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.
Why you’ll love it: This roasted cranberry relish is so unique and it’s sweet/tart flavors go well with roasted meat.
How long it takes: 30 minutes, but allow an additional hour to cool
Equipment you’ll need: large rimmed sheet pan
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 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!
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 yes, it goes well with roasted turkey, too.
About This Recipe
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.
The fruit smells heavenly as it roasts in your oven and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make this cranberry sauce.
Let’s run through the recipe here and get you started. You’ll find the ingredient list, measurements, instructions, and nutrition information on the recipe card near the end of the post.
How To Make This Recipe
Get started by prepping the fruit and vegetables. Remove the grapes from the stems and rinse them, along with the fresh cranberries. If you purchased frozen cranberries, they can be used right from the freezer.
Chop up a couple of apples and shallots. Bite-sized pieces are the size you’re looking for. This baked relish looks best if everything is approximately the same size.
After preheating your oven, add shallots, apples, and grapes and a bit of mild tasting oil to a large rimmed sheet pan. I use avocado but olive oil is fine, too. Roast for five minutes or so, then add cranberries and stir them in. Roast for twenty-five minutes or until the 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 pan!
Let the mixture cool for an hour or so 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.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for cranberry sauce with roasted grapes, apples, and shallots as much as I do!
Make It 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.
- 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 probably skip the sweetener.
- Looking for a more traditional cranberry sauce? Try cinnamon apple cranberry sauce or orange cranberry sauce with cardamom.
Cranberry sauce with roasted grapes, apples, and shallots is good 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, 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.
Storage & Reheating Tips
This sauce is best eaten fresh but it will keep well in the refrigerator for up to five days. Store it in a covered container.
Let it come to room temperature before serving or gently warm it up in the microwave at 50% power in 30 second increments. It doesn’t need to be hot, just warm. Try not to stir it too much. You don’t want to crush the fruit or mash it together.
More Holiday Sides
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 ( a healthier alternative to green bean casserole)
- Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Orange, and Pine Nuts
- Roasted Delicata Squash Rings
- Zucchini Casserole with rice
- 2 cups seedless red grapes, washed and stemmed
- 2 cups chopped apple (Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, or other firm variety)
- 1 cup shallots, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces (3 small or 2 large shallots)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or olive oil)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (about 8 oz.)
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 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.
- Remove baking sheet from oven, add cranberries, and stir to combine ingredients. Continue to cook until cranberries begin to burst, about 25 minutes.
- While fruit mixture is roasting, combine the melted butter, maple syrup, salt, and thyme in a small bowl.
- 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 is delicious served with turkey, chicken, pork, or salmon, or vegetarian pilafs.
- Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.