The BEST Cranberry Sauce!

Jump to Recipe

I’m quite embarrassed at how long it took me to fall in love with cranberry sauce. I remember grimacing at that cylindrical mold my mom placed amongst our Thanksgiving spread. For the life of me, I just couldn’t understand why my family liked the stuff. I was well into my 20’s when I finally decided to give the stuff a chance. I visited a restaurant that boasted its “homemade cranberry sauce”. Yeah, okay. Long story longer, I loaded my spoon up with dressing and quickly dipped it into this infamous sauce. Yep. Hooked. And now I’ll get you hooked on my HOMEMADE cranberry sauce recipe!

Why do cranberries have to look so good? The color alone rams me into the holiday spirit! If this is your first time making cranberry sauce, prepare to be amazed. I never imagined it being this easy! 
Back to the berries. Rinse them well. They may be some bad ones in bunch. So, be sure to investigate, scoop them out, and trash them. Nothing like a mouthful of rotten berry taste. Don’t do that.

Suga, Suga

Not much to see here. I don’t want overly sweet sauce with my turkey. You need to preserve a little bit of that cranberry tang to balance out the flavor. I use mainly granulated sugar. But, I can’t help but to drop a little brown sugar on there. You know it’s worth it. 


SWEETS NEED SALT! Can’t stress this point enough! Omitting the salt leaves a void in the taste. Have you ever eaten a dessert and thought, “It’s good. But, something is missing.” It’s the damn salt! Salted butter exists for a reason, folks. Don’t be afraid to add a pinch of salt to your sweets. That’s why your tastes buds cry tears of joy when a drop of syrup from your pancakes falls on a piece of your bacon. Am I right? 

Water or Juice?

Now, what do you think? I’m choosing juice every time! Cranberry sauce is so adventurous. You can add pretty much any flavored juice to it and it’s like, “Yeah. I’m with it!” Love that for it. Pineapple juice makes all things tastier. It’s my favorite, so I’ll always choose it first. You’ll be glad I did when you try this recipe. 


However, oranges are besties with cranberries. They’re so compatible. They just get each other, you know? Make sure you do the squeezing! There’s nothing like fresh OJ! I like to add orange zest to it as well. My family doesn’t favor it, so I just add it to my portion before serving. If your family has better taste than mine, include the zest during the cooking portion of this recipe. 

Make it Ahead

This is one dish you can prepare one week before serving and forget about it. Chill it well before serving. After cooking, make sure it cools completely before transferring it into a container and popping it into the fridge.

The Best Cranberry Sauce!

The perfect mix of sweet and tart to complement your holiday dressing, stuffing, and turkey. Fresh fruit and bright flavors combine for the ideal cranberry sauce!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice

Optional:

  • 1 tsp bourbon
  • Orange zest

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain the cranberries
  2. Discard any damaged or rotten berries
  3. In a saucepan, whisk the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and juices together well.
  4. Bring to a boil while stirring
  5. Add the cranberries
  6. Return to a boil
  7. Lower the heat
  8. Simmer for 10 mins; stir occasionally
  9. Remove from the heat
  10. Optional: stir in the bourbon and orange zest
  11. Allow sauce to cool at room temperature
  12. Refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving
  13. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Notes:
Sauce can be refrigerated for up to one week in an air tight container.

Southern Cornbread Dressing & Turkey Gravy Recipe

When it comes to homemade dressing, my mother is Beyoncé. No, seriously. Everyone who has ever tasted her dressing falls in love. So, when the Cookies asked for a Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe I got nervous instantly! Like come on! How am I gonna top Beyoncé‘s recipe? Like how?? Then, I remembered. Coop is Beyoncé‘s child. I can do this! So, I said a quick prayer then proceeded to try to take my own mother’s crown. All’s fair in family and the kitchen! Let me tell you, there was no greater reward than watching the Beyoncé of Dressings go back for a second helping of MY dressing! *insert praise dance* Cookies, my mama loved my dressing! Look at God!! And since you guys are my homies, I’m sharing the goodness with you!

