Jalapeño Cran-Raspberry Sauce

$6.47 recipe / $0.81 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
3.50 from 2 votes
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Fresh cranberry sauce is one of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving foods. I love the tangy-sweetness and how it juxtaposes all of the other savory Thanksgiving dishes! I eat it on my turkey and on my stuffing and then the rest of the week I eat it on toast or as part of my “Thanksgiving wraps” (turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce in a tortilla – YUM!).

I made this basic cranberry sauce for my first Budget Bytes Thanksgiving and have made a different spin on it every year since. The original recipe is so easy and so delicious that it’s worth trying at least once. If you want something with a little more flare, kick it up a notch with raspberries and jalapeños!

The heat in this recipe is adjustable and you’ll definitely have to use your taste buds to get it right. Every jalapeño is different so some tweaking is required. I removed all of the seeds from my jalapeño, saved them, and added them back in little by little as the sauce cooked to increase the heat to the point that I liked.

Jalapeño Cran-Raspberry Sauce

spoonful of jalapeno raspberry cranberry sauce scooped out of glass dish

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Jalapeño Cran-Raspberry Sauce

3.50 from 2 votes
At a sweet and spicy kick to regular cranberry sauce with the addition of jalapeños and cranberries.
Jalapeno Cran-Raspberry Sauce
Servings 8
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 50 minutes


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries ($2.50)
  • 12 oz frozen raspberries ($3.49)
  • 1 jalapeño ($0.14)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (optional) ($0.12)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp cloves ($0.02)
  • 1 cup sugar ($0.18)
  • 2 cups water ($0.00)
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  • Add the sugar and water to a pot large enough to hold the cranberries and raspberries. Turn the heat on medium and allow the sugar to dissolve.
  • Rinse the cranberries under running water and remove any stems or bad berries. Add them to the sugar water along with the frozen raspberries. Increase the heat to high, cover with a lid, and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Once the mixture reaches a full boil, reduce the heat to a simmer (medium-low) and allow all of the cranberries to pop (you’ll hear them).
  • Meanwhile, slice the jalapeño open and remove the seeds by scraping with a spoon. Set the seeds aside for later. Mince the jalapeño flesh. Add the minced jalapeño, cinnamon, and cloves to the pot. Stir and allow to simmer without a lid.
  • Allow the mixture to simmer for 30-45 minutes or until it has reduced and thickened slightly (it will thicken further as it cools). Taste it occasionally to see if you want more heat. If so, add some of the jalapeño seeds to the pot. If the mixture is too sweet, add some lemon juice for tartness. If you have added all of the jalapeño seeds and still want more heat, you can add some red pepper flakes.

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 133.79kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 0.74gFat: 0.43gSodium: 1.7mgFiber: 4.41g
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

top view of jalapeno cranberry raspberry sauce in glass dish

How to Make Jalapeño Cran-Raspberry Sauce – Step By Step Photos

sugar water in pot
Start by dissolving the sugar in water over medium heat. Make sure your pot is big enough to hold the cranberries and raspberries.

bag of cranberries and bag of raspberries with one whole jalapeno
You’ll need one bag of cranberries (12 oz.), one bag of frozen raspberries (12 oz.) and one (or two if you’re brave) jalapeño.

rinse cranberries in strainer
Rinse the cranberries under cool water and pick out any stems or bad berries.

jalapeno cut in half with knife
Cut the stem off of the jalapeño and then slice it lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the spine and seeds. Save the seeds for later use.

minced jalapeno with knife
Mince the jalapeño. Now, GO WASH YOUR HANDS… and don’t touch your eyes or … other sensitive areas.

cranberries, raspberries and jalapeno added to pot
Add the cranberries, raspberries, and jalapeño to the pot. Cover it, increase the heat to high and bring it up to a boil. You can actually get the cranberries and raspberries going while you’re prepping the jalapeño, and then just add them later.

side view of boil over from the pot
Keep an eye on the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low as soon as it reaches a full boil. Do not turn the heat on high and then leave the room and get distracted by facebook… because then you’ll have this mess on your hands.

top view of simmering sauce in pot
When you stop hearing the cranberries pop, it’s safe to remove the lid. Stir in the cinnamon and cloves. Let the mixture simmer without a lid for 30-45 minutes or until it has reduced and thickened slightly. During the simmer process, give it a taste and adjust the heat by adding in jalapeño seeds. You can also adjust the tartness by adding some lemon juice.

top view of finished sauce with wooden mixing spoon
And after 30 minutes or so of simmering, it will be a deliciously vibrant jalapeño cran-raspberry sauce. Good on just about everything!

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  1. I had to make a substitution when I tried this recipe, because the fresh raspberries I bought to use in it went moldy very quickly. Next time I’ll buy frozen, but in the meantime, I substituted 5 oz. of frozen BLUEberries (all I had), halved the recipe, and loved how it turned out. The color was the usual reddish shade after simmering for 30 minutes.

    My jalapeno was larger than the one in your photo, and half of it was the perfect amount of heat for someone like me who can’t handle very spicy food (I didn’t use any of the seeds). I think this will be a hit with the people in my family who like cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving.

  2. I followed this recipe exactly (sans lemon juice since it was optional) and it came out way too tart! Not something I could serve to my mom and bfs parents. I liked the heat and basic flavor but it definitely needs less raspberries or more sugar.
    I ended up making your red wine cranberry sauce instead, and it was a hit lol

    1. We’ve never canned the recipe ourselves so we can’t recommend it safely. Although you could freeze it for a few months!

  3. I know this is a super old recipe, and I’ve made it several times and loved it– wondering what you’d think of subbing fresh raspberries in? They are actually cheaper here if you can imagine that :)

    1. You’re so lucky! :) Yes, you can absolutely use fresh if that’s what you have.

  4. Miss Beth – we enjoyed a tasty treat today of peach-jalapeno jam dumped over a block of cream cheese on crackers…YUM! I was looking online for an easy way to make something similar, and wondered if you could figure out a way to morph a recipe such as this one, into a zippy little treat like that too? C’mon lady, you can do it (and can you figure out a way to do so with frozen fruit too?) Lazy me.

    1. Yes, I’d actually do it just like this recipe! :D Cook the fruit and jalapeño down with some sugar, maybe a little lemon juice, and that’s it! You could try adding some pectin or gelatin to help it gel more, but I wouldn’t bother. Saucy is good enough for me. :)

  5. I have made this and chopped an entire orange and 2 whole limes
    and never cooked it. I stayed good in fridge for a year nearly!!

  6. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was delightful! I really love the sweet and spicy combo! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  7. Just made this– SO GOOD. Trying to figure out if I can eat it with any of my meals today before Thanksgiving! :)

  8. I’m making a batch now, smells and taste good! Can’t wait to share with everyone on T-day. Love your recipes, thinking about doing the maple-roasted sweet potatoes too.

  9. I will have to try this for work I am in charge of the cranberry sauce! they wont even know what hit them! thanks for the flare!