Flavors that Pair Well With Cranberry

Batman has Robin. Brain has Pinky. Jimmy Fallon has the Roots. Your Thanksgiving turkey has its cranberry. Yes, let’s all take a moment to be thankful for the humble red berry that adorns our Thanksgiving table and adds a tasty tartness to our turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. To better understand how cranberry can develop the flavors of your feast, read on to discover other delicious flavors that can be paired with the lovely and delicious cranberry.


There’s something about the citrus notes of orange with the tarty sweetness of the cranberry that makes for an aromatic amorous marriage of flavors. You can include the flavors of orange in your cranberry recipes by adding fresh squeezed orange juice or using a quality zester to add fresh zest. Many people like to add orange notes to their cranberry sauces, but you can also incorporate both flavors in baked goods such as scones, cakes, and muffins.


The subtle sweetness of most varieties of red apples can be a nice way to add texture and crunch to a recipe that calls for the softness of cranberries. Alternately, you can cook the apples down to make their texture more closely make that of the cooked cranberries. Either way, using a baking apple variety, like Gala or Fuji, will provide natural sweetener to your recipe, while using a Granny Smith apple will play up the tart notes of the cranberries.


Is there anything that doesn’t pair well with chocolate? Exactly. Sure, cranberries have played a starring role in your main meal, but why not allow an encore by pairing your starlets with chocolate for a delicious dessert. You can make chocolate chip and cranberry cookies or bring the two ingredients together in a cake or torte.


One sniff of cinnamon and it suddenly feels like the holiday season. The warm note of this popular spice adds a bit of zing to the natural cranberry flavors. Many recipes for cranberry sauce call for the addition of cinnamon, but you can also pair these flavors in cinnamon buns or cakes.


Mint is the perfect way to bring fresh greens to your fall feast. The smell and taste of mint awakens the senses, while the verdant color contrast beautifully with the deep red shades of your cranberry dishes. In addition to adding mint to your meal, consider adding mint to your drinks. Cranberry juices feature prominently in many cocktail recipes, as do fresh mint. Joining these two ingredients in a shaker makes as much sense as bringing pilgrims and Indians together at the dinner table. Mincing your own mint ensures the strongest, freshest, flavor.


Cranberries and pears are perfect partners for crisps, crumbles, cakes, and chutneys. The calm flavor of the pears makes it a nice compliment to the bold flavors of the cranberry, and both merge well together when combined with butter and spices such as cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

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