The flavor turkey necks provide the dressing is unmatched. Chicken is great, don’t get me wrong. But, it’s just something special about well-seasoned turkey neck meat in a dressing! And the stock it leaves? Chile, goooood eating! Beyonce (my mother) adds a little bit of chicken liver or gizzards to hers. That adds even more flavor. If you like that slightly strong taste of chicken liver, try it!

The herb stuffing mix that I use a contains sage. Since, sage can be overpowering if used in excess, I don’t add any additional pinches to this recipe. But, please your own taste buds. Season however you’d like. BUT, do not start seasoning your dressing until the bread has had time to soak until that stock. You don’t make it too salty.

Also, it’s important to not overcrowd your baking pan with the dressing. I try not to allow it to fill the pan over 1 1/2 inches in height. If that happens, it will brown too much on the top and bottom while remaining mushy inside. So, if you have too much dressing for your pan, just put half of the mixture in one pan and the rest in another. Watch it while baking and remove it when it gets as dry as you like.

And the cornbread! DO NOT USE SWEET CORNBREAD! Use the same recipe I used in my Seafood Cornbread Dressing http://www.coopcancook.com/seafood-dressing/  Put that box of Jiffy down! I mean it. My mom adds about 1 cup of cooked rice to her dressing to make it rice dressing. Delicious! If you like rice dressing, just stir it into the bowl before pouring into the baking dish. Make sure you taste everything and get that flavor perfect!

I’ve also included an easy recipe for making Turkey dressing from scratch. I use the same stock I made for the dressing with the turkey necks. Just reserve 2 cups of the stock for the gravy.

Happy Cooking,

B. Coop

Southern Cornbread Dressing
Serves 8
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr 20 min
Total Time
2 hr 20 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr 20 min
Total Time
2 hr 20 min
Cornbread
  1. 1 cup self rising flour
  2. 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  3. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  4. 1 cup milk
  5. 1 large egg
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 1 tsp granulated sugar
Dressing
  1. 1 lb turkey necks or chicken thighs (bone in)
  2. 1 pan Cornbread (crumbled)
  3. 1/2 of a 14 oz bag of classic herb stuffing mix (Pepperidge Farm brand)
  4. 1 onion
  5. 1 bell pepper
  6. 2 celery stalks
  7. 1 T minced garlic
  8. 1 stick butter
  9. 6 cups water
  10. 1 T onion powder
  11. 1 T garlic powder
  12. Cajun seasoning (or salt) & black pepper to taste
Turkey Gravy
  1. 2 cups stock from turkey necks
  2. 4 TBS butter
  3. 3 TBS flour
  4. 1 tsp onion powder
  5. salt and pepper to taste
Cornbread
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F
  2. Mix all ingredients together well.
  3. Pour into a greased 9 inch pan or cast iron skillet
  4. Bake for 20-25 mins. or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Dressing
  1. Season turkey necks or chicken thighs with seasoned salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  2. Place them in a stock pot or dutch oven. (Chile, just get a big pot)
  3. Roughly chop half of the onion, bell pepper, and celery.
  4. Add it to the pot with the meat and add the water.
  5. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until meat is tender and cooked completely.
  6. Remove the meat. Once it cools, separate the meat from the bone, and set it aside.
  7. Strain the stock and reserve. Discard the veggies.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  9. Finely chop the remaining onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery. Use a food processor if you have one available.
  10. In a pan or skillet, saute veggies the butter until tender.
  11. In a large bowl, add the crumbled cornbread, herb stuffing mix, veggies, onion & garlic powders, meat, and 4 cups of the stock.
  12. Mix well, taste, and adjust seasoning if needed.
  13. Pour mixture into 1 (or 2)* buttered 9x13 casserole dish.
  14. Bake, uncovered, for 40 mins to an 1 hour or until it's as dry as you'd like.**
  15. Allow to cool for 10 mins.
  16. Enjoy!
Turkey Gravy
  1. Melt butter in a heavy bottom saucepan
  2. Whisk in the flour
  3. Continue whisking on medium high heat until the roux is a light brown color
  4. Pour in the stock while whisking
  5. Continue whisking until the gravy thickens
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Stir in the onion powder
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  9. Drizzle over the dressing
  10. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. *If the dressing is thicker than 2 inches in your pan, remove some of it, and bake it in another pan. Use 2 pans instead of one to ensure even baking.
  2. **Check the dressing after the first 30 mins of baking. If it is browning too fast and still "jiggly" in the center when the pan is shaken, place it on the top rack of the oven and continue baking.
Coop Can Cook https://coopcancook.com/

