Cranberry Sauce with Roasted Grapes, Apples, and Shallots
Add this beautiful jewel toned side to your holiday menu! Cranberry sauce with roasted grapes, apples, and shallots provides a burst of flavor, both sweet and savory, that is unforgettable.
Have you ever tried roasting grapes? Maybe you’re thinking, hmmm, roasted grapes would be like raisins, right? Kind of shriveled up, chewy, and dry? Not that appealing…
I pretty much roast everything (have you tried roasted butternut squash or Brussels sprouts?) so I thought, why not give roasted grapes a try? I had a bunch of grapes in the fridge so I tossed them with olive oil and a little maple syrup, put them on a corner of a pan of roasting sweet potatoes, and was blown away by the results. The grapes do shrivel, just a bit, which looks really kind of intriguing, and the insides turn into a jammy delight. Not even remotely like raisins!
When I saw a recipe for cranberry sauce with roasted grapes, cranberries, apples, and shallots in Cooking Light, I knew I had to try it. I adapted it quite a bit to make it my own and the results are startlingly delicious.
I almost hesitate to call it cranberry sauce because it’s a total departure from traditional cranberry sauce with ground up cranberries and oranges, or cooked cranberries with tons of sugar. The roasted fruit and shallots make this cranberry sauce a taste experience that outshines any other cranberry sauce. I’m sure you’ll agree!
P.S. Don’t wait until the holidays to try this recipe. You’re going to want to try this cranberry sauce right away now that apples are in season. It’s a great side for chicken, pork tenderloin, grilled salmon, or a vegetarian pilaf. And it’s a breeze to make.
About this Cranberry Sauce with Roasted Grapes
Looking at the photos of this cranberry sauce with roasted grapes, apples and shallots, I can’t believe how beautiful it is! I love how the cranberries and grapes intensify in color as they roast in the oven, and how the apples and shallots absorb the color from the cranberries, turning a deep rose color. It’s a visual feast.
And the fruit smells heavenly as it roasts in your oven! You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make this cranberry sauce.
After preheating your oven, add shallots, apples, and grapes and a bit of mild tasting oil (I used avocado but olive oil would be fine, too) to a large rimmed roasting pan. Roast for five minutes or so, then add cranberries and stir together. Roast for twenty-five minutes or until shallots and apples are tender.
I mix the roasted fruit and shallots with a mixture of melted butter, maple syrup, and fresh chopped thyme to enhance the flavors and give the fruit a more sauce-like consistency. Oh, so yummy! Be careful if you try a spoonful or two–you may end up eating the whole thing!
Let the mixture cool for a bit before serving. Gently spoon it into that fancy bowl that your great-grandma gave you (or that you found at a thrift shop!). Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. You’ll hardly need a centerpiece with this beautiful roasted fruit on your holiday table.
Cranberry sauce with roasted grapes, apples, and shallots is great served at room temperature which makes it an ideal holiday side. You don’t have to be making it at the last minute. Make it early in the day, let it cool, cover it, and set it on your counter until dinner is served.
If you make it a day or two ahead, I would refrigerate it in a sealable container. Take it out of the refrigerator in the morning and let it come to room temperature before serving. Give it a gentle stir before putting it into a serving bowl.
How to make this recipe your own:
This recipe is really versatile. Here are some suggestions for changing it up to make it your own:
- Add more grapes, apples or shallots. You could add up to a cup more of each.
- Use fresh or frozen cranberries; both kinds work well. You don’t have to thaw the frozen ones, just put them right onto the roasting pan. The cranberries add a lot of tartness so be a little careful with adding more, unless you compensate with more maple syrup.
- I like Honeycrisp apples but you can use any apple variety that stays somewhat firm when cooked, like Gala, Jonathan, Granny Smith, or Cortland.
- Red grapes are beautiful but green or purple grapes would work well, too. Just make sure they’re seedless!
- If you can’t find shallots, use red onion or sweet onion. Or no onion!
- Not crazy about thyme? Substitute an herb you like better, maybe chopped chives or parsley. Or just leave out the herbs.
- If you don’t have maple syrup, use a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, honey, or agave syrup to sweeten the sauce. Actually, the fruits are so sweet you could skip the sweetener.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for cranberry sauce with roasted grapes, apples, and shallots as much as I do!
More holiday sides that are just a little bit unique:
Like to think outside of the box when it comes to holiday recipes? Looking for healthier alternatives to the traditional? Here’s a few more recipes that I think you’ll love.
- Cauliflower, Potato, and Cheddar Bake
- Sweet Potato Casserole (nut free, gluten free, dairy free, but totally delicious)
- Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Green Beans with Parmesan and Basil (replace that boring green bean casserole!)
- Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Orange, and Pine Nuts
- Roasted Delicata Squash Rings
- 2 cups seedless red grapes, washed and stemmed
- 2 cups chopped apple (Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, or other firm variety)
- 1 cup shallots (3 small or 2 large), peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or olive oil)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (about 8 ounces)
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
- extra thyme sprigs for garnish, if desired
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place grapes, apple, and shallot on baking sheet and toss with avocado oil. Bake in preheated oven until shallot starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
- While fruit mixture is roasting, combine the melted butter, maple syrup, salt, and thyme in a small bowl.
- Remove baking sheet from oven, add cranberries, and stir to combine ingredients. Continue to cook until cranberries begin to burst, about 25 minutes.
- Remove baking sheet from oven and carefully transfer cranberry mixture into a heat-safe bowl. Gently stir in butter, maple syrup, salt, and thyme.
- Cool at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme, if desired.
- No need to thaw frozen cranberries, just use them as is.
- This cranberry sauce would be delicious served with turkey, chicken, pork, or salmon, or vegetarian pilafs.
- Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 71mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 15gProtein: 1g
Husband’s take: A little bit outside the box for Ben, but he still enjoys it and doesn’t complain.
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but have fun with some of the adaptations I mentioned.