44 Creative Cranberry Recipes (for Any Time of Year) - Dr. Axe

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44 Creative Cranberry Recipes


Cranberry recipes are not only full of flavor and color, but they are antioxidant-rich and tremendously good for you. Because of their tart, crisp taste, cranberries are versatile in both sweet and savory recipes.

Cranberries have been harvested in this country for over 500 years. And as one of the top 10 high-antioxidant foods, cranberries have been used throughout the years for many different natural treatments: by mariners to prevent scurvy, by Native Americans to calm nerves and today for UTIs.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I recommend using natural sweeteners like raw honey, real maple syrup or organic coconut sugar to get the most nutrients out of these recipes. Also always substitute grass-fed dairy or goat milk, replace table salt with sea salt or Himalayan salt, and replace canola and vegetable oil with coconut oil, avocado oil or ghee.

44 Creative Cranberry Recipes

Even with all of the health benefits, cranberries are delicious. Their natural tartness lends to savory and sweet recipes alike. Here are some of my favorite cranberry recipes you can incorporate into your diet year-round.


Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe

1. Cranberry Apple Cider

Perfect for a cool evening, this cranberry cider recipe is sweetened naturally with apple juice and bursting with flavor from warm spices reminiscent of the holiday season. This cider gives you a load of antioxidants because both cranberries and cinnamon are high in antioxidants. In the summer, pour over ice for a refreshing cool drink; you don’t have to enjoy this only during the holidays.


2. Clean Eating Cranberry Banana Smoothie

Quick to prepare and just three ingredients, this smoothie is as healthy as it is beautiful. Fresh cranberries, bananas and coconut milk are all you need to create this refreshing and kid-friendly healthy snack.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

Related: Improve Your Diet & Health with a Clean Eating Meal Plan

3. Cranberry Mimosa

Nothing says a party like a pretty, sparkling drink. Go for the mocktail version and switch out the prosecco in this recipe with the sparkling juice or seltzer of your choice. Get all the health benefits of cranberries and enjoy a healthy and festive cocktail this holiday season!

4. Cranberry Sparkler Mocktail

Quick, easy, elegant and packed with antioxidants, this mocktail is perfect for a holiday brunch, or dinner. Fresh cranberries, fresh-squeezed orange juice and the liquid sweetener of your choice is blended together and strained a couple of time to create this liquid gold. When you are ready to serve, simply pour ¼ cup of the juice into a champagne glass and top with sparkling water. It is a lovely complement to any festive celebration.

5. Homemade Cranberry Juice

Store-bought cranberry juice can be full of sugars and other ingredients that counteract with the health benefits present in cranberries. With this recipe, you only need three simple ingredients: water, cranberries and honey. Be sure that you’re using raw honey to get the most nutritional value out of your homemade cranberry juice!

Appetizers & Condiments

6. Cranberry Sweet Potato Bites

These cranberry sweet potato bites are the perfect alternative for potato skins! This appetizer is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. It’s important to switch out the olive oil for another stable cooking oil like avocado oil. Olive oil has a low smoke point, which can cause olive oil to become rancid and/or toxic if repeatedly heated past its smoke point.

Photo: Cookie and Kate

7. Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

With this recipe, you won’t have to worry about how much sugar is in your cranberry sauce. This sauce is naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup or raw honey and orange zest! You can even add in fresh-squeezed, organic orange juice and ground cinnamon to give it an extra kick of sweetness and flavor.

8. Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce

The pomegranate and chia seeds in this recipe add the perfect amount of texture to this naturally sweetened cranberry sauce. This is a recipe that is delicious served both warm or chilled and is packed with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E and manganese.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe

9. Cranberry Sauce with Pecans

One of my favorite cranberry sauces is this one sweetened with apple juice and honey. The pecans add great texture. It can be prepared in advanced and stored in the refrigerator just before serving. Try this as an appetizer on your favorite cracker with goat cheese.

