Cranberry & Walnut Sauce

Cranberry & Walnut Sauce |

I’m not sure if you’ve picked up on this, but Thanksgiving is next week.  I feel like we are just getting into the swing of fall, and I’m not quite ready for the deep dive into winter that always takes place right after the big day.  It’s hard to believe that next weekend we’ll be picking out a tree and decking the halls!  But…we’re not there just yet, so lets talk about the feast.

Because I make our entire meal myself — and there is only enough time to make so many dishes — and because it means a lot to Erik to have certain foods on Thanksgiving, we usually stick to a very traditional meal.  (Here are a few of my tips for a traditional vegan Thanksgiving.)  Erik’s parents are coming to spend the week with us, and I’m really excited to make a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for them that allows us to celebrate in a way that values all life.

Our Thanksgiving meal will feature breaded chicken-style seitan (seitan from Vegan Diner), mashed potatoes with rich brown gravy (gravy also from Vegan Diner), savory kale stuffing, cranberry and walnut sauce and roasted Brussels sprouts and root vegetables.  And to top it all off, pumpkin cheesecake (from Vegan Pie in the Sky).  I can’t wait!

Thanksgiving 2013 Menu |

Cranberries add a lovely punch of vibrant color to what is generally a meal composed of shades of brown.  I grew up eating canned cranberry sauce and I actually loved it, but it didn’t occur to me until about five years ago that it came any other way.  Once I made my own, there was no going back to the canned variety.  Aside from being so fresh and flavorful, it’s incredibly easy and fun to make — my favorite part is watching the cranberries pop!

I first posted my recipe for cranberry & walnut sauce three years ago, and I thought it was time to pull it out of the vault and freshen it up a bit.  The bright and rich sauce is a great blend of sweet and tart, and I love the bite from the chopped walnuts.  It’s a must-have Thanksgiving side dish!

Cranberry & Walnut Sauce
Recipe type: Side
Makes: ~6 servings
  • 1 cup apple cider (regular or spiced)
  • ¾-1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the apple cider and sugar and bring to a simmer.
  2. Once sugar has dissolved, add all remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, for about 10-15 minutes. The sauce is finished cooking once the cranberries have popped and the mixture begins to thicken slightly (it will continue thicken as it cools, so don’t overcook it — unless you prefer a more “jellied” sauce). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until chilled.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I’ll be back after the holiday.  :)

PS. If you are in the Kansas City area and don’t have any plans for Thanksgiving, Café Gratitude is hosting their second community Thanksgiving dinner.  The free, pre-set menu is organic and vegan, and it features a salad, an entrée and a dessert.  It runs from noon until 3 pm (or until food runs out) and is run by volunteers (you can stick around to help out if you have time).  Erik and I went last year and it was a wonderful experience and we left with very happy bellies.

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  1. says

    What a great idea to bread that chicken-style seitan from Vegan Diner. I love that recipe! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I like what you said about having a celebration that honors ALL life. I’m glad that Erik’s parents are open to a vegan Thanksgiving!
    Cadry recently posted…A Doctor Who Lunch? Kale, Yeah!My Profile

    • says

      It’s one of my favorite seitan recipes, and the one I make the most. It’s pretty versatile and great breaded. I certainly hope his parents are game for a vegan Thanksgiving because that’s how it’s done in our house! ;) Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!

  2. says

    You are so much more organized and on top of things than I am. Your menu sounds fabulous…especially that breaded seitan. I love all things (vegan) breaded. I enjoy having a mostly traditional meal as well. We make (most) everything ourselves and this year we are going to my sister’s place who lives 4 hours away. So we will be cooking at her place. This makes things a little tricky so I am not going to get too upset if we have to take shortcuts and buy some premade items. No excuses on the cranberry sauce though, as your recipe shows it is extremely easy. Not to mention delicious looking!
    luminousvegans recently posted…Tales from the Vegan Army: Thanksgiving PlansMy Profile

    • says

      I’m not always this organized, but I get so excited about Thanksgiving that it’s hard for me not to plan in advance! Every year I intend to make everything from scratch, but usually one thing or another ends up being store-bought — we’ll see how this year pans out. We’ve traveled for Thanksgiving in the past and it can be tricky packing all the ingredients and knowing whether you’ll have access to the stove, oven, etc. when you need it. It always works out though. Hope you have a fabulous meal and enjoy the time with your family. Happy Thanksgiving!

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