Chipotle Cherry Cranberry Sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce with a kick.

Tired of plain old grocery-store cranberry sauce? Me too. That’s why I was inspired to make a holiday cranberry sauce with some heat, and loaded with one of my favorite flavor combos – cherry chipotle.

The tartness of the fresh cranberries is toned down by cherries, along with some help from brown sugar and a bit of honey. That additional sweetness also helps balance the heat of the chipotle peppers. Adding in a supporting cast of clove, chili powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and you’ve got one hell of a holiday cranberry sauce.

Recipe notes: For extra heat, add in more chili powder, or adobo sauce from the chipotle peppers. For a sweeter version, try adding a bit more brown sugar as you cook the cranberry sauce on the stove.


  • ~10 minutes
  • Yields: ~7-8 servings


  • 4 cups of fresh cranberries
  • 2 diced chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1 cup of frozen tart cherries, pitted
  • ½ tbsp adobo
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp clove
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp of orange bitters


  • Start by rinsing cranberries and draining excess water. Toss out any mushy cranberries.
  • In a medium saucepan, add the cranberries, cherries, chipotle peppers, water, juice, bitters, honey and brown sugar.
  • Stir well and then bring to a boil over medium high heat. Then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, while stirring occasionally.
  • Continue to cook until cranberries begin to pop, around 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and season with cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder, and clove. Stir mixture together and taste. If it’s too tart for your liking, add a bit more brown sugar or splash of apple cider until desired sweetness is achieved.
  • Using an immersion blender, lightly blend the mixture to chop up the cherries and chipotle peppers, and mix the sauce.
  • Remove from pan and serve warm, or place in a covered bowl and refrigerate. 
  • Note: sauce will thicken as it cools, reheat as needed. The cranberry sauce should keep for 3-4 days in a covered bowl in the fridge.
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