Easy 5-ingredient Cranberry Applesauce

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This cranberry applesauce is a great addition to any holiday table. It’s delicious on latkes and a great side for other holiday celebrations. It’s low in sugar and full of antioxidants and vitamin C, making any leftovers a great addition to your yogurt or oatmeal as well.

easy cranberry applesauce

I know we’re well past apple picking season, but that doesn’t mean we’re done devouring all things apple — apple pie, apple crisp, baked apples, and applesauce! I love having homemade applesauce in our fridge through the fall and early winter. It’s so versatile. I put it in my overnight oats, yogurt, or oatmeal for a natural sweetener and a dose of fruit. We also eat it as a “dessert” after dinner when we want something a little sweet or for an afternoon snack. It’s great on potato latkes for anyone celebrating Hanukkah, and is a nice easy holiday side dish for any other celebrations.

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I usually stick to my vanilla bourbon applesauce since it’s such a hit around here (Who doesn’t like a little bourbon with their apples?). But I had been gifted some cranberries from a local bog and decided to try out a cranberry applesauce. When my husband tasted it, he said “you have to put this on your blog.” So, here we are.

The cranberries bring a slightly tart flavor to the sauce, but when paired with the apples and a just a touch of brown sugar, they become just perfectly sweet.

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This applesauce is full of nutritious ingredients that you can feel great about eating. Cranberries are a good source of vitamins C and E and are packed with antioxidants including anthocyanins, which give them that gorgeous red/magenta color. And the apples add even more vitamin C to the mix, as well as fiber. I leave the skin on when cooking, which is where most of the fiber is.

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You can use fresh or frozen cranberries and any kind of apple you like. I do suggest a sweeter apple variety like macoun, honeycrisp, fuji, or macintosh over more tart varieties in this recipe. You can also add more or fewer cranberries depending on your flavor preference.

Easy 5-Ingredient Cranberry Applesauce

Makes: 6 Cups

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Prep time:

Cook time:


  • 5lbs apples such as macoun, empire, honeycrisp, or macintosh
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups water (more as needed)


  1. Dice apples into large pieces (leaving skin on). Once all apples are cut and cores removed, add all ingredients to a large soup pot or dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat until it begins to boil, then turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer for 20-25 minutes, until apples and cranberries are very soft. Stir occasionally to keep bottom apples from burning and to evenly distribute heat. When soft enough to mash with a fork, remove from heat and use an immersion blender to blend to your preferred texture. For a chunkier sauce you can even just use a potato massher or large fork to mix pieces together. If you don’t have an immersion blender and you’d like to blend until very smooth, use a regular blendter or food processor. Enjoy warm or cold. It stores well in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
healthy cranberry applesauce

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