Cranberry Sauce with Pearl Onions and Ginger

Homemade cranberry sauce is like a sparkling jewel on the table. This jewel also packs flavor and a bit of warmth.

I had some cranberries left over from Thanksgiving and a package of frozen pearl onions. They asked to be put together.

If you are looking for a really quick side dish to make for the upcoming holidays, but one with a definite wow factor, look no further.

It couldn’t be easier!

One pan, one quick cook, and a little simmering time and you’ve a lovely sauce that marries well with not only the holiday turkey, but chicken or even tofu on a weeknight.

This is also a lovely sauce to make if you didn’t getting around to using that package of cranberries and tucked it in the freezer for use later in the winter. When that time comes, you’ll be glad you did sometime in February.

A lively blend of flavors

The beautiful cranberries here get some savory help with the onions, a citrus blast with the lime, and a little heat from the Serrano and ginger. The brandy adds a lovely backnote! If you want just a bit of warmth, remove the seeds and ribs from the pepper; if not, then mince up the whole pepper for more heat. Or, you can leave it out as well.

I think this will be my cranberry sauce of choice for next year’s Thanksgiving table!

Cranberry Sauce with Pearl Onions and Ginger

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Serrano pepper, finely minced
  • Heaping grated tablespoon fresh ginger
  • Zest and juice of one lime
  • 10 oz. frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • Pinch of salt

Place everything in a saucepan except the onions, and toss the lime carcasses in as well. Bring to a boil until the sugar dissolves, add the onions, and reduce to a low simmer. Cook until the cranberries have burst, and the sauce is thick, about 15 minurtes. Let cool and serve.

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53 Comments Add yours

  1. Suzassippi says:

    I love home made cranberry sauce. This sounds intriguing!

    1. It turned out really delicious, and so simple!

  2. terrie gura says:

    Oh my goodness, yes! I love your savory flavor combo here, Dorothy; makes my mouth water! And the glass bowl you’ve used for presentation lets the light hit those onions from every angle. Gorgeous!!

    1. Thank you! Cranberry sauce always has to be about the pretty as much as the tasty!

  3. Robbie’s Inspiration says:

    Hi Dorothy, this sounds like a great taste mix 💗

    1. Thanks Robbie, it was definitely a winner!

  4. What a great recipoe. I never thought of adding pearl onions.

    1. They were there, I used them, and I’m glad of it! I have made my sauce with a bit of finely minced shallots, but this was indeed a stretch from that, but a good one!

  5. Angela says:

    What a winner this is…and I do have a bag of cranberries left over. I’ve made my own cranberry sauce for years, partly just to enjoy the rich display of color and the scent. I’ll definitely try this, though I will have to skip the heat. But that shouldn’t make much of a difference.

    1. Thanks Angela! This will be delightful even without the heat! Hope you enjoy it.

  6. NativeNM says:

    Love your idea of adding savory pearl onions and a little spice to cranberries. I always buy extra to keep in the freezer so I have them year round!

    1. Thanks Jan! They freeze so beautifully, and I aways try not to forget about them long about March!

  7. gabychops says:

    Thank you, Dorothy, for a lovely combination.


    1. Thanks Joanna! We really enjoyed this one a lot!

  8. This is an unusual and delightful recipe, dear Dorothy.

    1. Thank you my dear! It was so delicious, even the jellied folks loved it!

  9. This looks so pretty and Christmasy! I am excited to include it on my holiday table!

    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  10. Americaoncoffee says:

    The best!

  11. Jenna says:

    I love the idea of the pearl onions to cut the sweet a bit!

    1. It worked beautifully Jenna, a happy experiment!

  12. Christy B says:

    Oh wow this sounds amazing!

    1. Thank you Christy! My new favorite!

  13. Chef Mimi says:

    You know, over the years, and I’m old, I’ve made hundreds of cranberry sauces and varieties of chutneys. It took me a long time to realize that i was the ONLY one who ever ate them. Oh well. But I do love reading everybody’s variations.

    1. 😆There are those in my family who are firmly in the camp of plain, jellied cranberry sauce from a can and nothing else will do, but luckily I do have adventurers in the mix who are always ready for a change from the jel. A couple of the jelly folks actually tasted and liked this one.
      Of all the variations, what was your personal favorite Mimi?

  14. Wow! What an interesting combination of flavors ☺️

    1. Thanks! And miraculously it all worked!

  15. Eha says:

    Ooh ? Love the two protagonists separately but would have never thought to put them together ! Am trying and trying to imagine what your very pretty dish would taste like . . . guess I have to make to find out 🙂 !!!

    1. It was an experiment for sure, but cranberry lends itself beautifully to blend with savory ingredients. It was worth the experiment, and I’m definitely making this one again!

  16. sunisanthosh says:

    Thank you for this share.

    1. Oh, you are very welcome! Thank you for stopping by.

  17. What a wonderful combination, pearl onions and ginger. I forget about using ginger which I find adds a zing to recipes.

    1. Thank you! I always have a big knob of ginger on hand, so it finds its way into lots of things.

  18. I am such a boring person that I would have never thought of this combination. It looks beautiful, and I’m guessing it is quite delicious. You keep us learning and experimenting!

    1. Thanks Judy! I love to experiment, and often those experiments arise out of what I need to use up!

  19. nancyc says:

    This cranberry sauce is so pretty—it really does sparkle! Perfect for a festive holiday table! 🙂

    1. Thank you Nancy, it is always like a bowl of jewels!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Adding the brandy sounds like a delicious idea!

    1. Thanks! It really rounded out the flavors, but it didn’t taste boozy at all.

  21. Ronit says:

    I’ve never added pearl onions to cranberry sauce. It sounds so good! I’ll give it a try next time! 🙂

    1. It was one of those happy little experiments with leftover ingredients! I’m making this one again!

  22. CarolCooks2 says:

    When I saw this it made me think we must be on the same page except mine has red onion plus slightly different its more of as jam but the essence is the same I had cranberries to use and like you I always chuck in the lime carcass as you called it-smile…love the idea of using the pearl onions an idea for next year methinks…I hope all is ok with you, Dorothy thinking of you Hugs xx

  23. This looks great, but it would kill the wine. Perhaps I can turn this into a cranberry tart for dessert.

    1. I think it would make a lovely little tart, with a layer of something creamy perhaps. In that case, I’m sure you would come up with a lovely little dessert sip to enhance the experience!

  24. Gail says:

    Kudos for serving cranberries and pearl onions. How divine! I especially like the exotic ginger to elevate the flavors even more. 🌟✨💫

    1. Thanks Gail! The combination was much better than I expected, and I’ll definitely make this again.

  25. I love to make cranberry sauce! This one is a new twist that I’ve never considered. I’m eager to try it!

    1. Hope you enjoy it Jeff!

  26. Carolyn Page says:

    Dorothy, you will find this hard to believe, however, it is absolutely true!
    This morning I went grocery shopping. There, on the shelf, was a bottle of Cranberry Sauce. I dearly wanted to pick it up to add to my festive (early Christmas lunch) with the daughter, her hubby and one of her sons this coming Friday. (They are heading off for a ten day cruise, so early feasting and presents all round is an absolute.)
    I felt a little disappointed when I wasn’t inspired to pop the sauce bottle in with the other groceries. And now I know why!!!
    I haven’t ever made Cranberry Sauce. But, never too late…. 🙂

    1. This is a really easy recipe to try Carolyn, and so satisfying to eat!

  27. Nice combination of flavor Dorothy!

    1. Thank you Diane! It really worked out nicely.

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