Homemade Amaretto Cranberry Sauce

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
This Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Amaretto is so perfect for any kind of poultry meal and perfect for the Thanksgiving table a side dish that's super special to serve.

Even though we serve this alongside Thanksgiving Turkey, it's great on anything, even on a sandwich with chicken or turkey.

The alcohol burns off but leaves that sweet and tart flavors and brings out all those delicious flavors in these cranberries of fall.

Even if you're not a fan of using alcohol it's fine, just substitute apple juice.

If you're not a fan of Amaretto use any kind of bourbon, rum or other nut liqueurs you have like Frangelico.

If you love using fresh cranberries, make sure you try my cranberry almond biscotti, oatmeal white chocolate cranberry cookies, and cranberry orange muffins!

Everyone will ask you for this recipe just scroll to the bottom for our printable recipe card!

this is amaretto fresh cranberry sauce

Easy Cranberry Sauce

Holiday time is sharing unique and homemade delicious traditions like this one, you can't beat homemade cranberry sauce compared to a canned product.

Making it homemade is so fresh, flavorful, and compared to store-bought the taste and texture is 100 times better than the canned stuff.

Try it once, it's so easy to make I promise and all your cranberry fans will love this recipe.

cranberry sauce in a glass baking dish covered baking to make relish


  • If you can't find fresh you can use frozen berries since they are available all year.
  • Make sure you grease the casserole
  • You can add the zest of orange if you prefer that flavor and orange juice
  • Any kinds of liquors you prefer over Amaretto is fine, even bourbons or rum
  • Lemon lovers can substitute lemon or lime also
  • This can be made ahead of time, just cool to room temperature and refrigerate until you have your big feast
  • You never want to overcook cranberry sauce, because the sugar will caramelize and burn. You will want to cook the cranberries until they have almost all burst and thickens so keep an eye on it. 
  • Lower the heat to 325 degrees if this looks like it starting to burn or caramelize remember to remove the cover

washed fresh cranberries in a strainer

Quick and Easy

During the holidays I like things to be super special that I don't do all year.

Seriously, this somewhat cranberry sauce relish-style side dish is super special and just that.

Making it from scratch is really easy and it goes into the oven so you don't even stand over a stovetop.

this is the sauce for homemade cranberries with Amaretto

The Syrup

As this bakes it makes a syrup.

The alcohol is poured into this dish at the end.

If you have kids eating, I substitute almond syrup.

This is a sweet side dish, you may want to add more lemon zest after you taste it and omit the 1/4 cup sugar if you have kids at the table and not using the alcohol.

My rules of thumb are to bake for 55 minutes and see if it's a thick sauce and berries are slightly bursting.

Keep baking until it is the desired thickness just watch it doesn't start to burn, it can take longer depending on the ingredients and amount of water versus apple juice or other substitutes you are using.

fresh cranberries in sugar


This relish-style cranberry sauce is perfect for leftovers in your turkey club sandwich.

Just build the sandwich with turkey, lettuce some cripsy bacon and slather on this delightful sweet Amaretto relish along with some mayo on your favorite kind of bread.

cranberries whole fresh in a glass baking dish


  • Serve with Turkey, Ham or Roasted Chicken
  • Great on deli meats sandwiches
  • You can cut the recipe in half if it's dinner for two
  • Zest and apple juice will make it less sweet
  • Keep refrigerated at all times
  • The cranberry sauce/relish tastes the best at room temperature take it out around 1 hour before serving.
  • Remember you can use any juices and even cranberry juice instead of water is a great substitute
  • Lastly, you can if you love nuts sprinkle the top with roasted sliced almonds tinted green!

cranberries in a bag from the store

More Recipes We Love:

Best Side Dishes
Cranberry Brussels Sprouts Prize Winning Recipe
Cranberry Brownie Blondie Bars

Pin for Later

pin for later on how to make cranberry sauce from scratch

Year after Year

Seriously this is a delicious easy recipe that I make year after year.

I love using different juices as I suggested and have tried pure cranberry juice as the liquid, though you can certainly use orange, apple, or any of the other cranberry juice.

Give it a try and make something special for your holiday, and adapt this recipe any way you like!

Just remember to bake it until that sugary sweet syrup thickens!

Homemade Amaretto Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Amaretto Cranberry Sauce

Yield: 8
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 55 Mtotal time: 65 M
This is a delicious fresh cranberry sauce with a touch of Amaretto. The perfect blend of flavors for any holiday or poultry meal.