10. Cranberry Apple Relish

This is a fresh, crunchy and naturally sweet and tart cranberry relish that only uses four ingredients. This recipe utilizes the natural sweetness from Medjool dates, the tartness from a Granny Smith apple and the crunchiness from raw pecans to create a dish full of texture and tastiness.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe
Photo: Saveur

11. Pickled Cranberries 

Pickled cranberries? Yes! They are sweet and tart and the perfect accompaniment to holiday tables and summer barbecues alike. Swap out the white sugar the recipe calls for with your favorite sweetener; Stevia drops are fine in the recipe, as the sugar is not providing for any of the bulk. This recipe makes six jars and describes how you can easily can them for next summer, or to give as holiday gifts.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe
Photo: Fit Foodie Finds

12. Itty Bitty Sweet Potato Stacks 

A great appetizer for any holiday meal, this recipe brings together sweet potatoes, cranberries and cheese. Cranberry cheddar cheese that the recipe calls for can be difficult to find, so feel free to replace with raw cheddar and a couple of tablespoons of leftover cranberry sauce or dried cranberries.

13. Country Cranberry Chili

Who doesn’t love a nice, warm chili on a colder day? This dish infuses cranberries in this classic dish to bring a bright flavor to the savory flavors already present. Use homemade beef bone broth and fresh crushed tomatoes instead of those in the can to ensure you’re getting the freshest ingredients possible.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe

14. Cranberry Salsa

A fresh and tangy departure from regular ole’ salsa, this combination of cilantro and cranberries tastes great on crackers or vegetables.


Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe
Photo: Damn Delicious

15. Harvest Cobb Salad

This recipe uses dried cranberries, making it a delicious year-round salad to incorporate into your lunch or dinner rotation. Just a couple of tweaks make this a healthful meal; swap out the bacon for turkey bacon and replace the mayo with yogurt or a Paleo mayonnaise like coconut oil mayo. Of course, sweeten the dressing with a natural sweetener, like raw honey.


16. Cranberry Pecan Salad with Feta Cheese

This is a hearty salad that’s made with four ingredients. The feta cheese in this recipe can help maintain your digestive and gut health and pairs wonderfully with the dried cranberries.

Butternut Squash, Quinoa Cranberry Salad
 Photo: Ancient Harvest

17. Roasted Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad 

Quinoa, butternut squash, pecans, cranberries and maple syrup are all on my healing diet food list. Enjoy this healthy salad as a side dish, or as a lunch on the go.

18. Stephanie’s Chicken Salad

When you have leftover roasted chicken (or turkey) in the fridge, try this spin on a healthy chicken salad. If you pair Dijon mustard with goat milk yogurt instead of the Greek yogurt, it will bring out the tarty sweetness in the dried cranberries. Serve in lettuce cups, or on your favorite sprouted bread. It travels well, so it makes for a perfect lunch in the office, or in the lunch box.

Cranberry Orange Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Photo: Two Peas and Their Pod

19. Cranberry Orange Roasted Brussels Sprouts

People seem to either love Brussels sprouts or, quite frankly, hate them. Brussels sprouts are one of the cruciferous vegetables that contain compounds to help fight cancer, so we should all be eating more of these little gems. (12) The sweetness of the cranberries and the orange bring out the natural sweetness in the Brussels sprouts. Try this recipe and let it change your mind!

20. Deb’s Kale Salad with Apple, Cranberries and Pecan

Move over boring weeknight tossed salads; make room for this crunchy and satisfying kale salad. The health benefits of kale are well known, and the addition of dried cranberries, apple and goat cheese ups the nutritional kick while keeping the taste buds happy.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe

21. Pear Cranberry Salad

Fresh, ripe, juicy pears and tart cranberries transform a boring salad into something of beauty. Throw this salad together in under five minutes and enjoy the creaminess of the goat cheese, the sweetness of the pears and the tartness of the cranberries in each and every bite. For an added crunch, you can include a handful of pecans or walnuts!

