Thanksgiving Cranberry Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Thanksgiving (or Christmas) wouldn't be the same without Turkey, and turkey wouldn't be the same without cranberry sauce so for all you BBQ aficionados out there, here's my take on a cranberry barbecue sauce. It's got that all important sweet and sour that you'd expect in any barbecue sauce and then add the fruity cranberries over the top........need I say more?

My cranberry barbecue sauce in a seasonal bowl

If you're like me then you'll be cooking your seasonal bird on the barbecue so having a seasonal barbecue sauce is an absolute necessity.

Moreover cranberries appear to be SOO good for you! To be fair all the studies on Cranberries have been done in the laboratory rather than in the human body but it has been demonstrated that cranberries are extraordinarily good at suppressing the growth of cancer cells. That said, no one has yet been able to identify the active ingredient in cranberries that exerts this anti-cancer effect. Use this link to find out more.

Apart from the flavor, what's really great about this sauce is that you can make it in advance, get it done the week before Thanksgiving or Christmas and pop it in the refrigerator so it's out of the way and you can concentrate on the bird on the big day.

Having said that, this sauce is great on any poultry and you can also use it as a glaze during the final 15 minutes of the cookout. So now there's no excuse for not using my cranberry barbecue sauce all year round and certainly no excuse for not knowing how to use any that's leftover (you should be so lucky!).

It's really easy to make, just be careful when putting hot liquids in a food processor.


You'll find fish and gluten in Worcestershire sauce and if using a stock cube you may well find gluten in there too. At the risk of insulting your intelligence, there's mustard in the mustard!

Yield:- 2 quarts or 2 litres

Preparation Time:- 20 minutes
Cooking Time:- 10 minutes

Total Time:- 30 minutes


  • 6 cups or 600g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 pint or 500ml water
  • ½ pint or 250ml chicken stock
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 8 tablespoons or 100g brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste or purée
  • 1 tablespoon powdered ginger
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon English mustard (powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A good few shakes of Tabasco


So the list of ingredients looks long but there's not much to do other than throw all the ingredients into a saucepan. Then bring it to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. That's the cooking bit done!

Allow the cranberry barbecue sauce to cool a little and then blitz it in a food processor, this recipe makes quite a lot of sauce so dependent on the size of food processor you have (or if using a stick blender) you may need to do it in batches.

The final job is to strain it through a sieve. This filters out pips and any remaining solids so that you are left with a smooth and tasty sauce.

See Also:-

Thanksgiving Barbeque Menu Ideas
Turkey Brine Recipes
Thanksgiving Smoked Turkey
Traditional Barbecue Turkey Recipe
Homemade Barbecue Sauce

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