Cranberry Sauce with Pear & Pomegranate

by Marla on November 12, 2010 · 54 comments

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Thanksgiving & holiday cranberry sauce recipe for the home cook.

Please tell me you are willing to take a few minutes to make a fresh cranberry sauce. It is so worth it. Really. You can make it as sweet or tart as you want and all that is required is simmering some fruit and spices on the stove. I get it that some folks like the canned stuff. If that is part of your Thanksgiving tradition then go for it. If you want to try the real stuff, then I am here to encourage you to go for it. This sauce is bursting with fruity flavor & little pomegranate gems are sprinkled throughout.

Thanksgiving & holiday fresh cranberry sauce recipe.

I have been loving my daily virtual tours of everyones Thanksgiving feasts on the web. Each food & recipe blog I visit has a unique perspective and palate. It is a true joy to read so many vibrant posts. It makes me smile & very hungry too!

Thanksgiving & holiday cranberry sauce recipe for the home cook.

Cranberry sauce is an excellent way to highlight seasonal fruits. The last recipe I posted was a Sweet Potato, Bacon & Pomegranate Salad-the colors & flavor would add zest to any holiday meal. From cranberries, to pears, apples & citrus, the choice is yours.

My Pear Spice Cake was recently featured on PBS Parents on a post called the Virtual Thanksgiving Dessert Table. That is a sweet compilation of goodies to inspire your holiday sweet tooth.

Homemade fresh cranberry sauce for holiday turkey side dish.

From casseroles to chutneys to the turkey, the inspiration is out there for the taking. We all have no excuses but to get in our kitchens to cook up something. Even if it is as simple as this cranberry sauce you see right here.

Thanksgiving & holiday cranberry sauce recipe for the home cook.

Cranberry Sauce with Pear & Pomegranate

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 3 cups of sauce

Cranberry Sauce with Pear & Pomegranate


  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen Cranberries
  • 1 Pear-cleaned, cored & diced, skin left on
  • juice from 1 Orange (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • pinch of ground Cinnamon
  • pinch of ground Ginger
  • Stevia Powder or your favorite Natural Sweetener to taste
  • 2 ounces Pomegranate Seeds plus extra for garnish
  • Orange Zest


  • Rinse fresh cranberries. Place cranberries, orange juice, pear, water and spices in a medium saucepan. Heat on stove top over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes. The cranberries will burst and the sauce will thicken a bit. Add more water or orange juice if you want a thinner sauce. Stir occasionally so your sauce does not burn. Add sweetener to taste and adjust spices if needed.
  • Add pomegranate seeds at the end and gently stir them into the sauce. As this sauce cools it will continue to thicken a bit. Serve topped with fresh pomegranate seeds, grated orange zest or any of the variations below.


  • Add a handful of dried fruit or raisins while your cranberry sauce is cooking.
  • Top with some chopped toasted nuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts & walnuts would be great choices.
  • Add some chopped candied ginger at the end and sprinkle some on the top of your sauce before serving.
  • If you don’t have pear, apple pieces would be great too.
  • While cooking add a splash of bourbon for a boozy flavor boost.

Pomegranate on Family Fresh Cooking

Cranberry Sauce Recipe Links

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maria November 12, 2010 at 6:13 am

Fresh cranberry sauce is the best! Love your version!


2 Estela @ Weekly Bite November 12, 2010 at 6:14 am

I started making fresh cranberry sauce 8 years ago… I will never go back to the canned stuff.

Yours looks beautiful and delicious!


3 Amanda November 12, 2010 at 6:16 am

Just beautiful Marla!! Well done!


4 Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food November 12, 2010 at 6:16 am

This is a wonderful new take on cranberry sauce, and I particularly like the way you’ve balanced sweet and tart ingredients here without added sugar. I’ve never understood why people who have access to fresh cranberries would settle for canned sauce. Fresh cranberries take a just a couple of minutes to cook, taste so much better, and allow one to go as sweet or tart as one likes.


