Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe: Fresh Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

by Pamela

fresh cranberry sauce, homemade barbecue sauce, cranberry relish, easy bbq sauce recipe

Are you ready for Thanksgiving yet? Are you sick of hearing about Thanksgiving yet? I haven’t heard as much about Thanksgiving this year as I have about “Black Friday.” Of course, those are the stories that really catch my attention, that may be because I can’t fathom getting up at 2 or 3 a.m. to go to a store and shop with a thousand other people. I won’t even get up at that hour to let my dog go out and pee…even if she’s got all 4 of her fuzzy little legs crossed holding it in (that’s what Craig’s for, right?). If I’m up at that hour it means only one of 2 things: I haven’t gone to bed yet and I’m so drunk they’d never even let me into the store or…I’m hurling my guts out from either said drinking or because I’m sick and if that’s the case, they’re probably not going to let me in either.

On to a better topic – homemade barbecue sauce. I made my very first barbecue sauce this past summer and couldn’t believe how easy it was.  The other thing that’s great about making your own barbecue sauce is that you can control what goes into it.  Do you want it sweeter?  Do you want it more vinegary?  Boozy? Fruity?  The possibilities are endless.  Homemade barbecue sauce makes a great Christmas gift too – especially if there’s a major bbq hound on your list.

Cranberry-BBQ-SauceI’m a big fan of cranberries and this time of year is nirvana for me (at least the next couple of months) while fresh cranberries are available.  So I thought that I’d make an easy fresh cranberry bbq sauce recipe.  Notice I didn’t just say fresh cranberry sauce, I said an easy bbq sauce recipe that uses fresh cranberries.  One of the really great things about this recipe is a single word, not cranberries, leftovers.

Now that I’ve thoroughly confused you, let me explain.  One of the fundamental elements of Thanksgiving dinner is leftovers.  You’ve got leftover meal items and a lot of the time you’ve also got leftover ingredients.  What do you do with all of those Thanksgiving leftovers? This easy bbq sauce recipe can help you in both of those leftover departments.

I used whole cranberries when I made my homemade barbecue sauce, but you could just as easily use your leftover fresh cranberry relish in place of the whole cranberries.  Now, you can’t use that canned cranberry jelly in this recipe (although with a bit of tweaking you probably could).  By cranberry relish, I’m talking about the stuff that uses fresh cranberries and maybe some oranges and/or apples and sugar.  Just your simple and basic recipe. (Check that cranberry relish link for a simple recipe.)  Then you can proceed as the directions state.

Then there’s the Thanksgiving leftovers that would be the turkey.  Turkey sandwiches with Miracle Whip are a bit of a tradition around this house (and the only time you’ll find a jar of the MW here) but how about slathering on a big spoonful of this cranberry bbq sauce?  We just slathered it on a pork roast the other night so it’s not just for turkey.

Relationship Advice

Saucy: A hot chick with a little attitude, but not too much.

I’ve gone over this before, but I think it bears repeating, especially since we’re getting into the holiday party season.  There’s a line between saucy and slutty not only in how you act, but in how you dress.  The easiest example I can give you is: burlesque vs. modern day strip club.  I realize that you’re not going to be wearing corsets and feathers or ass-less chaps to your company holiday party, but you get the idea.  To further help you, check out some of the photos below.  Knowledge is power and if you follow these guidelines it should keep you from getting propositioned into photocopying your ass cheeks on the company photocopier.  Of course, it also helps if you don’t drink yourself into a stupor at the party.

These would all be examples of nice and saucy dressed to wear to most any upcoming holiday party.  All are very much in style at the moment.

These would all be examples of the slutty version of the saucy dresses.  I’m hoping you can see the difference, and not just in the fabric or print on the fabric.  Technically speaking, dress number one is a one shouldered dress, but it seems to be missing some fabric on said shoulder (so it’s not quite a one shouldered dress), it’s excruciatingly tight (meaning it will only look good on you if you’re a size 2 with double F boobies) and then you’ve got the side lacing.  The only place you should wear laces in the public is on your shoes.

While both of the second dresses are strapless, dress number two causes you to spend a great deal of time staring at her boobs wondering how exactly is that dress staying up there.  It’s also of a shape that will keep everyone following you around all night dropping things in hopes that you’ll pick them up causing a bet to be won by one lucky person (depending on whether they chose panties or no panties).

Both dress number three utilize strategic cutouts to lend an air of mystery to the wearer.  Accept the bottom dress looks more like you’re literally bursting at the seams as opposed to being saucy and coy.  Anything that alludes to you bursting at the seams is a bad idea in any arena.

