Chipotle Lime Cranberry Sauce

cranberry sauce with goat cheese and gouda

We're baaaacccckkk.... I know, it's been a long time. The holidays are a constant source of inspiration for us, so even though we are still trying to find our way in this new place and topsy-turvy life, the ideas start flowing in November.

Are you excited for Thanksgiving? Ben is a huge Thanksgiving enthusiast; if I am being honest, I get a little bored with the same old thing every year. This recipe I have today is a twist on a typical favorite, but adds a little tang and spice to mix things up. The idea for this recipe came from a college friend of mine who has her own awesome, southern food blog, Biscuits and Such. I made Elena's recipe four years ago when she first published it and over the years I have changed it up a little to match my own tastes. Let's just say that Ben is a little bit of a control freak when it comes to Thanksgiving and I need to have my own projects if I want to feel useful.  This is one of a few that I've focused on over the years.

cranberry and lime

The flavors aren't too extreme, and let's face it, anything that can be doubled as a salsa is ok in my book. Salsa is just sauce, right? Cranberry salsa and chips will serve as the perfect holiday themed appetizer for your holiday potlucks. As you are pulling together your menu, consider adding this one to the lineup. 

This cranberry sauce uses several of my favorite things: lime, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and even cranberries. I've always had a thing for cranberries, maybe it goes back to visiting the Ocean Spray factory when I was a kid and riding by the flooded cranberry bogs, but I've really always liked their unique taste, even though it isn't a very popular kid flavor. 

Kitchen cranberry bog.

Kitchen cranberry bog.

Besides serving this as a ridiculously great salsa with tortilla chips, we have also loved it on bread with Goat Cheese or Smoked Gouda. OR (!) as I am writing this, Ben is experimenting with putting it on a peanut butter sandwich as a sort of smoky, spicy jam; this should serve as evidence to the versatility of this very special holiday recipe. I'm going to keep making it this year as long as I can keep buying the cranberries in the store! 

These are not the prettiest things you've ever seen but they bring a lot to the flavor game!

These are not the prettiest things you've ever seen but they bring a lot to the flavor game!

Minced peppers measured out to two teaspoons.

Minced peppers measured out to two teaspoons.

cranberry sauce on the cutting board


  • 1/4 cup plus 1 TB of sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp minced chipotle in adobo, plus 1 tsp of the adobo sauce
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime


  1. Rinse your cranberries. Use the same method as a cranberry bog and fill up a large bowl with water and dump the cranberries in. The bad ones will sink to the bottom, don't use those.
  2. Add water, sugar, and cumin to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. While the water and sugar are coming to a boil, mince the peppers. I used 2 peppers and they measured out to 2 teaspoons in total. This is not a very neat and tidy mince, more of a controlled mash. Just make sure that the pieces are small so no one gets a big mouthful of chipotle.
  4. After the water and sugar comes to a boil, add the peppers and cranberry; return to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-30 minutes, waiting (and listening because it is exciting) for the cranberries to pop, and the sauce to thicken.   The longer you cook, this thicker the sauce will be.
  6. Add the juice of 1/2 a lime, and stir to incorporate.
  7. Allow to cool at room temperature before serving.
Bonus Dish: Cranberry Salsa!!!!!!

Bonus Dish: Cranberry Salsa!!!!!!