Pineapple Cranberry Sauce

This sweet and tangy homemade Pineapple Cranberry Sauce is so much better than canned, incredibly easy, stress free and make ahead!  This company rave worthy Pineapple Cranberry Sauce will be your new favorite cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving!

Pineapple Cranberry Sauce in a silver bowl.

 As a child at Thanksgiving, there were always extra mashed potatoes in the place of Cranberry Sauce.  My undeveloped taste buds just didn’t get the whole cranberry thing but now homemade cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving must!  For me, every single bite of turkey tastes 1000X better slathered with homemade Pineapple Cranberry Sauce. The sweet tangingess compliments and cuts the rich savory turkey while the hints of cinnamon, cloves, pineapple and orange juice enliven every glorious bite.

Pineapple Cranberry Sauce mixing with a wood spoon.

So whether you have been assigned the cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving or you want to bring something but don’t have time or are intimidated by everything else, or you simply want everyone to be singing your praises this Thanksgiving, then this Pineapple Cranberry Sauce is for you! Not only is it deceptively easy to make, it also tastes better 1-2 days after its made, so you can m ake it ahead so on Thanksgiving Day, you are sitting pretty and only have to worry about how to be first in line for seconds.

Cranberries are innately extremely tart, and need sugar to balance their tartness but I also like to round out the tartness with orange juice and instead of water, I use pineapple juice.  It enhances the wonderfully sweet tart flavor without upsetting the delicate balance.

To make this Pineapple Cranberry Sauce, you simply combine your sugar, pineapple juice and orange juice and cook until the sugar dissolves, 1-2 minutes.

Showing how to make Pineapple Cranberry Sauce.

You then add your beautiful garnet cranberries…

Pineapple Cranberry Sauce in a sauce pan being reduced.

Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium low for about 10 minutes or until most of the berries burst and the sauce thickens slightly.  Cranberries are high in pectin, so you don’t need to add cornstarch or any other thickeners but rather they set naturally into a jelly like consistency.

Showing how to make Pineapple Cranberry Sauce in a sauce pan.

Then stir in your refreshing crushed pineapple, cinnamon and a dash of cloves and you have one of the world’s best homemade Cranberry Sauces!    If serving with turkey, you will want to chill and serve cold, but this Pineapple Cranberry Sauce is also delectable warm.  I could not put my spoon down after shooting this!

Showing how to add flavor to Pineapple Cranberry Sauce by adding crushed pineapple.

Pineapple Cranberry Sauce, one of my favorite and most essential parts of the Thanksgiving feast and hopefully soon to be yours!

Close up of Pineapple Cranberry Sauce on a wood spoon.

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Cooked Pineapple Cranberry Sauce in a bowl with a silver spoon.

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Pineapple Cranberry Sauce – so much better than canned and SO easy! Sweet and tangy and so company rave worthy! This will be your new favorite cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving!

Pineapple Cranberry Sauce

Servings: 2 cups
Total Time: 17 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

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  • 1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice, divided
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (to taste)
  • dash of cloves


  • Drain crushed pineapple, reserving pineapple juice.
  • Add ¾ cup pineapple juice, orange juice and sugars to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves, 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in cranberries and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer over medium low heat until cranberries burst and sauce reduces, about 10-12 minutes. Sauce will thicken more upon standing.
  • Mash berries to desired consistency (optional) then stir in all of the crushed pineapple, cinnamon and cloves. Add a dash of orange juice for tangier, sugar for sweeter if desired. Serve chilled or room temperature.


Prep Ahead

This Cranberry Sauce can be made up to two days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator (tastes even better made ahead!) or frozen for up to two months.  

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  1. Carol says

    I did the recipe but the instructions were not clear. In the ingredients it calls for 1/4 cup of Orange juice. In the directions it says 3/4 cup of orange and pineapple juice. There is too much sauce.

    • Jen says

      Hi Carol, it means you’ll only use 3/4 cup of the drained pineapple juice and then follow the ingredient measurements listed for rest of the ingredients.

  2. Jane says

    I just made this to go with our Seitan Ham for Easter dinner. It turned out perfectly, not too much juice at all. The sauce thickens as it cools. This is a keeper.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Jane, Happy Easter!

      • Kathryn Thibeault says

        Can you can this and process in a water bath??

        • Jen says

          Hi Kathyrn, I’m assuming you can, but I’m sorry I’m not an expert at canning. Best!

  3. Joy Hulsey says

    I love homemade cranberry sauce and I’m going to make this today. I would like to know if this recipe can be Canned and stored for much later?

    • Jen says

      Hi Joy, yes, I’m sure it can be canned if properly done or frozen for up to 2 months. Enjoy!

  4. Cheissmith says

    I made this last Thanksgiving and have been looking forward to having it again. So glad I didn’t lose the recipe. Just the right balance for me. I added a tiny bit of orange zest at the end, after it has been cooked. Leftover lasted a couple of months in an airtight container in the fridge!

    • Jen says

      Love the addition of orange zest – yum! I’m so pleased it’s a tradition. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Brenbzzz says

    I am stirring The cranberries as I type 🙂 I followed the instructions 100% except I’m adding a very small can of Mandarin oranges and using the juice for it too. I make homemade cranberry sauce every year and every year I look for a different recipe or try something new, you can’t go wrong I’m making homemade cranberry sauce it really is foolproof thank you for your recipe 🙂

    • Jen says

      Yum! It’s so fun experimenting with new recipes, thanks for trying this one!

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