11 Healthy, Delicious Cranberry Recipes to Try Now

11 Healthy, Delicious Cranberry Recipes to Try Now

How to eat and make cranberry recipes

Cranberries work in a wide variety of cranberry recipes. Cranberries are healthy and add a unique flavor to recipes. 

They are waxy, mouth puckering crimson berries that remind us of fall and the holiday season.  You can buy cranberries fresh, frozen or dried. 

How do you enjoy cranberries?

Enjoy cranberries by themselves or use them in recipes.  Fresh, frozen and dried cranberries are delicious and add a tart note to cranberry recipes.  Cranberries are tart, astringent and have a red berry flavor.  They pair well with oily fish, apples, oranges, nuts and cinnamon (1).

Frozen cranberries substitute nicely for fresh cranberries in recipes that require cooking.  Frozen cranberries will be wetter than the raw cranberries, so do not substitute them in raw recipes or salads. 

In addition, dried cranberries are excellent substitutes for fresh cranberries also.  Soak the dried cranberries in warm water until the plump up. 

Depending on the recipe, fresh or frozen cranberries are good substitutes for dried cranberries.  If you are really in a pinch, remember dried fruit has the water removed so adjust the recipe accordingly.

Cranberries growing. They can be picked and used as fresh cranberries in cranberry recipes.
Cranberries ready to be picked. Enjoy cranberries by themselves or use them in recipes.  Fresh, frozen and dried cranberries are delicious and add a tart and red berry flavor to cranberry recipes.

What are cranberries good for?

Cranberries are good for adding a touch of sweetness, lots of tartness, and a unique flavor to dishes. 

Cranberries are also high in anthocyanins, so they add a beautiful crimson color to your recipes. 

Cranberries are harvested in the fall in the United States, so they are good additions to fall dishes and holiday dishes.

Watch out, most tart fruits including cranberries usually have added sugar.

Are cranberries good for you?

Yes, cranberries are healthy.  The contain nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial for your body.

The crimson color of cranberries is due to anthocyanins.  Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that likely protect against heart disease and are anti-carcinogenic (reference).

Fresh and frozen cranberries are full of healthy nutrients.  They are also low fat, a good source of fiber and zinc and are an excellent source of vitamin C and Vitamin B6. 

What can you do with fresh cranberries?

Fresh cranberries work in many different types of recipes.  When cranberries are fresh they are very tart and astringent. Many people find them uneatable.

Fresh picked cranberries are healthy and work well in cranberry recipes.
Fresh picked cranberries contain healthy nutrients and antioxidants. They work well in cranberry recipes.

Ideas for using fresh cranberries:

  • Mix them into Salads, cocktails, teas, drinks, pasta dishes, smoothies, fruit salad
  • Bake them into bread
  • Dry them or freeze them
  • Cook them into cranberry sauce

Can you eat fresh cranberries without cooking?

Yes, you can eat fresh cranberries without cooking them. Fresh cranberries are too tart or sour for most of you. 

Balance the tartness by using them with other fruits in a fruit salad or toss a handful into a smoothie.

How do you use dried cranberries?

Dried cranberries are delicious and can be eaten alone and used in recipes.  Dried cranberries have much less water than their fresh counterpart

dried cranberries to be used in cranberry recipes
Dried cranberries are healthy and delicious as long as they do not have added sugar.

Just like fresh cranberries, many foods including salads, oatmeal, cookies, muffins, loaves, breads and trail mix are great with dried cranberries.

You can also substitute dried cranberries for raisins or other dried fruits in recipes.

Healthy Cranberry Recipes

Since cranberries are tart and astringent, most cranberry recipes have high amounts of added sugar.  Watch out for this. 

11 Healthy, holiday worthy and Delicious Cranberry Recipes
11 Healthy, holiday worthy and delicious Cranberry Recipes

Here is a list of healthy cranberry recipes with no low added sugar.  These cranberry recipes range from snacks, salads all the way to desserts. 

All of these healthy cranberry recipes are vegetarian, plant-based and have no added sugar.  Most, if not all, are vegan as well. Enjoy! Let me know which is your favorite.

Cranberry Date Oatmeal

Start your day right with this easy cranberry date oatmeal.  The dates add sweetness and fresh cranberries add a nice flavor and balance.  This recipe is healthy since there are no added sweeteners or sugars.  Try it for a perfect fall morning breakfast! 