  • 1 (12- ounce) bag cranberries, fresh (washed )
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup water, lemon juice, orange juice or lime 
  • 1/4 cup Amaretto at the end up to 1/2 cup to taste (if kids are eating just omit alcohol) you can use an almond syrup as a substitute.
  • optional 1 teaspoons zest of orange lemon or lime


How to cook Homemade Fresh Cranberry Sauce

  1. Combine the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest in a light oil sprayed small baking dish and cover. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes depending on how much liquid and the kind you've added. 
  4. Remove the cover and stir to melt sugar, then stir to make sure sugar is well dissolved. 
  5. Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 5 to 10 more minutes, or until the cranberries are soft and surrounded by a thickened sugary sauce. 
  6. Remove the dish from the oven and quickly stir in the Amaretto, to taste I usually use more depending on how thick you like it but I use up to a 1/2 cup.
  7.  Let the dish completely cool. 
  8. Put into the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour before serving. 
  9. This relish can be made ahead of time as it will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
Fat (grams)
Net carbs
Sugar (grams)
homemade fresh cranberry sauce recipe, cranberry sauce with chunks, chunky cranberry sauce, Amaretto Cranberry sauce recipe
side dish, cranberry recipes, holiday, Thanksgiving, turkey
Created using The Recipes Generator

Pin for Later

pin for later cranberry sauce recipe

Some Other Recipes We Love with Cranberries

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

Oatmeal White chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2010. It was edited and re-published in 2019.


  1. hi Claudia, really fantastic recipe i love amaretto. I'll taste it of course. Thank you. Valerio

  2. Claudia, this looks really awesome! Bet this Thanksgiving dinner the sauce would be gone before the turkey!

  3. Oo. I'm not doing the cranberry sauce this year, but I may have to request this one.

  4. ok, It's final, this is the recipe I'm using for my cranberry sauce this year. Love the idea of the amaretto. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. I love how versatile and beautiful cranberries are. Amaretto? Absolutely! It would give it a warming flavor - maybe sprinkle a few hazelnuts on top.

  6. Brilliant idea using the amaretto. I never tire of that stuff. Wishing you and your family the best this holiday. Take care, my friend.

  7. Claudia...you and I could probably come up with an incredible list of Amaretto based recipes. How funny it is that we enjoy one of the same liquors to cook and bake with ;o)
    Your recipe is sure to please at your celebratory table :)

    Have a great week,

  8. Nothing like homemade cranberry sauce. The addition of amaretto is just perfect. I can taste it now. How about some ice cream on that??? :)

  9. Claudia, I simply love cranberries so much that I have purchased bags and bags of them this year so that I can make more dishes.....this one is going to be made for Christmas since I am a 'guest' at my sister's this year and she's deciding what's on the table, not me. What beautiful photography too! I wish you and yours a lovely and beautiful Christmas Sweetie! Hugs, Roz Mmmmm Amaretto in Cranberries! WOW! Can't stop thinking about it!

  10. Inspired as always Claudia! This looks delish. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

  11. Claudia you know how I'm enjoying Amaretto with berries, here cranberries!

    I haven’t here thanksgiving but I'll find other use to this lovely recipe :)



  12. Wow! This is gorgeous...wish I had some Amaretto right now, because I'm about to make my traditional cranberry sauce, with fresh orange...sigh...w/out Amaretto!

  13. Amaretto would be a fantastic addition to cranberry sauce! Thanks for the idea.

  14. I look forward to cranberry sauce all year and I happen to have amaretto on my shelf, YES! Thank you for the brilliant recipe, Claudia. Happy Thanksgiving! (I always enjoy your posts.) Cheers!

  15. What an awesome idea. Amaretto would taste great with cranberry. I think I have to make this!

  16. Claudia your cranberry sauce looks delicious. What a great recipe! I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving day! Hugs and warm regards:)

  17. What a wonderful addition of the amaretto to this classic dish! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!

  18. This looks AMAZING! My Mom was just asking me what to do with all these cranberries?! Perfect!

  19. awesome,claudia,fresh cranberry sauce,i will dream of it!

  20. Your recipe looks so delicious I'll have to try it. I just love making cranberry relish and using different ingredients. This year I made mine with fresh orange chunks and limoncello.

    Happy Holidays!

  21. this is why i should have drove to your house for Thanksgiving.

  22. Hubby and I are having our own thanksgiving meal today at home - and I am making this to go with our meal, sounds wonderful and cannot wait to try it!

  23. Dear Claudia, I really enjoy a delicious cranberry sauce. This is a new way to make it for me.
    Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving. xo Catherine

  24. I love the amaretto addition! Great twist to an all-times classic!

  25. I just love the amaretto in this. What a great flavor combo. So delicious!

  26. Sounds delicious. I never used Amaretto for cranberry sauce. Can't wait to try this recipe.

  27. You can't beat homemade cranberry sauce and yours looks amazing.

  28. I love the nuttiness the Amaretto brings to this recipe


Remember to use the search option for a recipe you're looking for and thanks for all your kind words and support. We love our readers all the best Claudia