The Perfect Thanksgiving Side
It’s Thanksgiving and time to post the easiest recipe to appear on my menu every year–Cranberry Bourbon Sauce. It’s also the one I get the most compliments on year after year. Even cranberry sauce haters convert after trying a couple of bites.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve shared this recipe with family and friends. It’s especially perfect for those who hate to cook but insist on bringing something to share at Thanksgiving dinner.
With ONLY 3 ingredients, even a novice cook feels like a pro after making it.
The recipe was given to me by my dear friend and neighbor years ago when I was looking for a cranberry sauce recipe. I got so many compliments on this recipe. It was embarrassing to admit how easy it was to prepare.
I passed the recipe on to my old roommate, who couldn’t get enough of it. She hated to cook but loved good food. Cranberry Bourbon Sauce is the recipe she brought to my Thanksgiving table year after year. It became her signature dish! As she said, “you just can’t mess this one up.” No, you really can’t.
Cranberries are super tart so you have to sweeten and flavor them up. Bourbon and sugar to the rescue. I only use 1/4 cup of bourbon because I like the flavor but don’t want the liquor to overpower the dish. So 1/4 cup works for me. But if you want to try to add a little more, go for it. Same with the sugar. I don’t like overly sweet anything so I use about 1 cup of sugar. Go up to 1 1/4 cups or even slightly more if sweet is your thing.
Clean up, clean up
Also, VERY IMPORTANTLY, be sure to place your cranberry baking dish on some kind of foil-lined pan. I use a foil-lined sheet pan. If the cranberries are in the mood to boil over (which they usually are), your oven will be a HUGE mess. If that happens, do your best to wipe up the spill IMMEDIATELY or else it will be nearly impossible to scrape off. Guess how I know that?
Happy Holidays, y’all!
Cranberry Bourbon Sauce
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 1 to 1-1/4 cups sugar (depending on how sweet you like those cranberries)
- 1 pkg fresh cranberries
- In a mixing bowl, COMBINE all ingredients.
- BAKE, uncovered, in a 8-inch square pan or 9-inch round pan in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
- I ALWAYS place the pan of cranberries on a foil-lined rimed baking sheet just in case it boils over. Your oven is a MESS if it does. Trust me on that one!
- Feel free to doctor it up with a some orange zest.
- This can be served hot or even just warm or at room temp (that's how I like it), so you can prepare this recipe ahead of time.