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Cranberry Walnut Compote

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1 (12-ounce) package fresh or frozen whole cranberries, divided
2 oranges, peeled and chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
2/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Cranberry Walnut Compote

Beautiful Cranberry Walnut Compote is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table.

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

About This Recipe

For Thanksgiving, one of the recipes that has to be on the table is some type of cranberry sauce. And while I love that jellied cranberry sauce that comes out of a can with a “plooosh” noise, something homemade can be even better. This recipe for Cranberry Walnut Compote is a case in point.

I developed this recipe because my mom asked me to. She loves cranberries, and wanted something that was a bit more interesting than the traditional canned variety of cranberry sauce. I added pineapple, agave nectar, apples, oranges, and chopped walnuts so it’s fresh and delicious. I could eat this with a spoon – and often do!

Isn’t this  beautiful recipe? I mean, let’s face it, the traditional Thanksgiving menu includes recipes that are basically all brown and beige. As delicious as turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy are, you need something colorful on the plate to brighten it up. This compote recipe is perfect.

Make it ahead of time and store it covered in the fridge. Maybe label it “codfish balls” so people don’t keep sneaking tastes!

How to make the best Cranberry Walnut Compote

  • Make sure that the apples and oranges are chopped fine. They add flavor to the recipe and the apples help it thicken (pectin), but the cranberries are the star of this recipe and should stand out.
  • If you don’t want to use agave nectar, add 1/2 cup of granulated or brown sugar plus 2 tablespoons of honey.
  • Stir the mixture frequently as it cooks so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. The sugar level in this recipe is pretty high, and sugar burns easily.

Why this recipe works

  • The cranberries and apple contain pectin that thicken this compote naturally. Don’t skimp on the amount.
  • The combination of tart cranberries with sweet pineapple and oranges and the tart apple is the best flavor.
  • The walnuts add crunch, and the dried cranberries add another layer of texture.




In a large saucepan, combine half of the whole cranberries with oranges, apple, pineapple, agave, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat.


Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, making sure you scrape the bottom of the pan, until the cranberries pop.


Stir in the reserved whole cranberries and the dried cranberries and simmer for another five minutes. The cranberries should be soft but still whole. Stir in the walnuts and remove from the heat.


Let the compote cool at room temperature for 20 minutes, then decant into another container, cover, and refrigerate until serving time.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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