Red Kuri Beet Kale Salad with Cranberry balsamic
Photo: Keepin’ It Kind

22. Red Kuri & Beet Kale Salad with Cranberry Orange Balsamic

A beautiful side dish and a satisfying meal — the combination of roasted winter squash, beets, kale and apple echo the flavors of fall. The dressing provides a tangy addition and is packed with healthy cranberries. This recipe is vegan-friendly, right down to the “pecan parmesan” sprinkle on top.

23. Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

This salad pairs perfectly with the autumn season. The combination of red and green apples in this salad gives an extra sweet-tartness to the cranberries, and the heartiness of the walnuts and feta cheese makes you feel full. The sweet and tangy salad dressing is the perfect topping for this delectable salad.


Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe
Photo: Running to the Kitchen

24. Cranberry Apple Stuffed Cornish Hens 

Are you in the mood for something other than turkey this holiday season? This festive Cornish hens dish may be your solution. Instead of three or four hours in the oven, these little hens only take one hour to bake, leaving you with more time with friends and family.

25. Grilled Salmon with Cranberry Mustard Butter

This is not just another grilled salmon recipe! The cranberry mustard butter transforms perfectly grilled salmon into delectable and healthy bites of goodness. Make the mustard butter in advance to allow the flavors to meld together. Grill wild-caught salmon and serve with the cranberry mustard butter. This is sure to become a family favorite.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe
Photo: Running to the Kitchen

26. Pecan Chicken with Cranberry Goat Cheese Sauce

A 30-minute dinner never looked so good. Pecan-encrusted chicken breasts, baked and then topped with a cranberry, honey and goat cheese sauce is as healthy as it is beautiful. When fresh cranberries aren’t in season, you can use frozen cranberries, with no change in results.

27. Paleo Crockpot Chicken with Butternut Squash, Pears and Cranberries

You don’t have to spend all afternoon cooking to serve your family a beautiful and healthy meal. Butternut squash and pears add sweetness, and the fresh cranberries give a bit of tang to this warming chicken dinner. Layer as directed and cook low and slow for six to eight hours in your slow cooker.

28. Cranberry Dip Topped Baked Potato

This baked potato is a meal. Serve with your favorite side salad, and enjoy throughout the year. For an added boost of nutrition, try swapping out the white baking potatoes for sweet potatoes; the sweetness will reflect in the cranberries and avocado.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe
Photo: Cotter Crunch

29. Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Chicken

The chicken thighs in this recipe are marinaded in a cranberry balsamic sauce to make this dish tangy and decadent. The pure maple syrup, coconut aminos and cranberries infused with the chicken make this dish easy to make in one pan and easier to enjoy!

30. Slow Cooker Cranberry Onion Pot Roast

This recipe is perfect to make in a slow cooker or in a regular oven. Sear your veggies and meat, throw your ingredients in your pot and slow cook away! Be sure to substitute the jellied cranberry sauce for homemade to ensure you get the freshest ingredients and nutrients — without any additives.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe
Photo: Keepin’ It Kind

31. Persimmon Cornmeal Pancakes with Maple Cranberry Sauce

Who says pancakes are just for breakfast? Made with gluten-free flour, cornmeal and coconut sugar, these pancakes are a delicious and healthy vegan meal.

Desserts & Snacks

32. Paleo Cranberry Walnut Cookies

Full of wholesome goodness and naturally sweet, these cookies are easy to make and a treat to eat. You can substitute the cashew butter for another nut butter like almond if you prefer, and be sure to use raw honey to get the maximum amount of nutrients. Best of all, these cookies are Paleo-friendly.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe
Photo: Against All Grain

33. Cranberry Lemon Loaf 

Grain-free and delicious, this cranberry lemon loaf is easy to make and delicious with a cup of tea in the mornings, or evenings. The glaze is made from cashews, honey, lemon and coconut milk to create a slightly sweet complement to the rich bread.

