This Easy Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce; with ginger, lemongrass and pomegranates, has a super fresh, vibrant flavor. It takes less than 15 minutes to make!
Does the cranberry sauce that usually graces your holiday table earn the Ho-hum, everyday-regular, essential-but-not-praiseworthy, good-but-not-great award? Is it because, with all the other cooking that's required this time of year, you find it much easier to just open up a can or throw together the same-old-same-old sauce you've made for a zillion years? Well, what if this year, everyone went wild over the cranberry sauce? And what if the cranberry sauce was the one recipe everyone wanted? Oh, and one more thing. What if, once Thanksgiving was over, this sauce could be used for a fabulous sandwich spread or a delicious holiday appetizer? This Easy Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce will set new bars, in more ways than one!
The best part? It takes less than 15 minutes to put together!
That's the story of this beautiful, bright-flavored Easy Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce; and this is how it works. Start by picking up a bag of fresh cranberries and a nice big pomegranate. Poms are in prime season right now and one of my local stores is selling them for 69 cents!
Intimidated by pomegranates?
Maybe you don't "do" pomegranates. I used to be intimidated by them too. It seemed like such a pain and mess to get those seeds (arils) out. But a few years ago, I learned a technique that has me stocking up on them whenever I see a sale. I love the technique so much, I made a tutorial called, The Easy Way to Remove Pomegranate Seeds. Check it out, you won't believe how EASY it is!
If you're a super gourmet cook and/or have plenty of time on your hands, throw a piece of fresh ginger and a stalk of lemongrass in your cart as well. If you're like me, a bit lazy and usually in a big hurry at this time of year, just pick up tubes of fresh ginger and lemongrass* while you're passing through the produce department. You probably have everything else you need for this delicious condiment/side.
Make it in advance
When you get home, go ahead and make the Easy Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce, as it's one of those wonderful recipes that can be put together days in advance. Begin by rinsing the cranberries and throwing them into a medium-size pot. Add water, sugar and honey and bring the whole works to a boil. Cook for 6 minutes, till the berries have popped and the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, let it cool, then add the ginger, lemongrass and pomegranates. You're done! Well, except for one thing: take a taste... no, no, no, you can't eat the whole bowl now, it's for Thanksgiving, remember?
More than a cranberry sauce
And when Thanksgiving is over, if you have any left, I've got a wonderful idea for you. The sauce adds a delicious, gourmet touch to a grilled sandwich! Layer leftover turkey, a dollop of Easy Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce and a slice or two of your favorite cheese (we love Havarti) between two slices of whole grain bread. Grill the sandwich with a bit of olive oil, till golden and the cheese is melted. So darn good!
A delicious appetizer
Oh, and for a fun and wonderful appetizer, try this: arrange a tray with a log of goat cheese, some nice crackers or crostini and a bowl of Easy Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce showered with finely chopped parsley or cilantro. Let everyone make their own little bruschetta. Don't expect a crumb left!
Café Tips for making this Easy Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce
- I always keep tubes of ginger, lemongrass and chili pepper paste on hand. They can be stored in the freezer, so they last indefinitely. These fresh tasting stir-in pastes are really nice to have when I decide to make something on the spur of the moment and during busy times of the year (like the holidays). Having them in the freezer is a real lifesaver. I let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes till thawed enough to squeeze out what I need.
- If you make this sauce more than a day or two in advance, wait to add the pomegranates until closer to the day of serving or even the day before. You want this dish at it's most gorgeous prime on the big day!
- I love my KitchenAid Copper Core 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set. It's super heavy duty, but really attractive at the same time. And I love the glass covers, so I can see what's going on inside the pots! If you have a cook on your Christmas list who's in the market for new cookware, this would be an incredible gift.
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Easy Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce - the easiest cranberry sauce ever with ginger, lemongrass and pomegranates!
- 12 ounces whole fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh lemongrass
- 1 ¼ cups pomegranate arils seeds
- finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish, if desired
Place the cranberries, water, sugar and honey in a medium-size pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts to boil.
Cook for 6 minutes, maintaining a steady boil, but watch carefully that sauce does not bubble up over the top of the pan. Stir frequently during this 6 minute cooking time.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes then add ginger, lemongrass and stir well to combine. Add pomegranate arils (seeds) and gently stir. May be be prepared 1-2 days in advance. To keep the sauce really pretty, store pomegranate arils separately and add them just before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro, if desired.
Makes about 2 ½ cups of sauce.
You can purchase pomegranate arils on their own but they're quite pricey. I used to be intimidated by pomegranates until I discovered a really easy technique for deseeding them.