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Cranberry Sauce with Cardamom

Vegetarian

This easy homemade cranberry sauce with cardamom has changed my mind about this Thanksgiving classic. With the addition of cardamom, this vintage dish is transformed from tired to inspired. Naturally vegan, gluten-free, and easily made in advance.

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Earlier this month, I found myself wondering how many people genuinely like cranberry sauce. Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of it. And judging by the mostly full bowl leftover after Thanksgiving dinner each year, I’d gander to say that no one else is either.

So I began thinking about ways I could elevate this Thanksgiving classic. In true Tao of Spice fashion, I opted to add some spice, because, if you didn’t know, a little spice make everything better.

I referred to one of my favorite foodie books, The Flavor Bible, to see what spices pair well with cranberries and discovered cardamom on the list. 😍 I looked no further.

Side note: If you love exploring different flavor combinations and getting creative in the kitchen, this book is a must-have!! It is a great resource that I refer to several times a week and honestly one of the best cooking/food-related purchases I have ever made. I’ve included an Amazon link below if you wish to get yourself a copy or gift a copy to an aspiring chef in your life.

Back to the cranberry sauce….

You’ve likely already had the pleasure of trying the combination of cranberries and orange. A tried and true duo often used in baked goods and beverages.

Orange is no stranger to cranberry sauce either. In fact, you’ll find that almost every recipe out there includes it in one form or another. The reason; the sweetness of the orange juice cuts some of the bitterness of the cranberries.

My recipe includes both orange juice and orange zest because it not only tastes good but looks pretty.

While it maintains the basic flavor profile of a classic cranberry sauce, it is elevated by the addition of cardamom. It’s fruity piney notes pair exceptionally well with this already fruity dish and hels balance out the sweetness.

I urge you to skip the tired old canned cranberry sauce this year in favor of this robustly flavorful and uniquely seasoned version. It’s guaranteed to taste better and is so incredibly simple to prepare. It can even be made up to a week in advance, so there really are no excuses. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Bowl of cranberry sauce with a spoon with greenery and orange in background.

So what do you need to make this dish?

Top down shot of ingredients for cranberry sauce (see recipe card).
  • Water
  • White sugar
  • Cranberries: I recommend using fresh cranberries. They are readily available in grocery stores throughout November as they are in season and are inexpensive. If fresh isn’t an option, frozen are perfectly fine, however.
  • Orange: One medium to large-sized orange. You’ll be using both the zest and 1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice.
  • Cardamom powder: This is totally optional, but since you are checking out this recipe I can only assume it’s because the addition of cardamom caught your eye. Although not traditional to the dish, it’s a unique and delicious addition.

How do you make cranberry sauce with cardamom and orange zest?

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil the water and sugar.

Whisk until the sugar dissolves then add the cranberries, orange zest, and cardamom.

Cranberries in a small sauce pan.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and gently boil for about 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Transfer to a separate bowl or container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. As it cools it will thicken.

Top down shot of cooked cranberry sauce in a sauce pan.

How to store

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks or freeze for up to three months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight prior to serving.

Cranberry sauce in bowl with greenery, cranberries, and an orange in the background.
Close-up of cranberry sauce with cardamom and orange zest.

How to serve cranberry sauce:

More Thanksgiving essentials:

  • Mac and Cheese with Brussels Sprouts & Bacon: Rich and creamy homemade smoked cheddar cheese sauce, a breadcrumb topping, and sautéed Brussels sprouts with bacon result in a rich and harmonious dish. The perfect side for Thanksgiving, this mac and cheese with Brussels sprouts and bacon, is sure to impress. Gluten-free adaptable.
  • Goat Cheese Mashed Cauliflower w/ Sautéed Leeks: This easy goat cheese mashed cauliflower is creamy, garlicky, and topped with oniony sautéed leeks. It’s a wonderful low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes and a perfect side dish to share with a crowd. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian.
  • Roasted Sweet Potato Salad w/ Beet Chips & Cranberry Vinaigrette: This hearty autumn salad is perfect for Thanksgiving. It combines greens, roasted sweet potatoes, crispy beet chips, red onions, goat cheese, and sunflower/pumpkins seeds tossed in a fresh tangy cranberry vinaigrette. Vegetarian and gluten-free.

If you make this cranberry sauce with cardamom I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Cranberry Sauce with Cardamom

Cranberry Sauce with Cardamom

Yield: ~ 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This easy homemade cranberry sauce with cardamom has changed my mind about this Thanksgiving classic. With the addition of cardamom, this vintage dish is transformed from tired to inspired. Naturally vegan, gluten-free, and easily made in advance.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, could sub for frozen cranberries 
  • 1 medium-large orange
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom 

Instructions

  1. Zest the orange then cut it in half and squeeze out 1/4 cup of the juice. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil the orange juice, water, and sugar.
  3. Whisk the sugar until it dissolves then add the cranberries, orange zest, and cardamom.
  4. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and gently boil for about 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  5. Transfer cranberry sauce to a separate bowl or container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks or freeze for up to three months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight prior to serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 20mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 0g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

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