There are so many delicious ways to use fresh cranberries, and this collection of 35 Fresh Cranberry Recipes is living proof! You’ll learn all about this incredible fruit, including nutrition information and health benefits, and will find a variety of sweet and savory recipes for the entire family!

35 best cranberry recipes long collage pin

I truly love this time of year. It’s certainly hectic, but when I’m able to relax and soak up all of the holiday spirit, there’s nothing like it!

Cranberries are a big part of the holiday season for me. While I love using dried cranberries year round in my broccoli slaw, fresh cranberries are where it’s at for me.

My cranberry orange sauce is a holiday staple, and my sugared cranberries make desserts and the holiday cookie tray sparkle.

During the fall and winter months, I buy several bags of fresh cranberries and stash them in the freezer because the season is just too short.

They keep for up to a year, so I can make my favorite healthy cranberry orange muffins all year long. 🙂

White bowl filled with fresh cranberries


What are cranberries?

Cranberries are fruits grown on evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the genus Vaccinium. Blueberries, lingonberries and huckleberries are also members of this genus.

They’re one of the only fruits native to North America. The fruit is small, hard and deep red in color, and has a very sour, bitter flavor.

The fruit was named “cranberry” by Dutch and German settlers. They thought the flower of the cranberry resembled the head and bill of a crane, and dubbed it “crane berry”.

When are cranberries in season?

The cranberry growing season is from April to November. The major production areas for cranberries are located in the northern part of the United States, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.

How do cranberries grow?

Cranberries are very unique and are grown unlike any other fruit. They grow on low-lying vines similar to strawberries, and have small evergreen leaves. The berries are larger than the leaves, and turn from white to dark red when ripe.

They’re grown in beds (otherwise known as bogs or marshes) layered with sand, peat (moss), gravel and clay. Commercial bogs use water bodies like ponds, wetlands, ditches and plumes to provide a natural habitat for wild life and plants.

The plants thrive in well drained soil that’s acidic with a low pH.

Can cranberries be eaten raw?

Yes, cranberries may be eaten raw, but they are quite tart all on their own. They’re great in salsas, relishes, salads and even smoothies. It’s best to combine them with sweet ingredients or add sugar to tame the tartness.
Oval plate filled with fresh cranberries

Health benefits of cranberries

Cranberries are very nutritious and include a wide variety of health benefits. In fact, they’re a superfood and even outrank almost every fruit and vegetable in disease-fighting antioxidants, including strawberries, broccoli, blueberries and cherries to name a few.

Fresh cranberries are composed of 90% water, with the other 10% composed mostly of carbohydrates and fiber. They’re low in sugar — which is why they’re so tart!

They’re a great source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins C, E, K1 and magnesium and copper.

All of us have probably heard that we should drink cranberry juice to help prevent bacterial infections like urinary tract or yeast. According to my research, 100% cranberry juice is the best kind to drink, but cranberry supplements are your best bet. Of course, anything of this nature should be discussed with your doctor.

Consuming cranberries regularly may lower the risk of inflammation which can improve gut health and protect against chronic diseases.

Choosing cranberries

Fresh cranberries are sold in plastic bags, so I try to inspect the bags carefully and choose one with the least amount of discolored or bruised berries.

How long do fresh cranberries last?

Store the cranberries in the original bag in the fridge and use within a week or so, or freeze for up to one year. When ready to use, be sure to rinse the berries well and discard any discolored or bruised berries.

Cranberries may be made into cranberry sauce straight from the freezer or thawed first.

Fresh cranberries in a white bowl with some cut in half

35 Fresh Cranberry Recipes

If you have no clue what to make with fresh cranberries, this list of fresh cranberry recipes should give you a few ideas. Fresh cranberries can be used in desserts, compotes, sauces, cocktails, savory recipes and more!

Cranberry orange sauce in a ramekin with orange on top

Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce

Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce is an easy homemade cranberry sauce that's tart, sweet and bursting with fresh orange flavor. It's made with just a few ingredients and cooks up in just 15 minutes!
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Overhead view of baked camembert on a white platter.

Easy Baked Camembert

This warm, gooey, cheesy Baked Camembert Recipe is the ultimate appetizer for any party! It’s made with 5 ingredients, so easy to prepare and ready in 20 minutes!
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Orange sugared cranberries in a white ramekin

Orange Sugared Cranberries

Orange Sugared Cranberries are sure to add sparkle to your holiday table! They're a great addition to cheese boards, and make a festive garnish for cocktails, desserts and so much more!
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Sweet potato cranberry crostini on a dark plate.

Sweet Potato Crostinis with Roasted Cranberries

These sweet potato crostinis are topped with nutmeg-spiced ricotta and roasted cranberries. Pretty, healthy and a delicious appetizer for your holiday party!
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Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Butter

Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Butter is an easy, no sugar fruit spread for toast, biscuits, muffins, and scones, it’s also perfect for holiday gift giving!
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Healthy cranberry orange muffin on a white plate

Healthy Cranberry Orange Muffins

These healthy cranberry orange muffins are bursting with cranberries in every bite. This healthy muffin recipe is easy to make in one bowl!
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A sliced loaf of cranberry orange bread.

Cranberry Orange Bread

Cranberry Orange Bread is an easy quick bread that’s perfect for the holiday season. Serve it for brunch on Christmas or Thanksgiving, turn it into a special after school snack or have it for dessert – it’s always the perfect choice!
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Cranberry orange rolls in a white baking dish.

