Jul 29, 2015


Add a Latin Twist to Your Thanksgiving: Guajillo Cranberry Sauce

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cranberry sauce

Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without the cranberry sauce.  In prepping for your Holiday dinner this year, don’t feel pressured into relying on a canned version for your Holiday table.  Instead, I strongly encourage you to try making fresh  cranberry sauce.  Trust me it’s worth it.  Relax, breathe.  Cranberry sauce is easy to make, flexible in flavor and tastes even better if made ahead.

This holiday, I plan to add a Latin twist to my cranberry sauce with guajillo chiles and piloncillo.

cranberry sauce

Guajillo chiles help give my cranberry sauce that all day simmered flavor, with the benefit of a quick cooking time.  To start, the chiles are rehydrated, cleaned of stems and seeds and finely diced.  The piloncillo adds the perfect touch and blends easily with the vibrant punch of the cranberries equating a delicious side to any Thanksgiving meal!

Make a day ahead to cut down kitchen time during the Thanksgiving rush, but be sure to make enough for that leftover turkey sandwich. Enjoy!

Guajillo Cranberry Sauce

by Vianney Rodriguez / Sweet Life


  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 cup grated piloncillo
  • 1 guajillo chile
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds


  1. Rehydrate guajillo chile in warm water for 20 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan bring to a boil orange juice and piloncillo, stirring to dissolve piloncillo.
  3. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes or until cranberries burst.
  4. Remove stem and seeds from the guajillo chile and finely dice.
  5. Add orange zest, cinnamon, guajillo chile.  Stir to combine, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  6. Garnish with pumpkin seeds.
  7. The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Make about 2 ½ cups.
  8. Guajillo chiles can be found in the International aisle in your grocery store.
  9. Brown sugar or white sugar can be substituted if piloncillo canno be found.



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Vianney Rodriguez

Vianney Rodriguez

Vianney "Bonnie" is a Tejana (Texan) foodie with an eternal love for all things Texas, and is committed to teaching others about her Tex-Mex heritage. On any given day you can find her posting Texas-style recipes or wonderful recipes from Mexico! Check her out at her blog, SweetLifeBake.com!

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  1. You just out my canned cranberry sauce habits to shame.

  2. YUMMY!!!! Thank you for the inspiration!!

  3. We are actually planning to create our own homemade cranberry sauce this week as part of our Thanksgiving studies! Your recipe looks bien rico! Thanks for sharing…

  4. This looks great Vianney! You can bet, I am making this! :) Perfect combo of sweet and spicy…my fav! I’ve also shared it a bunch. Thanks for all the creativity amiga! Yum!

  5. Oh Vianney! Now I don’t know if I’ll be able to open up that can of cranberry sauce I lucked upon at the store the other day. This sauce looks beautiful and sounds amazing. :)

  6. I’m very tempted to make my own sauce this year. This sounds very good! I’m guessing it’s not spicy? Or does it depend on the chile?

  7. All I can say is Ay, Dios MIO!!!!!!

    You are a culinary genius.

  8. I love cranberry sauce but that one looks fab, but reading the recipe I notice there’s an ingredient that I don’t know what it is and that’s the piloncillo…???Cheers,

    • Hola Lia, thanks for stopping by Piloncillo is made from pure, unrefined sugar that is pressed into a cone shape. It tastes very similar to brown sugar with a molasses flavor. Piloncillo can either be found in the Latins aisle of your store or order online.

  9. WOW! Our Thanksgiving meal has always been very traditional, except for a cameo by my pumpkin flan. This year was no different although I know what I’ll do next year to subvert. ¡¡¡BWWAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  10. why would anyone ever buy canned cranberry sauce?!!! ugh. Love the sound of a spice in this staple. I should share my recipe, but it went too fast to even take a picture! Hope you had a great TG!

  11. Thank you for this cool recipe! I love the mix of sweet and spicy. Chocolate truffle with Aji are high on my list of favourite things :)

  12. This is absolutely beautiful for the Season!


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