5 Faith November 12, 2010 at 6:20 am

This is the prettiest cranberry sauce ever! What a great blend of flavors, especially with the orange zest. Just wanted to let you know, I voted for your pic and posted about it on Facebook…I’m cheering you on, Marla! :)


6 Marla November 12, 2010 at 6:39 am

Faith: You are an absolute DOLL!! Thanks so much for your kind support on the CA Raisins contest. You are an awesome & valued friend :) xo

Barbara: I know – the canned thing just could not happen over here. Waaay too sweet for me & not a great mouth feel.


7 FoodFitnessFreshair November 12, 2010 at 7:12 am

LOVE this. I hope to test this out for Thanksgiving. Stunning photos…love to see you only continue to progress with your photography! I really enjoy good food photography.


8 Heather (Heather's Dish) November 12, 2010 at 7:28 am

what a vibrant, perfect thanksgiving dish! i love the deep rich colors :)


9 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cookign November 12, 2010 at 7:44 am

Marla, this is genuis! What a lovely sauce, and I love the addition of pomegranate seeds (I have more than I know what to do with at the moment). I will definitely be trying this soon, perhaps with a pork tenderloin – Yum! Thanks for sharing this excellent recipe and these beautiful photos.


10 Rosa November 12, 2010 at 8:06 am

A wonderful combination! What a perfect sauce.




11 Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather November 12, 2010 at 8:20 am

I usually use apple in my cranberry sauce but I really like the variety with pear and pomegranate. Looks delish!


12 theUngourmet November 12, 2010 at 8:30 am

I put my vote in. :) This is a terrific sauce. I really love the addition of the pomegranate. I bet the flavor and texture really pops! Yum! So pretty as well.


13 Diane {} November 12, 2010 at 9:25 am

Looks delicious!


14 Sara November 12, 2010 at 9:27 am

Absolutely gorgeous recipe! love the flavors & colors of this cranberry sauce! Bravo!


15 Cookin' Canuck November 12, 2010 at 10:50 am

That opening shot is absolutely stunning! I think if everyone realized how it easy it is to make cranberry sauce, there would never be a canned version to be seen again. This is a wonderful version.


16 Jessica @ How Sweet November 12, 2010 at 10:50 am

I absolutely love anything with pomegranate!


17 Delishhh November 12, 2010 at 11:13 am

YUM – I have not mixed these two but they fit perfectly together. Nice recipe.


18 Angie's Recipes November 12, 2010 at 12:02 pm

The first picture is killing me! Absolutely gorgeous.


19 Sonia{7spice} November 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm

O! your colourful pics are just feast for eyes. Good recipe, Marla. I need to buy some cranberries now. :)


20 Christine @ Fresh Local and Best November 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm

I love hearing the sound of fresh cranberries popping when they are heating up on the stove. This looks like a terrific recipe with the spices and contrasted sweetness of the pear and oranges.


21 naomi November 12, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Yep, I”m with you I love fresh cranberry sauce, but I also have to say I like the jellied stuff out of a can too-I know gasp! :)


22 Marla November 13, 2010 at 6:16 am

Naomi: Girl we all gotta go with what we love. I would say I would try to convert you, but what fun would that be. I would just mix some of my cranberry sauce into that can you are gonna roll out :)

Christine: So funny that you said that about the popping sound of the cranberries as they cook. I love that too! I just don’t like when then splatter all over so I keep a loose lid over them. Yes, the pear & citrus with a touch of stevia is perfect for my tastebuds.

Sonia: Thanks! That is my goal with my photos. A virtual feast of the senses.

Georgia: This sauce would taste great with a pork tenderloin & you are so lucky to have an abundance of pomegranates right now!

Grace: You have been a reader of my bloggy since the beginning. Thanks for your kind words about my photography. I have learned so much & hopefully will progress each day.


23 Cara November 13, 2010 at 6:44 am

Nice combination you have here! I am having some friends over today and I am roasting a turkey and making cranberry sauce. Mine has dates, orange zest/juice, balsamic, cinnamon.. can’t wait to gobble it up – guilt-free, of course, thanks to stevia! This time last year I don’t think I would have realized I could sweeten it with stevia, I’m so glad I know now.


