Brown Butter Cranberry Apple Sauce with Rosemary

Over the years I have hosted many Thanksgiving and holiday meals with family and friends. When I think back on to my first couple turkey dinners, I cringe at my lack of menu planning and cooking knowledge. My 2nd Thanksgiving hosted at our home was when I was 22, and pregnant with my first child. I was easily stressed out, and planned way too many dishes. After we had carved the turkey and I had realized that not only did I leave the bag of giblets in the cavity, but I had also under cooked the turkey. My family friend was in charge of carving, and he hit the yukky bag with his knife, and then pulled it out, lifting it in the air and laughing. I was MORTIFIED. I was also told over and over again how "interesting" my root beer glazed baby carrots were, and that my cranberry sauce was very "very very sweet".             

Now that I am older, and have many holiday meals under my belt, I've learned that keeping the menu simple is the best way to go.So over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my tried and true favorite Thanksgiving recipes that get served year after year at our home. 

This cranberry sauce is made in under 30 minutes, has a nutty flavor thanks to the browned butter, it is slightly sweet, and with a hint of savory rosemary. It is easily adaptable too, look below the recipe for some add in ideas! 

Brown Butter Cranberry Apple Sauce with Rosemary


2 tbs butter

2 apples, peeled and cored, roughly chopped

1 cup spiced apple cider

12 oz fresh cranberries, rinsed

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbs orange zest

1 sprig of rosemary


In a medium sauce pan or high sided skillet, add butter and melt over medium heat until it has turned a golden brown color and smells nutty.
Add in chopped apples, apple cider, cranberries, sugar, and orange zest.
Stir, and simmer over medium low heat for about 5 minutes.
Add in the rosemary, and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally.
Once the cranberries have all burst and the apples are fork soft (about 15 minutes) remove rosemary sprig.
And roughly   mash everything together. Can be served warm or cold.

*Add in ideas
-1/4 chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
-1/2 cup Mandarin oranges
-cinnamon stick (though if you do this, used regular cider and not spiced)
-dash of freshly grated nutmeg     


  1. I love that we are on the rosemary kick today! Never thought to put it into a cranberry sauce! Love!

  2. What a beautiful cranberry sauce Carrie, this looks like perfection. I am going to use your recipe this November. I'm seriously lacking with the Thanksgiving mojo, I love the addition of the rosemary as well. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Homemade cranberry sauce is one of my very favorite dishes and this one sounds so fabulous!


  4. That brown butter in there is everything! Also - that's too funny about your first Thanksgiving! The same classics grace our table every year now too!

  5. Do you recommend salted or unsalted butter?