Cranberry Salsa with Corn

Salsa is a healthy condiment that you can use on more than just chips.  This cranberry salsa with corn recipe is creative and super simple to make.  The salsa itself is very tangy, fresh and tasty.  Best of all you can make it in under 15 minutes. 

Holiday Butternut Squash Hummus

You can serve this butternut squash hummus as holiday appetizer or enjoy it yourself as a snack.  This recipe uses cranberries, pomegranates and rosemary, so it is a festive and fun dish.  You can also use either fresh or frozen cranberries.

Curried Quinoa Salad with Cranberries

This curried quinoa salad with cranberries is filled with warm curry flavors and loaded with seasonal veggies.  The curry adds a nice flavor and balances well with dried cranberries.  The recipe calls for a specific type of dried cranberry, but substitute for a healthier option that does not have added sugar.  Enjoy this recipe for a quick meal, a side dish or add it to your menu for a holiday brunch.

Pear Walnut Salad with a Mustard Orange Dressing

Enjoy this vegan pear walnut salad for a healthy meal.  This salad is crunchy and delicious because it is mix of arugula (also known as rocket), dried fruits including cranberries, pear and walnuts. 

Vegan Mushroom and Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf

You can eat this vegan mushroom and cranberry wild rice pilaf as a side or even as the star of your grain bowl.  The recipe uses fresh cranberries and can be eaten as a side or a main dish. Fresh cranberries add a sweet and tart taste to this wild rice and mushroom pilaf! It is full of seasonal flavors and nutrition. 

Gnocchi with Cranberry Sauce

The Gnocchi with Cranberry Sauce recipe is vegetarian and offers the best of northern and southern Europe on one plate.  The recipe calls for tomato cubes, which is diced canned tomatoes.  Also, you can use fresh or dried cranberries.

Cranberry Pesto Pasta

Here is another pasta recipe that combines pasta and fresh cranberries.  This cranberry pasta pesto recipe is easy to make, rich and irresistibly delicious.  This flavorful pasta takes less than 30 minutes and is an award winning recipe.  Try this unique cranberry recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, you will not be disappointed.

Vegan No-Knead Cranberry Orange Bread

You will feel like a professional baker after you whip up this delicious vegan cranberry orange bread.  No kneading is required to make this naturally sweet, tart, and tangy oil-free bread. It has a beautiful golden crust but the center is perfectly soft and chewy.

Cranberry Tea

This easy homemade cranberry tea has just 2 ingredient – cranberries and water.  You can use fresh or frozen cranberries.  The color of the tea is stunning.  Another benefit is that you do not need juicer or blender. 

Cranberry Recipe Tips & Conclusion

Cranberries work in a wide variety of cranberry recipes. Cranberries are healthy and add a unique flavor to recipes. 

These berries are waxy, tart red berries that remind us of fall and the holiday season.  You can buy cranberries fresh, frozen or dried to use in cranberry recipes.

Get creative and tag #sherlockhungry to let me know what is your favorite.


Dried Cranberries.  https://nuts.com/driedfruit/cranberries/organic.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjw8fr7BRDSARIsAK0Qqr5Bc-hseBhwWYBNsVlDFN7HIlTXm-74P_iU9Mo8XXqkb_aB_EXklhEaAjRcEALw_wcB.  Retrieved 11 Oct 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions for Industry on Nutrition Facts Labeling Requirements.  https://www.fda.gov/media/99078/download.  Retrieved 11 Oct 2020.

(1) The Illustrated Cook’s Book of Ingredients.  London.  DK Publishing.  2013.

Anthocyanins in Cardiovascular Disease.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042791/.  Retrieved 11 Oct 2020.

Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5613902/. Retrieved 11 Oct 2020.

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10 thoughts on “11 Healthy, Delicious Cranberry Recipes to Try Now

  1. Soooo love this list! Cranberries have always been tricky to me, but I love all these ideas and can’t wait to try some! Thanks for sharing!

  2. These recipes sound fantastic and I so love cranberries. I especially want to try the vegan cranberry bread – YUM.

  3. OMG, this post is getting me in the mood for Thanksgiving and fall cooking. What a great collection of Cranberry recipes.

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