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Cranberry Sauce with Caramelized Onions

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 2-1/2 to 3 cups

Slow-cooked onions bring extra flavor to this simple sauce, and cloves add warmth.


  • 1 Tbs. vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into medium dice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 12-oz. bag fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, rinsed and picked over (3-1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 1/4 cup
  • Calories (kcal) : 90
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 10
  • Fat (g): 1
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 25
  • Carbohydrates (g): 21
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 0


  • In a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, cloves, a pinch of salt, and a grind or two of pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden-brown and very soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium high, and cook the onions, stirring often, until deep caramel-brown, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the cranberries, sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 1 minute, then cover, turn off the heat, and let cool to room temperature.

Make Ahead Tips

The sauce may be prepared up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.

Let the cranberry sauce cool to room temperature before serving so it has time to thicken properly.


Rate or Review

Reviews (7 reviews)

  • llucja | 10/05/2018

    I have made this sauce every year for Thanksgiving since I discovered the recipe 8 years ago. I still stand by my first review: this sauce is amazing! Remember to let the cranberries pop and the sauce will gel beautifully!

  • BJLewis | 12/22/2014

    A great recipe. I have made this every year since I found it in the Fine Cooking magazine! My family loves it and none of them ate cranberry sauce before this!

  • Cref | 11/29/2010

    This recipe is simple to make and the result is elegant. The cloves adds an exotic flavor. The sauce has just the right balance of sweet and tartness. I cooked the berries until they popped, then transfer to a bowl, let it cool completely and refrigerate overnight, before serving. The sauce gel beautifully. WONDERFUL recipe. Family members have asked for the recipe. I will definitely make this sauce again for other occasions, besides Thanksgiving.

  • rstone15 | 11/22/2010

    I followed the suggestions by llucja by letting the cranberries cook until they popped and this sauce came out DELICIOUS! Perfect marriage of sweet and savory and tart! The consistency was great and it was so easy to make- I'm never buying ready-made cranberry sauce again!

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