Seafood Cornbread Dressing

It’s that time of the year again!!! Thanksgiving is approaching. I’ve read ALL of your emails and I shall deliver the goods! My Cookies want Thanksgiving food and I’m gonna give Thanksgiving food! Starting with the most requested dish….Seafood dressing!

Cookies, DO NOT USE JIFFY CORNBREAD IN MY DRESSING! I have absolutely nothing against Jiffy. In fact, don’t even use my Sweet Cornbread recipe for this. It’s entirely too sweet for dressing. Use the one I provide in this recipe. I also do not use Sage. However, if you want to add it, it’s your pan of dressing, babe. Personalize it to your taste!

I also prefer a drier dressing. I don’t like it mushy. So, if it’s too dry for your taste, add more broth one 1/2 cup at a time until it’s the texture you desire. I’m only using shrimp and crab meat. You may add crawfish, fish, lobster, etc. Again, this is your dressing. So, make it yours!

I know some of you want a traditional dressing as well. And we’ll do that at a later date. However, it’s not much difference from the way I prepare this seafood version. In regular dressing, I season and boil turkey necks until the meat practicing falls off the bone. That’s what I use as the meat in my dressing along with a few ground up chicken livers.No cream of anythings either. Just stock. And I also add a cup or 2 of cooked, white rice. Follow the same method used in seafood dressing minus the seafood. And there ya have it!

Happy Cooking,

B. Coop

Seafood Cornbread Dressing
Serves 8
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Cornbread
  1. 1 cup all purpose flour
  2. 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  3. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  4. 1 cup milk
  5. 1 large egg
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 1 tsp granulated sugar
Dressing
  1. 1 pan Cornbread (crumbled)
  2. 1/2 of a 14 oz bag of classic herb stuffing mix (Pepperidge Farm brand)
  3. 1 lb shrimp (roughly chopped)
  4. 1/2 lb jumbo lump crab meat (if you love me, you won't buy that imitation crab for my recipe)
  5. 1 onion
  6. 1 bell pepper
  7. 2 celery stalks
  8. 1 T minced garlic
  9. 4 T melted butter
  10. 1 10 1/2 oz can Cream of Shrimp
  11. 2 cups chicken broth
  12. 1 T liquid crab boil
  13. 1 T onion powder
  14. 1 T garlic powder
  15. Cajun seasoning & black pepper to taste
Cornbread
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F
  2. Mix all ingredients together well.
  3. Pour into a greased 9 inch pan or cast iron skillet
  4. Bake for 20-25 mins. or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Dressing
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Finely chop onion, bell pepper, green onions, garlic, and celery. Use a food processor if you have one available.
  3. In a pan or skillet, saute veggies in 2 T of butter until tender.
  4. Add in the cream of shrimp and stir until heated
  5. Mix in the crab meat, seasoning, and liquid crab boil
  6. In a large bowl, add the crumbled cornbread, herb stuffing mix, and cream mixture.
  7. Add in remaining melted butter and broth.
  8. Mix well, taste, and adjust seasoning if needed.
  9. Fold in the raw shrimp.
  10. Pour mixture into a buttered 9x13 casserole dish.
  11. Increase oven temp to 375 degrees F
  12. Cover with foil and bake for 30 mins.
  13. Uncover and continue to bake for an additional 5-10 mins or until as brown as desired.
  14. Allow to cool for 10 mins.
  15. Enjoy!
Coop Can Cook https://coopcancook.com/