Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce

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Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Sweet cranberry sauce with just enough heat to warm your mouth and leave a tingle on your tongue was exactly the twist I was looking for this year.

I made Homemade Cranberry Sauce for the first time a few years ago and the whole family loves it. I surprised my husband this year by changing up the traditional sauce for something with a bit of heat. He and my oldest son both really liked this kicked up version.

Cranberry sauce is the easiest dish to prepare for Thanksgiving. I make it about a week in advance and then don’t think about it again until it is time to set the table. I’ll be making an additional cranberry sauce tomorrow as well, because my younger boys love the traditional version so much.

Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce

5 from 4 votes
Recipe slightly adapted from and with thanks to The View from Great Island
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  • 1 small habanero pepper or 1 cayenne pepper seeded and finely minced
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries rinsed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt


  • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook
  • over medium heat for about 10 minutes. When the cranberries start to
  • pop, the sauce is done. Cool completely and then place in an airtight
  • container in the refrigerator. The sauce will firm up to a spreadable consistency as it chills in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
  • * If you prefer a smooth sauce, simply place a mesh strainer over a
  • large bowl and press the warm cooked sauce through it. I use the back of a
  • wooden spoon or a large spatula to do this. Scrape the underside of the
  • strainer as you do this, there will be a lot of sauce there too.
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Joanne says

    Unfortunately I think my brother would KILL me if I changed up my cranberry sauce on him…but maybe I'll have to hoard a bag of cranberries to make this all for myself! Sounds awesome.

  2. Jenn says

    I love homemade cranberry sauce!! I've added jalapenos before, but never habaneros… I know what kind of cranberry sauce I'll be making this year!!!

  3. The Mom Chef says

    This is right up my husband's alley! I'm not a cranberry person, but he is and I will HAVE to have cranberry sauce on the table for him next week. I love the addition of the peppers to this so I'm thinking there's no reason to break out the can opener this year! It'll be home made….with heat.

  4. Marjie says

    Cranberry sauce is a favorite around here. I buy tons of cranberries and freeze them so I can have it whenever the mood moves me. Interesting variation on a classic!

  5. Chris says

    I have never cared for cranberry sauce and its sweetness. Now THIS idea I love! And it makes for a perfect spread on a turkey sandwich. Thanks for sharing.

  6. PattyW1979 says

    Wonderful mixture of heat and sweet! The sauce congeals well. I substituted orange juice instead of the water! The perfect amount of heat. I used a jalapeño, minced half and cooked one half whole, then removed it at the end.5 stars