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Cranberry and Pear Sauce

This ruby red Cranberry Pear Sauce is a great addition to your Thanksgiving table, and is totally make-ahead friendly!

Cranberry Pear Sauce | #Thanksgiving #recipes

Tell me…when it comes to the holidays, are you a plan ahead kind of person or a last minute kind of person? If you’ve already finished your Christmas shopping, strung the lights around the front windows, and decided what wine you’ll pair with your Honey Baked Ham, I’m going to go ahead and answer this one for you. You’re a planner. Could I maybe just sleep on your pillow for a couple nights? Because I need all that proactive energy to osmosisize itself right into my brain.

Cranberry Pear Sauce | #Thanksgiving #recipe

I happen to be of the last minute variety. Sure, I’m a great planner in my head. There, I create festive tablescapes that rival the cover of Real Simple magazine, make all my Christmas gifts from recycled pallets and twine, and have a cinnamon candle lit and soft holiday music playing at all times.

But real life looks more like this:

1) A last minute trip to Kroger to pick up the french fried onions I forgot for the green bean casserole
2) Throwing a couple branches I found in the front yard on the table and calling it “rustic,” and…
3) Greeting guests in my holiday best–sweat pants, an apron, and a hot pad on each hand.

You know your holiday planning has reached an all time low when you don’t even have enough time to shower before your guests arrive.

All of you planners out there, I gotta know. How do you do it?! How do you turn all those great ideas into real life actions? And how do you fit it all in before the doorbell rings?

Cranberry Pear Sauce | #Thanksgiving #recipe

This Cranberry Pear Sauce is a dish for the planners and the fly by the seat of your grease stained sweatpants folks alike. It takes maybe 15 minutes to throw together, only requires 5 ingredients, and happens to make a beautiful jewel-toned centerpiece for your table (ya know, just in case you didn’t have time to create that epic DIY cornucopia you saw on Pinterest.)

But you planners will love this too, because this dish can be made several days ahead of time. It’ll be there in the fridge, tucked neatly away in its crystal serving bowl just waiting to take it’s place next to the origami folded napkins.

Cranberry Pear Sauce | #Thanksgiving #recipe

A little sweet, a little tart, and a lot beautiful, this stuff will be the perfect accent to your Thanksgiving table, whether you have time to light the candles or not.

Cranberry and Pear Sauce

Prep Time 2 minsPrep Time
Cook Time 15 minsCook Time
Total Time 17 mins Total Time
Yields 8


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
  • 2 pears, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and orange zest and juice. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add cranberries and pears, return to a boil, and continue to cook until cranberries pop and pears are softened-about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool then refrigerate until ready to serve. Sauce will thicken as it cools.


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 Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

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  • Ruthy November 21, 2013, 12:27 PM

    “holiday-best sweatpants” made me laugh out loud! Because I’m totally wearing my favorite pair on Thanksgiving Day, and too bad for everyone if I look like a hot mess.
    The color on this sauce is gorgeous!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood November 23, 2013, 10:21 AM

      You go girl! Let’s face it…no one wants to be in their skinny jeans on Thanksgiving. It’s not happening.

  • Nancy November 22, 2013, 12:03 AM

    Omg it’s like you described me in this post, Courtney. I’m the same way. I’m always in awe of all my friends and sister-in-law who spend months planning these fancy, swanky, elaborate parties but there’s no way in hell I’m ever that organized. I can’t wait to meet you someday. We can both wear our “holiday best sweat pants”, drink booze and feel the self-satisfaction of NOT having spent countless hours driving ourselves crazy planning a party.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood November 23, 2013, 10:20 AM

      Nancy— I totally agree with you. I’m actually at my very first blog conference this weekend and I was just thinking I wish you were here! I am all about a boozy, sweat pant meeting someday!

      • Nancy November 28, 2013, 9:11 PM

        I saw some photos of you at the conference floating around in people’s Instagram and Facebook feeds. It looked like so much fun! I hope you had a blast. Isn’t it awesome meeting other bloggers in real life?

  • Betsy Cohen November 22, 2013, 11:33 PM

    I am a planner, but am a fan of those who manage to get things done without spending weeks planning. I don’t know how you do it, but kudos for this as well as a delicious recipe!

  • CrunchyCreamySw November 24, 2013, 6:33 PM

    Oh man, I am on a huge cranberry kick and this looks amazing! I love the addition on pears! Pinned!

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