Holiday Cranberry Compote

holiday cranberry sauce
My Holiday Cranberry Compote comes together in minutes, and can make even the toughest of cranberry sauce critics a fan.

There’s not a whole lot you can say about cranberry sauce.

One thing I’ve noticed: for a traditional Thanksgiving staple, not very many people seem to enjoy it.

Which is a shame, because cranberry sauce can be absolutely delicious.  You just need to stay away from the canned stuff and make your own.

And it’s best if you make a compote, like my easy Holiday Cranberry Compote.

Holiday Cranberry Compote: Flavors and Uses

The maple syrup and sugar in my recipe sweeten the cranberry while the lemon juice and lemon zest help tone down that cranberry taste that many find so overpowering.

This compote is perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday gathering.  But it’s also great over a stack of pancakes or waffles.  

Or as a dipping sauce for my Grilled Potato Holiday Leftovers Quesadillas.

holiday leftovers quesadillas

Make This Compote!

Whether you like cranberries or not, give my easy Holiday Cranberry Compote a try.  It may just make you a cranberry sauce fan.

holiday cranberry sauce
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Holiday Cranberry Compote

My Holiday Cranberry Compote comes together in minutes, and can make even the toughest of cranberry sauce critics a fan.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time11 mins
Servings: 5
Print Recipe


  • 3 cups cranberries, fresh
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest


Cook down the cranberries

  • Heat the cranberries, maple syrup, sugar, and salt over medium heat for 2 minutes, until the cranberries start to pop.
  • Now turn the heat down to low, and add ½ tsp lemon juice.
  • Stirring occasionally, cook the compote for an additional 7 minutes over low heat, until the cranberries are soft and have mostly broken down.

Add the remaining juice and zest

  • Turn the heat off, and add the remaining ½ tsp lemon juice and lemon zest.

Serve and enjoy!

  • Serve as a Thanksgiving side, or with breakfast over pancakes or waffles.
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