cranberry sauce with rosemary, port, and figs

If someone told you that your tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe should take the back burner for a new and improved version, most of you would roll your eyes and say “no thanks.” So I’ll tread lightly as I suggest you make this cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving next week. Mix it up this year. I promise I wouldn’t suggest that unless I felt it was worth making instead of your go-to recipe.

One could say I’ve been “vetting” cranberry sauce recipes. This one was sent out for “official” taste testing to friends and neighbors, and it has returned with rave reviews every time. I’ve heard everything from “it has layers of flavors” to “it’s the best cranberry sauce I’ve ever tasted!” It’s tangy, sweet, herbaceous, and even a bit boozy (you’re welcome). Plus, you can make this sauce DAYS in advance of Thanksgiving so you can focus on other recipes leading up to turkey day. It’s straightforward, quick to make, and is exactly the tart cranberry flavor that your Thanksgiving meal needs to balance out all the butter and gravy. From my kitchen to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!


makes approximately 2 cups

adapted from Bon Appétit via Epicurious

4 ounces dried mission figs, each fig de-stemmed and chopped into 6-8 pieces
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1.5 cups ruby port
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
12 ounces fresh cranberries
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of pepper


  1. Bring figs, rosemary, port, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar to a gentle simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the cranberries.
  2. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced and most or all of the cranberries have burst (about another 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat. Discard the rosemary sprigs (and any stray rosemary leaves), then stir in cinnamon and a pinch of pepper. Serve warm or cold. This can be made ahead and keeps well for approximately 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.

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