Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Apple Cider


This homemade Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Apple Cider gets its sharp sweet and tart combo from apple cider, orange juice, pomegranates, and bourbon. I’m already thinking of the cranberry and turkey sandwiches I’ll be making. Jump to Recipe

My family’s Thanksgiving has been set in semi-sold stone for a while. We’ve made some small changes over the last 3 or 4 years, but overall, we don’t do anything hugely different. Which is why I never post Thanksgiving specific recipes on the blog.

Also, holidays the past few years have been hard for me. I’m always still recovering from a recent hospitalization or on a fast decline. This year though, I’m healthy and the family is expanding to include some vegetarians. Which means I want to shake things up a bit.

Overhead shot of stuffing in a rectangular casserole dish, cranberry sauce in a round serving dish lined with cranberries and rosemary, gravy in a sauce server, three small plates, a napkin, and silverware.

Besides this Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Apple Cider, I’ll be sharing a Cornbread and Cranberry Vegetarian Stuffing and a Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy recipe. Another possibility is a mulled wine and some rolls, but that’s only a maybe.

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Apple Cider

I was looking at a recipe for cranberry sauce that used a bunch of apples, oranges, pomegranates, and cranberries. It made me curious whether all the fruit would make the sauce more tart or sweeter.

Overhead shot of Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce in a dish lined with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs.

In the end, I think this cranberry sauce is more tart than my usual batches. Right after cooking, I was a little disappointed in the flavor. There wasn’t a lot of pomegranate and apple cider flavor. But as it sits, the pomegranate and apple cider flavors develop more, lending extra layers of sharp sweet and tart hits.

The Thanksgiving Plan

I’m someone who likes to space out a lot of the work in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Here’s my Thanksgiving game plan.

Saturday, November 11:

Close up of Cornbread and Cranberry Vegetarian Stuffing

Close up side view of Cornbread and Cranberry Vegetarian Stuffing covered in Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy on a plate.

Wednesday, November 15:

  • Make the rolls and freeze them, unbaked. Depending on what time dinner is planned, I’ll bake them the night before or early in the morning.

Thursday, November 16

Close up of a pumpkin cake covered in Brown Butter Salted Caramel and flakes of coarse sea salt.

Friday-Sunday, November 17-19

  • Remember the dehydrated lemons on this Rosemary Sponge Cake? I liked them so much I’m going to dehydrate pears, apples, and oranges for a cheese platter.

Close up of dehydrated lemons on top of a frosted cake.

Monday, November 20

Overhead shot of a baking sheet scattered with cherries, two sauce covered spoons, and bread with sliced turkey and a roasted cherry caper sauce.

Overhead shot of caramel corn spread out on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.

Tuesday, November 21

Side view of baked monkey bread piled on top of a plate.

Wednesday, November 22

Over head shot of cauliflower potato mash in a bowl with a spoon and two sprigs of rosemary in it, on top of a cutting board surrounded by a head of garlic and rosemary.

Overhead shot of a large and small cupcake covered in 7-minute frosting.

  • I’m planning on baking a pumpkin pie like a cheesecake in a springform pan with ground chewy molasses cookies as the crust. I’ll drizzle some caramel on it, top with 7-Minute Frosting, and then store in the fridge.
  • Cornbread for the stuffing cooked in the Turkey
  • Corn and pomegranate salad
  • Sweet Potato Casserole but the marshmallows will be added and roasted on top Thanksgiving day

Thursday, November 23

  • Bake the rolls early in the morning
  • Turkey and stuffing
  • Make the mulled wine
  • Set up the cheese platter in the early afternoon
  • Roast Green beans
  • Begin reheating all the food

Whew. Chop, chop, chop! Good luck with all your planning, cutting, dicing, cooking, and baking!

5 from 1 vote

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Apple Cider

This homemade Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Apple Cider gets its sharp sweet and tart combo from apple cider, orange juice, pomegranates, and bourbon.
Servings 3 to 3 and 1/2 cups
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 40 mins


  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 + 1/2 cup apple cider, separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 (12-ounce) bags cranberries
  • 1 and 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • zest from 1 orange


  • Combine the pomegranate seeds, 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, 1/4 cup apple cider, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  
  • In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, 1/2 cup apple cider, brown sugar, orange juice, bourbon, and orange zest. Cook on medium-high for 10 to 15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and the cranberries have popped. 
  • Turn off the heat and strain the pomegranate sauce in the small saucepan into the cranberry sauce and stir until incorporated. 
  • Cook on low for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the cranberry sauce cool for 15 minutes before pouring into mason jars. Let cool to room temperature before sealing and storing in the fridge or freezer. 
Author: Megan Wells
Course: Sides and Snacks

This homemade Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Apple Cider gets its sharp sweet and tart combo from apple cider, orange juice, pomegranates, and bourbon. | #Thanksgiving |</div/

This homemade Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce with Apple Cider gets its sharp sweet and tart combo from apple cider, orange juice, pomegranates, and bourbon. | #Thanksgiving |</div/

Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    Your cranberry sauce has BOURBON in it?! Why have I never thought of that!!!

  2. oooh this sounds like such an awesome cranberry sauce! i like my cranberry sauce super tart, since everything else is so decadent and rich on our table. and i love trying out new recipes, and since there’s been a few family shake-ups in the previous years, our thanksgiving must haves are a lot more flexible (:

  3. This almost looks too beautiful to eat. I would love to serve this version of sophisticated cranberry sauce. Delicious!

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