8 Cranberry Recipes to Make This Thanksgiving

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When it comes to festive fall fruits, cranberries are king: No holiday tablescape is complete without a bowl of cranberry sauce. Unfortunately, cranberry sauce is often relegated to the once-a-year canned variety. We'll show you how easy it is to include a homemade version on this year's Thanksgiving spread. Next, let's think outside the bowl and extend our cranberry love to breakfast, cocktails, and dessert.

But first, a lesson in cranberry appreciation...

Cranberry harvest in North America begins in late September or early October, and lasts through early November, with the fresh-berry season lasting through January. Or course; frozen cranberries, Craisins, cranberry juice, and the ubiquitous canned versions are available year-round. Need more reasons to love cranberry sauce? Health-wise, there are plenty. Cranberries are a nutritional powerhouse rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, prebiotic fibers, vitamins, and minerals.

Fun facts: Cranberries are one of only three cultivated fruits native to North America. Native Americans used cranberries for food, medicine, and dyes for clothes and blankets, as well as to cure meat and to poison from arrow wounds.

That said, here are 12 crave-worthy cranberry recipes to make this Thanksgiving...or any time!

01 of 08

Bourbon-Cranberry Compote

Bourbon-Cranberry Compote
Gentl & Hyers

This boozy sauce requires just four ingredients and five minutes of hands-on prep. And it's not just for Thanksgiving dinner: Make an extra batch to to spread over leftover turkey sandwiches, or to top a bowl of ice cream or yogurt.
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02 of 08

Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf With Cranberries

Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf With Cranberries

This vegan-friendly dish screams fall flavors: tart cranberries, hearty wild rice, and flavorful mushrooms. Swap out dried cranberries for fresh or frozen, and use a mix of mushrooms to add depth of flavor.
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03 of 08

Baked Oatmeal With Cranberries and Almonds

Baked Oatmeal With Cranberries and Almonds
Con Poulos

Like a casserole-cookie hybrid (and healthier than leftover pie), this make-ahead whole-grain breakfast dish will feed a crowd of leftover Thanksgiving family and friends.
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04 of 08

Cranberry-Lemon Spritz

Cranberry-Lemon Spritz

This refreshing, bright cocktail just might become your Thanksgiving go-to recipe, especially if you love a tall pour but not something over-the-top sweet. Just a spoonful of sugar livens up the tart cranberries and generous pour of lemon juice. This recipe calls for vodka, but swap with a floral gin or even smoky mescal, which would play nicely off the cranberries.
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05 of 08

Campari and Cranberry Jello Shots

Campari and Cranberry Jello Shots

For these festive shots, mix Campari with cranberry juice and a bit of sugar to balance out the bitterness. The sweet orange zest rim not only looks sparkly and pretty, but the citrus marries nicely with Campari, too. These are equally as delicious as a pre-dinner cocktail as they are a palate cleanser before dessert.
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06 of 08

Cranberry Ricotta Cake

Cranberry Ricotta Cake

This light, buttery cake is studded with jewel-like fresh cranberries, which are tossed in granulated sugar and then sprinkled over the cake batter. As the cake bakes, the sugar crystalizes into a thin, delicious crust. Serve up a big wedge of this sweet-tart delicacy for dessert—or for breakfast.
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07 of 08

Cranberry Cacao Nib Brownies

Cranberry Cacao Nib Brownies

Fresh or frozen cranberries add a delicious tartness to keep these treats from being over-sweet. They also contribute to that moist-and-chewy-in-the-center quality that we love in a brownie, turning this anytime dessert into a Thanksgiving classic.
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08 of 08

Cranberry-Strawberry Crumb Pie

Cranberry-Strawberry Crumb Pie

Use fresh or frozen cranberries to mellow sweet strawberries in this fruity alternative to pumpkin. A store-bought crust makes putting this dessert together easy-as-pie. Add a classic crumb topping spiced with cinnamon and ginger and you've got a treat that's vaguely muffin-y, in all the best ways.
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