If you are looking to add a little flavor to your cranberry sauce this holiday season, then you are in the right place.
I’m sharing the 10 best spices to add to cranberry sauce.
This list includes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, orange zest, and more.
With these spices, your cranberry sauce will be taken to the next level.
So if you are wondering what spices go in cranberry sauce, then look no further.
What Spices Go in Cranberry Sauce?
There are many spices that go well in cranberry sauce. Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice are all common choices. You can also add in some orange zest for a citrus flavor. If you want a bit of heat, add in a pinch of cayenne pepper. Finally, for sweetness, add in some sugar or honey.
Still looking for options?
Then just keep scrolling!
Here are 10 spices that go in cranberry sauce:
The taste of cinnamon is often described as sweet and woody.
It’s a versatile spice that can be used in sweet and savory dishes.
I think it’s a great addition to cranberry sauce because it adds a depth of flavor and a touch of sweetness.
When adding cinnamon to cranberry sauce, I recommend using about 1/4 teaspoon per cup of sauce.
You can adjust the amount to taste.
Other herbs and spices that go well with cinnamon include allspice, cloves, and nutmeg.
If you’re using fresh cranberries, you can add the cinnamon when you cook the sauce.
If you’re using canned cranberries, you can add the cinnamon when you’re reheating the sauce.
There are many dishes where you can use both cranberry sauce and cinnamon.
Some of my favorites are cinnamon cranberry sauce on top of grilled chicken or turkey, or mixed into oatmeal or yogurt.
If you’re looking for a little something extra, try sprinkling some chopped nuts or dried fruit on top of your cranberry sauce.
Cloves are a pungent warm spice with an intense flavor.
A little goes a long way, so use them sparingly.
They pair well with allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon, so if you’re using them in cranberry sauce, consider adding a pinch of one or all of these spices as well.
Cloves can be added early on in the cooking process, but if you add them too early they can become bitter.
Bitter is not what you’re going for here.
A good rule of thumb is to add them about 20-30 minutes before you want to take the dish off the heat.
Cloves go well in cranberry sauce, but they’re also great in pork dishes, mulled wine, and spiced apple cider.
Here’s a tip: if you’re making cranberry sauce from scratch, add a few cloves to the pot while the cranberries are simmering. It’ll give the sauce a nice depth of flavor.
Fresh ginger is slightly peppery and sweet, with a pungent, slightly astringent aroma.
It’s a great spice to use in cranberry sauce because it adds a little bit of heat and depth of flavor.
I would recommend using about 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger for every cup of cranberry sauce.
Other great spices to add to cranberry sauce are cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
You can add these spices when you cook the cranberry sauce, or you can add them to taste after the sauce is cooked.
Cranberry sauce is delicious on roasted meats, such as pork or turkey, and it’s also great on sandwiches or as a condiment for savory dishes.
Here’s a tip: if you find that your cranberry sauce is too tart, add a little bit of honey or sugar to balance out the flavors.
Allspice tastes like a combination of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, which makes it a perfect addition to cranberry sauce.
I would recommend using about 1/4 teaspoon of allspice for every cup of cranberry sauce.
You could also add a pinch of other herbs and spices like thyme, sage, or black pepper.
To add allspice to cranberry sauce, simply stir it in when the sauce is almost finished cooking.
Allspice goes especially well with Thanksgiving dishes like roasted turkey or stuffing, but you could also use it to flavor cranberry muffins or scones.
Tip: if you don’t have allspice on hand, you can also use a combination of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
5. Orange Zest
Orange zest has a very strong but slightly bitter flavor which makes it an awesome addition to cranberry sauce.
You only need a little bit of orange zest to add a lot of flavor to your sauce.
Other spices and herbs that go well with orange zest are thyme, sage, and rosemary.
You can add orange zest to your cranberry sauce when you are cooking it on the stove, or you can sprinkle it on top of the sauce after it is done.
Some dishes where you can use both cranberry sauce and orange zest are roasted turkey, pork chops, and roasted vegetables.
Here’s a tip: if you zest your orange directly into the cranberry sauce pot, it will be much easier to incorporate the zest into the sauce.
6. Cayenne Pepper
If you want to make something unique, try adding cayenne pepper to your cranberry sauce!
Just a little bit of this spice can go a long way, so start with a pinch and add more to taste.
Other herbs and spices that pair well with cayenne pepper include thyme, rosemary, and sage.
You can add the pepper when you first start cooking the sauce, or wait until the end for a little extra kick.
This spice is especially good in savory dishes like pork tenderloin with cranberry-cayenne sauce or cranberry-cayenne turkey stuffing.
And here’s a little tip: if your sauce is too spicy, add a dollop of honey or a splash of orange juice to balance it out.
7. Sugar or Honey
If you have a mouth full of sweet teeth like I do, sugar or honey is the perfect spice for your cranberry sauce.
I would go with honey if you are looking to add a little more depth of flavor.
You only need a tablespoon or two to really make the cranberry sauce pop.
You can add the honey (or sugar) when you are cooking down the cranberries and onions.
Other complementary spices are allspice, cloves, and ginger.
Cranberry sauce is delicious on its own, but it is also a great addition to other dishes.
One of my favorites is to add a dollop of cranberry sauce to my oatmeal in the morning.
It is also great on top of grilled chicken or pork.
And of course, it is the perfect addition to your holiday turkey dinner.
Here is a tip: if your cranberry sauce is too tart for your liking, add a little more honey (or sugar) until it reaches the desired sweetness.
Nutmeg is known for its warm, nutty flavor and goes well in cranberry sauce.
I recommend starting with 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and adding more to taste.
Other complementary spices include cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
You can add nutmeg when you are cooking the cranberry sauce, or sprinkle it on top just before serving.
Try serving cranberry sauce with roasted pork or turkey, or use it as a condiment for grilled chicken.
If you want a little extra flavor, try toasting the nutmeg in a dry skillet before adding it to the sauce.
Cardamom has a complex aroma with a piney, fruity, and lemony flavor that goes well in cranberry sauce.
To use, add a pinch or two of cardamom to taste.
Other herbs and spices that go well with cardamom include ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.
You can use cranberry sauce and cardamom together in a number of dishes, including Thanksgiving stuffing, cranberry pork roast, and cranberry-cardamom scones.
Here’s a tip: if you want a stronger cardamom flavor, lightly crush the seeds before adding them to your dish.
10. Star Anise
Star anise has a mild and fragrant licorice flavor which is a perfect addition to cranberry sauce.
I would recommend using about 1/4 teaspoon of star anise for every cup of cranberry sauce.
You could also add other spices like cloves, cinnamon, or ginger.
To add the spice, simply stir it in with the other ingredients.
You can use cranberry sauce with star anise in dishes like cranberry pork tenderloin, cranberry glazed ham, or cranberry sauce pork chops.
Here’s a little tip: if you want a stronger anise flavor, grind the star anise into a powder using a mortar and pestle.
What Spices Go in Cranberry Sauce? (10 Best Spices)
- Orange Zest
- Cayenne Pepper
- Sugar or Honey
- Star Anise
- Pick your favorite spice from this list to add to your sauce.
- Prepare the rest of your delicious sauce.
- Serve in no time!