24 Marla November 13, 2010 at 7:24 am

Cara: The dates in your cranberry sauce are an awesome addition. I must try that over here, they would go wonderful in the stuffing too. The balsamic in your sauce sounds good too. Stevia has changed my world. Now I can eat guilt-free sweets any time & actually feel good about it. Best of luck with your early Thanksgiving feast today.


25 A Canadian Foodie November 13, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Healthy – so nutritious, delicious, and GORGEOUS! well done! I still prefer mine plain and simple – but LOVE sampling the creations of others when I am out.


26 My Man's Belly November 13, 2010 at 2:52 pm

…and the best part of this cranberry sauce is there’s non of that sucking sound…except for the sucking sound you’ll hear as people get the last bits off their spoons.


27 Tracy November 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Looks delicious! Love the pear in there too!


28 Joanne November 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I always have time for homemade cranberry sauce and I love your use of pomegranates in this! They add such a lovely flavor!


29 Betty @ scrambled hen fruit November 13, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Mmmm….I love the pears and pomegranates in this lovely sauce! Sauce made from fresh berries always has a place on my Thanksgiving table, but I still love the jellied stuff spread on a turkey sandwich. :)


30 Anna Johnston November 13, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Wonderful photos, love the sound of this.


31 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 13, 2010 at 10:56 pm

What an amazing looking cranberry sauce Marla! I bet if you bottled it up you could make a fortune! :)


32 kathleen November 14, 2010 at 9:43 am

These cranberries look beautiful!!!


33 ldh November 14, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Oh, what an amazing place you have here! Gorgeous photos and the most delicious recipes. I can tell I am going to be spending lots of time here perusing many of your posts!

I am so happy you stopped by my place and left your comment so I could come by to meet you.

Kindly, ldh


34 Karen November 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Never understood why anyone would eat jiggly wiggly cranberry “sauce” from a can when it’s so easy to make your own from fresh cranberries. Love the ginger in this recipe. Yummy! :-)


35 Baking Serendipity November 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I love the combination of flavors in your cranberry sauce :) Adaptations of favorites are always fantastic and I’m sure this one doesn’t disappoint. Adding it to my Thanksgiving line-up…thanks! :)


36 Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen November 14, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Wow! Your pictures are amazing!! This looks delicious. I am definitely going to make this for Thanksgiving! :)


37 Nutmeg Nanny November 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Wow this cranberry sauce looks great! I love that it was spiced up with pears and pomegranate…yum!


38 Megan November 17, 2010 at 7:10 am

Looks so fresh and lively. It just leaps out of the pictures and says “make me!” :) I’m off to go vote for ya!


39 Brandy November 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm

This is the first recipe of yours that I have tried. It was excellent! Thank you so much.


40 Marla November 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Brandy: I am so happy that you tried my cranberry sauce recipe & loved it. You just made my night :)


41 Jeanette November 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Love the addition of pear and pomegranate seeds. The “pop” from the seeds must be fun to eat, I love pomegranate seeds.


42 justcooknyc November 19, 2010 at 8:33 pm

this is a pretty cool spin on the classic. i might actually try this out.


43 My Carolina Kitchen November 23, 2010 at 6:50 am

I just love homemade cranberry sauce and yours sounds fantastic with the pomegranates. I made one very similar and think the fresh citrus in it really kicks it up a notch in freshness. Your photos are fabulous and your cranberry sauce will be the crowning jewel on the table.

Have a great Thanksgiving.


44 stlevin November 24, 2011 at 11:02 pm

I made this tonight and it was a hit. I love experimenting with different variations on cranberry sauce and this was one of the best, for the cooked variety. I added a couple tablespoons of candied ginger. Thanks for the great recipe!


45 Tammy December 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm


I made this again this year!!! LOVE IT!! I think I’m going to try it with some pineapple next year!! I do love pomegranates!! Thanks for sharing :)


46 Halley November 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Making this dish right now!! So yummy!


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