Cranberries for every craving: 5 new ways to serve them at your Thanksgiving feast

Cranberry sauce and cranberry mojito
Maya Evoy; We Are Not Martha

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By Jolène M. Bouchon

Turkey and cranberry sauce have shared a plate in America since the 18th century, and it’s easy to see why. The tart-sweet sauce gives savory turkey a bright lift, plus its gorgeous, jewel-like tone adds a mighty festive touch. 

Cranberry sauce devotees are usually divided between the jellied and the saucy. Much depends on tradition and, perhaps, what fuels your nostalgia. And, of course, there are some who can’t stand the stuff at all, but feel they need to serve it out of custom. Wherever you fall, we’ve collected a few innovative but still easy recipes that will cater to your cranberry tastes (including some ideas to win over cranberry sauce haters).

Rebecca Lindamood / Today

1. Jellied cranberry sauce: This one goes out to all you cranberry-in-a-can fans. It’s as smooth and slippery as your favorite, but with lots more punch. And don’t worry: You’ll still get that satisfying smuck! sound as it unmolds from its vessel — in this case, a mason jar — and it will hold its shape on the plate just like the one you love. 

Maya Evoy / Today

2. Cranberry chutney: You sauce aficionados will love this chunky version that’s sweet and tart, but just a touch savory. Apples, pears and golden raisins share the spotlight with cranberries in this recipe, and hazelnuts lend a nutty crunch. 

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3. Slow-cooker cranberry apple butter: Is the cranberry sauce usually the least popular dish at your Thanksgiving feasts? We guarantee that won’t be a problem this year if you make this recipe. The slow cooker turns cranberries, apples and a little cider into an addictive fruit butter, perfect for spreading on those Parker house rolls at Thanksgiving dinner, and on biscuits or pancakes the morning after.

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4. Cranberry brie bites: Who says your cranberries have to be in sauce form at all? Use the traditional fruit to make this super hors d’oeuvre: rich, creamy cranberry-topped brie cradled in buttery, crisp puff pastry. (Store-bought puff pastry makes these a snap to prepare.)

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5. Cranberry mojitos: Cranberry haters take note: These tart berries become much more palatable when served in mojito form. Simply take a sip after a bite of turkey, and, boom, tradition observed.