Our 12 Best Thanksgiving Cranberry Recipes To Make The Most Of This Seasonal Fruit

It's not just cranberry sauce (although that, too)

Cranberries are a distinctive red fruit with a sour taste that's often sweetened to balance other heavier Thanksgiving dishes well. Our favorite cranberry sauces pair nicely with turkey, or as a standalone side to spoon onto your plate. Whether you're looking to start off your feast with a cranberry cocktail, or finish off the evening with a sweet, frozen fall pie, with our best Thanksgiving cranberry recipes, you're guaranteed to find a favorite way to use this seasonal fruit.

Cranberry recipes often call for the frozen berries, but for your next Thanksgiving, seek out the fresh gems at the market. When you find them, try them in one of our favorite Thanksgiving cranberry recipes:

Classic Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce
Classic Cranberry SauceVanessa Rees

No Thanksgiving feast is complete without cranberry sauce—forget the canned variety and make this recipe instead. Get the recipe for Classic Cranberry Sauce »

Shaker Vodka Cranberry

Shaker Vodka Cranberry
Shaker Vodka CranberryMatt Taylor-Gross

An elevated twist on a classic vodka-cranberry using housemade cranberry vinegar. Get the recipe for Shaker Vodka Cranberry »

Brandied Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce
Brandied Cranberry SauceHelen Rosner

Brandy adds depth and black peppercorns balance the tart flavor in this version of the classic cranberry sauce. Get the recipe for Brandied Cranberry Sauce »

Pickled Cranberries

Pickled Cranberries
Pickled CranberriesNicole Franzen

Pickling takes the natural sweet-tart nature of the cranberry and amplifies it. Get the recipe for Pickled Cranberries »

Cranberry Swirl Semolina Cake

Cranberry Swirl Semolina Cake
Cranberry Swirl Semolina CakeFarideh Sadeghin

A burnished red wine and cranberry sauce swirls into this simple semolina cake, perfect for breakfast or a light afternoon snack. Get the recipe for Cranberry Swirl Semolina Cake »

Cranberry-Orange Relish

Cranberry Relish
Cranberry RelishMatt Taylor-Gross

This bracingly tart relish, from Matthew Jennings of Townsman in Boston is the perfect foil for a rich Thanksgiving spread. Whole pieces or orange flesh and peel add texture to balance the creamy smoothness of mashed potatoes and cornbread dressing. Get the recipe for Cranberry-Orange Relish »

Whole Cranberry Sauce

Whole Cranberry Sauce
Whole Cranberry SauceVanessa Rees

Fresh orange and grapefruit juice add zest to this seasonal staple. Get the recipe for Whole Cranberry Sauce »

Brown Butter Skillet Cake with Berry Compote (Kaiserschmarrn)

Brown Butter Skillet Cake with Berry Compote (Kaiserschmarrn)
Brown Butter Skillet Cake with Berry Compote (Kaiserschmarrn)Tom Parker

Essentially torn pieces of pancake topped with oozing lingonberry or cranberry sauce, this dessert is a cinch, even for the baking-challenged. Get the recipe for Brown Butter Skillet Cake with Berry Compote (Kaiserschmarrn) »

Apple and Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes

Apple and Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes
Apple and Cranberry Upside-Down CakesKhushbu Shah

If you find yourself with a surplus of fresh cranberries, these elegant cakes are the perfect solution. They can be cooked in individual miniature pans, or in a single skillet for convenience. Get the recipe for Apple and Cranberry Upside-Down Cakes »

Apple-Cranberry Relish

Apple-Cranberry Relish
Apple-Cranberry RelishIngalls Photography

Sautéed garlic and onion, plus a little bit of salt, add a savory note to this sweet-tart relish, which gets its body from the natural pectin in the poached, puréed cranberries. A twist on Thanksgiving's traditional cranberry sauce. Get the recipe for Apple-Cranberry Relish »

Cranberry Chiffon Pie

Cranberry Chiffon Pie
Cranberry Chiffon PieAndrew Ingalls

Fresh or frozen cranberries make the base for this tart custard pie. Get the recipe for Cranberry Chiffon Pie »

Cranberry Crostini

Cranberry crostini
Cranberry CrostiniMatt Taylor-Gross

Tart, colorful cranberries are not just for cooked and canned sauces. Paired with rich whipped ricotta spread and toasted baguette slices, the raw fruit has a punchy flavor and crunchy texture that's a light, bright complement to crostini. Prepare the dip up to one day ahead and store covered in the refrigerator. Stir or buzz in the food processor briefly before spreading onto toasts. Get the recipe for Cranberry Crostini »