So there you have it.  Just a little holiday wear primer to keep in the back of your mind when shopping for a dress to wear to that holiday party you have coming up.  The biggest thing to remember, when you’re walking into that dressing room is: if you’re in doubt…it’s the wrong dress.


Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe: Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

Makes approximately 2 cups


  • 1 12 Ounce Bag of Fresh Cranberries
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Pureed Guajillo and Pasilla Peppers (recipe to follow)
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Water (can use the pepper soaking water if you wish)
  • 1/2 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce


For the pepper puree: De-stem and seed 3 dried guajillo peppers and 3 dried pasilla peppers.  Put them into a large bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let them sit for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the peppers and put them into a blender.  Add 1 Cup of the soaking water to the blender and puree until thick and smooth.  (You will have puree left over that you can stir into soups, meatloaf or mix with cream cheese for a dip.)

In a 2 quart saucepan add the first 5 ingredients and cook, over medium high heat, until all of the cranberries have popped and the liquid has reduced by about 1/3.  Make sure to stir the mixture so that the sugar doesn’t burn.  You’ll see that things have thickened up and some of the cranberries have broken down.

Next, stir in the remaining ingredients.

Cook until the mixture is thick like barbecue sauce and has turned a brick red color.  There will still be some discernable pieces of cranberries in the sauce.  If you like, you can use an immersion blender to completely puree the barbecue sauce smooth.

Serve hot or let it cool and spoon into storage containers.


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Lauren November 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Oh wow. This is seriously good stuff!! Forget the lumpy gravy and ringed cranberry goop… this is turkey’s long lost soul mate! Yum! Thank you!!

Nick November 21, 2012 at 6:28 am

This BBQ sauce looks amazing. It would make great holiday gifts. What are your thoughts on hot water bath canning this?

Pamela November 21, 2012 at 7:03 am

Hi Nick,
Hot water bath canning this sauce should work well. You’re going to have some really happy people on your gift list this year. 🙂

Searles Girl September 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I’m cooking this up right now and it smells sooooo good. We grow cranberries, so I picked them fresh.

Pamela September 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Searles Girl – You grow your own cranberries??!! That is soooo cool. So I’ve never really quite figured out if they grow on short bushes or small trees. Which is it? Could you send a picture? I am completely intrigued with this. I hope you like the bbq sauce as much as we do. I can’t wait until we start getting cranberries in the store again. Have a great BBQ!!!

Radhika Kamath December 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm

AH-MAZING BBQ sauce! Thanks for the recipe. My husband says Kansas City BBQ has nothing on this sauce. Thanks for the recipe.

Pamela December 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Thanks Radhika! I’m glad you and your husband like it. 🙂 And I’m totally flattered by the compliment.

Betty @ scrambled hen fruit November 18, 2010 at 10:27 pm

This sauce would be terrific with turkey or pork- cranberries have such a bold flavor! And I’m with you on the whole “Black Friday” thing. The only way I’m shopping on that day is online!

Brad November 17, 2010 at 6:51 am

That certainly is saucy, thanks for the recipe and the eye candy…

Pamela November 18, 2010 at 6:25 am

Thanks Brad. It really is quite a pretty color.

Rich November 17, 2010 at 6:27 am

That sauce is inspired! And you’re right – that would be perfect for pork roast or even grilled or smoked pork, too!

Pamela November 18, 2010 at 6:27 am

I actually made it to go with a pork roast and it’s so good. We’ve already finished one jar and have started on the second. I can’t get enough of it.

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle November 16, 2010 at 8:44 am

I’ve not purchase a drop of BBQ sauce since I started making my own; the varieties are endless and the quality of ingredients higher; I can promise you that high fructose corn syrup is no longer the primary ingredient!

I also love cranberries so have to try this; I made a cherry chipotle sauce this past summer; so I know only too well how wonderful a fruit/heat/tangy mix can be; this sounds amazing.

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction November 16, 2010 at 6:37 am

Yum… My hubby is a HUGE barbeque sauce fanatic, so we’re always trying new sauces. This one sounds like a lot of fun… And it would be so tasty with Thanksgiving leftovers!

Pamela November 18, 2010 at 6:29 am

One more way to use up the turkey and the cranberries. Once you make you’re own sauce, you’ll be hard pressed to buy any again.

Nancy November 15, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Given how addicted my son is to BBQ sauce I am going to have to make this – like the little black dress in your photos, this sauce would go with darn near everything!
Gorgeous photos!!

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks November 15, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I already know I’m going to like this – tart, sweet, spicy and the classic Worcestershire. I’m also getting ready to post some cranberry recipes – one I’m sure you’ll dig.

Belinda @zomppa November 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Great twist on BBQ sauce! Hmm…ideas for Turkey day!

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