Smoky Jalapeño and Lime Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberry sauce with jalapeños, brightly acidic lime, and smoky mezcal. Joshua Bousel

The smoky flavor of a grill-roasted or barbecued turkey needs a sauce that can stand up to extra flavor. This spicy jalapeño-cranberry sauce, with a hint of lime and a splash of smoky mezcal, is the condiment for the job.

Why this recipe works:

  • The natural pectin in the cranberries creates a jelly-like consistency while cooking the chilies to a jammy texture.
  • Deseeding the jalapeños makes for a more fruity, less spicy sauce.
  • A splash of mezcal at the end adds a mellow smokiness.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Serves: 8 servings

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  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh juice plus 1/2 teaspoon zest from 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped seeded fresh jalapeño (about 2 medium chiles)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons mezcal


  1. Combine cranberries, sugar, water, lime juice, lime zest, jalapeños, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until berries start to pop, about 5 minutes. Press berries against side of pan with wooden spoon and continue to cook until berries have broken down and sauce thickens to a jam-like consistency, about 5 minutes more.

  2. Remove from heat, stir in mezcal, and let cool for 30 minutes. Adjust consistency with water as needed. Serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Can be served cold or reheated.

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