no cans here….

This is the second of several recipes from our recent Early Pot Luck Thanksgiving Dinner.  Don’t forget to keep to checking back often for more new recipes that will help make your Thanksgiving something to remember.

Still coming….


Let’s talk about the Cranberry Sauce

Are you a fan of cranberry sauce?  I feel like you either are or your not.  There doesn’t seem to be too many people out there that are in the middle of the cranberry debate.  Well, I was not a fan either until I started making my own cranberry sauce from FRESH cranberries…thats right there are no cans in this recipe.


It is all about the FRESH Berries

Growing up we always had the canned version of cranberry sauce on our Thanksgiving table….and I NEVER ate it.  I just couldn’t get past the texture.  You know what I’m talking about….right?

Well a few years a go I decided I wanted to give a fresh cranberry sauce a try.  I tried a few.  One had orange zest & juice in it.  Another was with apples.  And yet another was with blueberries.  All of them had something I liked, the fresh berries, but I didn’t love any of them…so I decided to try something I had not seen anywhere.


Spicing it up a bit

I decided to spice up a traditional Fresh Cranberry sauce.  Don’t worry it is still a little sweet, a little tart and now a little kicky.  To start the spice train I threw in some pumpkin pie spice, chili powder & ground ginger.  I let that cook down a bit and gave it a taste.  It was good but was still missing something. I literally was standing in my kitchen looking around trying to think what I could add in to make it AMAZING and then it hit…almost literally.

The balsamic vinegar started to fall off a shelf in my spice cabinet and I caught it and then it came to me.  I needed to add a little balsamic vinegar and black pepper.  I added just a little, a teaspoon of both, but let me tell you it made it PERFECT!

There is a perfect balance of sweet, tang and spice making this a cranberry sauce everyone loves.


Make it ahead

This sauce is good when it is fresh, but it is even better after it has chilled in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  It was even better the next day.  For (the real) Thanksgiving I am going to make this the day before and it will be perfect for the BIG DAY.

I love anything I can make the day before…it helps to free up time for the day of.

Fresh is better (in my opinion)

8 servings

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

A sweet cranberry sauce that will surprise you with each bite.

5 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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4 cups, fresh cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or just cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Rinse cranberries in a colander and pick out any that are not whole, or any stems
In a medium sauce pan bring water and sugar to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved
Stir in cranberries
Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 10-15 minutes or until cranberries burst, stirring often
Once sauce is thickened stir in balsamic vinegar, and all the spices, cooking for another 5 minutes
Tate and adjust seasoning as needed
Serve immediately, or let chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve, the flavors will continue to develop as it chills
Will stay good covered tightly for 3-4 days in the refrigerator


Each serving is 4 WW Smart Points

Nutritional Info

Calories 70 - Calories from Fat 0 - Total Fat 0 g - Saturated Fat 0 g - Monounsaturated Fat 0 g - Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g - Trans Fat 0 g - Cholesterol 0 g - Sodium 1 mg - Potassium 41 mg - Total Carbohydrate 18 g - Dietary Fiber 2 g - Sugars 14 g - Protein 0 g

Vitamin A 1 % - Vitamin C 10 % - Calcium 1 % - Iron 0 %



111 cal


1 g


21 g


3 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

This Spiced Cranberry Sauce will make everyone a fan of cranberry sauce…trust me it is THAT GOOD!


Make today (& Thanksgiving) Sparkle – MJ

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