34. Cranberry Walnut Bread

Looking for the perfect quick bread to take with you to the office or a party? This gluten-free cranberry walnut bread gets a boost of fiber from the coconut flour and tartness from the cranberries. Best of all, frozen cranberries can be used, so this can become one of your go-to gluten-free recipes.

35. Clean Eating Pumpkin Spice Baked Apples

The aroma that wanders your home as this healthy fall dessert bakes is nothing short of heavenly. The warmth of the pumpkin pie spice, honey and the baking apple is reminiscent of your grandmother’s famous apple pie, without the guilt. Stick the apples in the oven when you have nearly finished your meal, and just in the nick of time, you will be enjoying a warm baked apple, with all the flavors of fall.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe
Photo: Gutsy by Nature

36. Cranberry Coconut Treats

These treats are Paleo-friendly, nut-free and egg-free, perfect for families with allergies or who are sticking to a Paleo protocol. Cocoa butter, coconut butter, honey and dried cranberries create a perfect little treat. The hard part is waiting while they cool.

37. Pistachio Cranberry Cookies

We all love a good cookie from time to time, and these certainly fit the bill. These are vegan, gluten-free and sweetened with maple syrup. When selecting dried cranberries for this, and other recipes, choose naturally sweetened dried cranberries. The addition of salty pistachios makes each bite the perfect combination of sweet, tart and salty.

38. No-Bake, Paleo Cranberry Orange Coconut Bars

Sweetened with one my favorite all-natural sweeteners, Medjool dates, this dessert is perfect throughout the year. While the recipe calls for fresh cranberries, during the off-season, replace with frozen cranberries for a healthy dessert, any time.

Cranberry recipes - Dr. Axe
Photo: Skinny GF Chef

39. Skinny Gluten Free & Sugar Free Cranberry Almond Scones

Gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free scones are here. Perfect for holiday get-togethers or warm evenings by the fire, these scones are high in protein and are sweetened with stevia. Only 30 minutes in the oven, and you can be enjoying a heavenly scone, without any of the guilt.

40. Paleo Cranberry Orange Muffins

Paleo people rejoice! If you have been missing muffins, this fall-inspired treat will make your mouth water. Almond flour, honey, orange juice and fresh (or dried) cranberries come together to create the perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.

Photo: The Gracious Pantry

41. Cranberry Pie

Cranberries in pie form? Yum! This is an easy recipe that you can make ahead of time for the holidays. It’s naturally sweet because of the raw honey and homemade applesauce, so you don’t have to worry about refined sugar.

42. Chocolate Covered Cranberries

Chocolate covered cherries? Check. Chocolate covered strawberries? Check. Now introducing, chocolate covered cranberries! Just three ingredients turn tart, fresh cranberries into delectable little treats. As you have to dip each one, this may take some time, but by using dark chocolate, you will up your antioxidants, while enjoying a treat.

Photo: Primally Inspired

43. Baked Pears with Cranberries and Whipped Orange Coconut Cream

This time of year, a wide variety of beautiful organic pears are available. Choose from Bosc, Anjou, Concorde or even the delightfully charming small Seckel pears for this recipe. Warm spices, cranberries and the pears come together in each tantalizing bite. Top off with a touch of the whipped orange coconut cream, and watch your family lick their plates!

44. Fresh Cranberry Cake

This cake is perfect for anyone to enjoy. This cake is vegan as well as gluten- and sugar-free, so there are no worries! It’s naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup and homemade applesauce and has the perfect amount of tartness because of the fresh cranberries. This cake is perfect to share with friends and family during the holidays.

I hope you enjoy some of these delicious cranberry recipes, and if you want to learn more about this superfood, check out my article on the amazing health benefits of cranberries.

Read Next: 47 Terrific Leftover Turkey Recipes

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