in jelly jars for a beautiful edible gift.

Cranberry applesauce

Applesauce is a favorite childhood comfort food. Add some fresh or frozen cranberries, holiday spices and a bit of orange zest, and it can become a holiday side dish favorite for kids and adults. It’s also easy to turn this sauce into an edible gift, even if you don’t own special canning equipment.

Cranberry applesauce recipe

Yields 6 (8 ounce) jars


  • 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or dehydrated cane juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon tangerine zest
  • 1/2 cup water



Place all ingredients in a nonstick pot on high heat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cranberry applesauce

Meanwhile, bring a very large pot of water to a boil and boil your empty jars and lids for at least 5 minutes. This will sterilize the jars and soften the rubber on your lids. Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to do 5 jars at a time.


Once apples are soft and cranberries have split open, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce to your desired consistency. We like ours chunky.

Cranberry applesauce


Divide the cranberry applesauce between your 6 sterilized jelly jars. Wipe the rim of the jar clean, then carefully place the hot lids on the jars. Add the rings and place the jars back in the pot of boiling water. Process (which means boil) the jars for 10 minutes.

Cranberry applesauce

Carefully remove the jars of cranberry applesauce from the water bath. I use rubber coated tongs, but you can also use regular tongs with rubber bands wrapped around each tip.


Let jars sit overnight, undisturbed, to ensure a good seal. Glam up your gift with a tag and ribbon.

Cranberry applesauce

More holiday side dish recipes

Mini corn puddings
Kale and caramelized onion stuffing
Holiday baked Brie


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