Ruby Applesauce with Cranberries

Homemade cranberry applesauce recipe
Cranberry applesauce- deliciously tart.

Apple season is upon us. Bring on the apple recipes. First up- a favorite New England pairing- apples and cranberries simmered to create a luscious slightly tart sauce, sweetened with organic raw agave. Make it as sweet or as tart as you prefer. This beautiful ruby red applesauce is a lovely side dish for so many fall recipes- from Turkey and Sweet Potato Enchiladas to classic Sweet Potato Latkes.

Ruby Applesauce with Cranberries Recipe- Vegan + Gluten-Free

Simmering the fruit in juice gives a big flavor boost. I used unsweetened cranberry juice to do this, but if you prefer a sweeter applesauce, try using cranberry-apple juice.


2 rounded cups peeled chopped apples- preferably mixed varieties for best flavor
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1/2 cup cranberry juice or cranberry-apple juice, more as needed
1 cinnamon stick
Raw organic agave nectar or honey, to taste (I used 2 tablespoons, as I wanted it tart)


Combine the chopped apples and cranberries in a medium sauce pan and pour in enough cranberry or apple-cranberry juice to barely cover the fruit. Add a whole cinnamon stick. Cover and bring to a simmer.

Cook until the fruit is very soft. Remove the cinnamon stick. Using a potato masher, mash the fruit until you get a sauce texture you like. I prefer mine with a little bit of texture. If you like your applesauce  smoother process it in a food processor or Vita-Mix.

Taste and sweeten the sauce with agave or honey. Stir and allow it to cool a bit.

Spoon into a storage container, cover and chill until serving.

Makes about a pint of sauce.

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Ruby Applesauce recipe

Serve as a side dish with these compatible recipes:

Sweet Potato Latkes
Turkey + Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie with Black Angus Beef


  1. This looks lovely, as do all of your recipes. I'm a new reader and new to the gluten-free world. I whipped up your apple-pear crisp last night and voila, the perfect comforting fall dessert. My kids want me to make it again tonight, and I just might. Your passion for food and zest for life shine in your writing and inspire me to get in the kitchen and cook. Thank you for your blog.

  2. This truly is such a fabulous combination of Autumn!!!! I would have never thought to combine the two to make a sauce. Ive made many pies and crisps using apples and cranberries together but not like this. I cannot wait to make this!! Thanks Karina for yet another inspiring recipe!

  3. I love cranberry sauces! Not the solid can-shaped goo, but the homemade goodness. I've had orange-cranberry sauces, but have never tried apple. Something tells me this would be wonderful with chicken or over buckwheat pancakes.

  4. This looks so pretty! I'm wondering if maybe this would be a welcome change from traditional cranberry dressing at Thanksgiving...hmm...

  5. I knew there was a reason I needed to go apple-picking today! And thankfully, I have a freezer full of frozen cranberries from last Thanksgiving. The thing I love about making homemade applesauce is that it freezes beautifully. Just throw it in a freezer ziplock bag, lay on a cookie sheet in the freezer, and by the next morning, you have a sheet of frozen applesauce! Thanks so much Karina - this looks delish!

  6. I love organic raw agave.....your applesauce looks really good! Love the color!

  7. Gorgeous. I never thought of sweetening applesauce with agave, great idea!

  8. First time here.. and I have to say I love your blog. Im glad I found it!

    *off to read your archives *

  9. Thank you! I have a 20# box of apples and this will help me use some up for Thanksgiving in addition to the dessert.

  10. Yum! Last week I made a batch of applesauce with the addition of pears, fresh cranberries, fresh ginger, cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg. It, too, was very delicious.

  11. Yummy - this sounds great - can't wait to try it. And it looks so beautiful too!

  12. This recipe looks lovely, do you think it would work with dried cranberries? I live in Italy and fresh cranberries are not available.