Cranberry Orange Rolls

Cranberry Orange Rolls are the perfect holiday breakfast! Filled with sweet and tart cranberry jam and topped with a delicious, sweet orange icing, these perfectly gooey and tender Orange Sweet Rolls are a family favorite.
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A glass of cranberry raspberry smoothie.

Cranberry Raspberry Smoothie

A sweet, tangy and creamy cranberry raspberry smoothie made with few, simple ingredients — the perfect snack or breakfast!
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A stack of three glazed cranberry donuts.

Cranberry Donuts

Celebrate cranberry season with these dense, cakey white chocolate cranberry donuts. It’s a baked glazed donut recipe that brings together a smattering of tart cranberries and a delicious white chocolate glaze.
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eggnog pancakes stacked up with whipped cream and cranberries

Fluffy Cranberry Orange Eggnog Pancakes

Fluffy Cranberry Orange Eggnog Pancakes are the fluffiest pancakes with plenty of eggnog flavor. They’re topped with whipped cream and orange sugared cranberries for one special holiday breakfast!
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Two cranberry dark and stormy cocktails.

Cranberry Dark and Stormy

A classic dark and stormy cocktail, spruced up with homemade cranberry simple syrup using fresh cranberries – a fun and festive beverage to share with your buds at your Friendsgiving celebrations.
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Cranberry Prosecco Cocktail

Raise a glass to the holidays with this refreshing and delicious Cranberry Prosecco Cocktail! Nothing but natural sweeteners in the syrup.
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Glass of cranberry sangria

Cranberry Sangria

Cranberry Sangria is a refreshing holiday cocktail with fruity red wine, fresh cranberries and warm cinnamon spice.  It's perfect for entertaining!
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Two cranberry orange moscow mules in copper mugs.

Orange Cranberry Kombucha Moscow Mule

Enjoy a festive and flavorful holiday cocktail with this Orange Cranberry Kombucha Moscow Mule. It’s made with gin, kombucha, cranberries and freshly squeezed orange and lime juice.
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Slow cooker cranberry apple cider in a crockpot.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider

The perfect holiday drink, this Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider is made with apple, cranberry and orange juices! Perfect for your Thanksgiving or Christmas party.
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A bowl of roasted acorn squash with cranberries.

Cranberry Walnut Roasted Acorn Squash

This Cranberry Walnut Roasted Acorn Squash is the perfect Fall side dish, and perfect for Thanksgiving. The roasted onion and fresh cranberries give it warm bursts of delicious flavor, and the walnuts add a fabulous crunch!
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Green beans with cranberries on a dark gray plate.

Green Beans with Cranberries, Bacon and Goat cheese

These green beans with cranberries, bacon and goat cheese are a healthy addition to your Thanksgiving table that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
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Roasted butternut squash with cranberries and feta on a white platter.

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta – This sweet and savory side dish is perfect for the holidays and loaded with Fall flavor!
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A serving dish of roasted acorn squash quinoa cranberry salad.

Roasted Acorn Squash and Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Orange Maple Tahini Dressing

This healthy quinoa salad is mixed with maple roasted acorn squash, cranberries and oranges for a fall meal that is gluten free and vegan friendly.
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A dutch oven with roasted butternut squash and cranberry salad in it.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cranberries

Fresh, maple roasted cranberries and roasted butternut squash are mixed with soft spinach leaves and creamy goat cheese to create a new favorite salad! This roasted butternut squash salad with cranberries is perfect for the holidays or any day!
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Two slices of cranberry crusted prime rib on a white plate.

Cranberry Garlic Crusted Prime Rib Roast Recipe

A perfectly tender and flavorful beef roast to impress family and friends.
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Overhead view of cranberry orange chicken in a white baking dish.

Cranberry Orange Chicken

Cranberry Orange Chicken is the perfect one pan, a seasonal meal made with juicy, tart cranberries and fresh orange juice and zest.
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Garlic rosemary cranberry chicken in a baking dish.

Baked Cranberry Chicken with Rosemary

This easy baked cranberry chicken recipe with rosemary is your ticket to a comforting, show-stopping dinner! You’ll love the bold flavors from fresh minced garlic, rosemary, and citrus. Fresh cranberries make a festive, luscious and juicy topping.
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A blue baking dish of slow cooker pork chops with cranberries.

Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Cranberries & Leeks

There is unbelievable flavor in these Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Cranberries and Leeks. Plus, it will make your kitchen smell fantastic!
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A plate piled high with almond thumbprint cookies.

Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Almond thumbprint cookies have a rustic quality, and at the same time, with that sweet-tart jam peeking out of the centers, they’re actually dainty.
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Slice of apple cranberry pie on a plate

Apple Cranberry Pie

Apple Cranberry Pie is sure to be a hit this holiday season. Crisp, sweet apples married with tart cranberries on a tender, flaky pie crust is absolute perfection!
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Three cranberry white chocolate cookies stacked on each other.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies will get you in the mood for baking! Loaded with lots of flavor, you won’t want to pass them up!
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A stack of three cranberry shortbread bars on a dark gray plate.

Easy Gluten Free Cranberry Shortbread Bars

You are going to love how easy these Gluten Free Cranberry Shortbread Bars are to make! Sweet and tart at the same time, these bars are just bursting with holiday flavors!
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Overhead view of a cranberry galette with one slice slid out.

Rustic Cranberry Galette

My rustic cranberry galette is a festive fall/winter/holiday dessert that will look beautiful on your table and delight your guests’ tummies.
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