Take homemade cranberry sauce up a notch with a little sweet heat!  This easy whole berry recipe is made with the expected fresh cranberries, delicious orange, cinnamon, and ginger but with just a little added sweet jalapeno twist.  Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce is the BEST sauce for Thanksgiving or any savory meal that needs a little kick.  And the scrumptious ways to enjoy it don’t end there!

Whole berry cranberry sauce with jalapenos being served

Jalapeno Cranberry sauce scripture- 2 Timothy 3:16

Cranberry Sauce is more than expected on the holiday table; it’s a must!  One glimpse of a bowl piled high with these vibrant purple, red berries is a sure sign that a menu full of family favorites you’ve for waited all year is about to be served.  Tartly sweet, cranberries are the perfect complement to savory meats and side dishes.  And adding a little heat only makes those partnerships better.  If you’re a fan of pepper jellies, you’re going to love what a little jalapeno does to your classic cranberry sauce!


The ingredients for Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce


Why Make Your Own Cranberry Sauce?

You might wonder why you would ever want to make your own cranberry jelly.  I’ll admit that it is pretty easy to just grab a can or two at the grocery store.  But making your own sauce has its own perks that make it more than worth it.

  • You can control your ingredients!  This goes from preservatives and additives to how sweet you like it!  I like mine sweet.  In the recipe notes, you’ll see that I add an extra TBSP of sugar (either white or brown) to my sauce to balance out the cranberries’ own natural tartness.  Some really like to play up those holiday flavors with extra cinnamon or a small pinch of clove.  When you make your own, you’re in charge!
  • The aromatics and rich color of this simple recipe while on the stove top make this recipe all the more worth it.  Want to really spread some holiday cheer or just fill your home with warm, welcoming aromas?  Making your own sauce is just the thing!
  • Maybe most convincing is the fact that making your own cranberry sauce is SO EASY!  You don’t have to worry about it being a tax on your holiday cooking load.  This simple recipe really is as quick and easy as it is delicious!  
  • It is a way that YOU can easily contribute to a holiday meal.  Maybe you’re not making the whole meal, but get charged with “just bringing the cranberry sauce.”  Do more than just bring a can.  Bring a little wow that will really add to the holiday table.  Your hostess (and everyone in attendance) will be so glad YOU were asked to bring the sauce.


A full bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with orange and jalapeno

Simple Ingredients For Whole Berry Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

  • fresh cranberries
  • orange juice
  • orange zest
  • jalapeno
  • brown & granulated sugars
  • ground ginger
  • ground cinnamon
  • salt
  • water

This recipe really is so very simple.  Just add all of the ingredients to a medium sized sauce pan over medium high heat.  Give them a quick stir and let the ingredients come to a boil.  Those berries will begin to burst and those wonderful holiday aromas will begin to fill your kitchen and home.  Turn down the heat and let your sauce simmer for about 15 minutes.  Don’t forget to stir it every now and then.  When you remove the berries from the heat, they will become more “jelly like” as they cool.


Overheard view of jalapeno Cranberry sauce with whole berries

Making Ahead, Freezing & Storing

  • This recipe is perfect for making ahead.  Whip it up as early as 3 days in advance.  Cover tightly and store in the fridge until the big day.
  • Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce can also be frozen.  I like to freeze mine in a zip top bag because it makes reheating so easy!  
  • To reheat, place the frozen zip top bag with sauce into a sauce pan of simmering water until the sauce thaws and warms.  When it reaches the desired temp, remove the bag from water and spoon or pour your sauce into your serving bowl.

Ways to Use Your Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

Deliciously tart cranberry sauce is so much more than just a side for turkey and dressing.  Here are some ways you can enjoy cranberry sauce to liven up any menu.  It’s also a perfect way to use any leftovers!





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A full bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with orange and jalapeno

Homemade Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

Give homemade whole berry cranberry sauce a spicy kick with this easy sweet heat recipe!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: holiday
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 people


  • 12 oz fresh whole cranberries
  • 1/2 C orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 medium jalapeno, de-seeded, deveined, finely diced
  • 1/2 C light brown sugar
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger


  • Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes or until almost all liquid is gone. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Sauce will become thicker as it cools.


I add an extra 1 Tbsp of granulated sugar to this recipe.

Other Thanksgiving Condiments & Extras

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Give homemade whole berry cranberry sauce a spicy kick with this easy sweet heat recipe! Made with fresh cranberries, orange, cinnamon, ginger and just a little jalapeno, this is the BEST cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving or any savory meal that needs a little kick!