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Cranberry Horseradish Sauce

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The holidays would not be the same without Cranberry Horseradish Sauce, aka Bobbie’s Berries! These easy-to-follow instructions will show you how to make my grandmother’s signature dish, homemade cranberry sauce with a spicy kick!

I LOVE preparing and eating Thanksgiving dinner. It is truly my favorite meal of the year, and this cranberry horseradish sauce MUST be a part of it. This cranberry sauce is known as “Bobbie’s Berries” in my family because it’s my grandmother Bobbie’s signature recipe.

I know what you’re thinking -horseradish in cranberry sauce? It may sound bizarre, but this is by far my most requested Thanksgiving recipe. It is slightly spicy, slightly sweet, and compliments turkey perfectly.

Did I mention how easy making cranberry sauce from scratch is? You will never reach for a can of cranberry sauce again! To make Bobbie’s berries, you will need only 5-ingredients and 10 minutes of your time. Your fridge will do the rest of the work.

ingredients for bobbie's berries

Bobbie’s Berries Ingredients //

  • Fresh Cranberries: These tart berries are perfect for holiday recipes. When they’re perfectly ripe, you should be able to give them a gentle squeeze without bursting. Mushy cranberries are too ripe.
  • Plain Gelatin Packets: This cranberry sauce is thick and jiggly. Gelatin helps achieve that.
  • Water: You’ll need water to boil the cranberries and to dissolve the gelatin.
  • Sugar: Fresh cranberries are pretty sour and NEED sugar. This sauce has the perfect balance of sweet AND spicy.
  • Horseradish: kicks this cranberry sauce up SEVERAL notches. You want to be using raw horseradish or prepared horseradish here. Horseradish “sauce” has a bunch of added ingredients we don’t want.

How to Make // The Steps

cranberries for bobbie's berries in a pot

Step 1: Wash cranberries and prepare the mold.

Place your cranberries in a colander and rinse well. Pick over them if you need to. Also, line a bowl or gelatin mold with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Step 2: Boil cranberries.

Put the cranberries in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and cook until the cranberries soften and burst.

Step 3: Dissolve gelatin.

While the cranberries boil, add the packets of gelatin to 1/2 cup of water. Gently stir until the gelatin dissolves.

Step 4: Process ingredients.

Transfer the boiled cranberries to a food processor or food mill along with the sugar and dissolved gelatin. Process until smooth. Add the horseradish, give it a quick pulse and then taste. Not spicy enough? Add a little bit of horseradish at a time until it’s perfect.

Step 5: Let sauce set.

Transfer the jellied sauce to the plastic-lined bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least overnight but no longer than 2 to 3 days.

Step 6: Unmold and serve.

When your cranberry sauce is firm and has some jiggle, you can turn it out onto a serving dish -and that’s it. Enjoy!

plastic wrap lined bowl for bobbie's berries

Tips & Tricks //

  • Frozen cranberries also work in this recipe. There’s no need to thaw them first. Boil them frozen just as you would fresh until they soften and pop.
  • If you happen to get your hands on fresh horseradish, be sure to grate it finely. It’s potent, so start with a little and taste before you add any more.
  • This recipe makes a perfectly delicious traditional cranberry sauce without the horseradish. That said, you can leave the horseradish out. For gatherings, I set aside half of the cranberry sauce without any horseradish.
  • A little bit of horseradish goes a long way. Start with a tablespoon and add just a bit at a time until it’s just right. Please don’t make my mistake. A few years ago, I plopped a few spoonfuls in without tasting it. There were a lot of watering eyes and runny noses that Thanksgiving.
cranberries in a mixer for bobbie's berries

Why is Cranberry Horseradish Sauce So Good? //

  • Making cranberry sauce from scratch tastes SO much better than canned.
  • It’s quick, easy and has only 5-ingredients.
  • You can make it as mild or as spicy as you want.
  • Adding horseradish sauce to cranberry sauce is a great way to switch things up.
ingredients for bobbie's berries in a mixer

Variations //

Bobbie’s cranberry sauce is perfect just the way it is, but there’s certainly room to customize it and transform it into your signature holiday dish:

  • Berries – Try making cranberry sauce with a blend of fresh raspberries, cherries and cranberries.
  • Citrus – Add fresh orange or lemon zest into the sauce.
  • Spices – Season the cranberries with warming spices while they’re cooking (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, etc.).
bobbie's berries in a plastic wrapped bowl

How to Store //

Storing: Jellied cranberry sauce can be made up to a few days in advance and kept in the mold until you’re ready to serve. Leftovers should be refrigerated in a shallow airtight container for up to 10 days.

Make-Ahead and Freezer Options //

Freezing is not recommended

FAQ //

What kind of horseradish should I use in cranberry sauce?

Freshly grated raw horseradish is best here, but that’s not always easy to find, so a jar of “prepared horseradish” is just fine. “Horseradish sauce” won’t work as it has added ingredients that will change the taste and texture.

Do you serve cranberry sauce hot or cold?

Cranberry horseradish sauce is best served cold or at room temperature.

cranberry sauce on a plate with spoon on side

More Sauces & Chutneys Recipes //

Blueberry Thyme Lemon Chutney

Blueberry Sauce

Roasted Summer Berries

Orange Marmalade

close up of jellies horseradish cranberry sauce

Cranberry Horseradish Sauce

Yield: serves 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 25 minutes

The holidays would not be the same without Cranberry Horseradish Sauce, aka Bobbie's Berries! These easy-to-follow instructions will show you how to make my grandmother's signature dish, homemade cranberry sauce with a spicy kick!


  • 2 1/2 packets plain gelatin
  • 1 bag (1 quart) fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons horseradish or more to taste


  1. Wash and pick over the cranberries. Put the cranberries in a saucepan with the water and boil over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. The cranberries will soften and begin to pop.
  2. Dissolve the gelatin in a 1/2 cup of water. Line a bowl with plastic wrap.
  3. Put the boiled cranberries in the food processor or a food mill.
  4. Add the sugar and the dissolved gelatin to the bowl and process until smooth.
  5. Add the horseradish. Pulse it and then give it a taste. Add more horseradish if you want a spicier cranberry sauce.
  6. Pour the cranberry sauce into the prepared bowl. Cover the top with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight or for a few days.
  7. Unmold and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 1gSugar: 51gProtein: 2g

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Alice W

Thursday 22nd of September 2016

Just curious about the gelatin in this re pie. Is it necessary if you are not planning to mold it? And if I choose not to use it, does the total amount of water remain the same or does it get decreased at all?


Sunday 25th of September 2016

It's a homemade cranberry jelly, so the gelatin is necessary. I've never not molded it, so I can't answer your question.


Monday 7th of November 2011

I wanted to make this so badly last year, but I could NOT find plain horseradish for the life of me! I found some randomly in a store this summer, so I snagged it up in anticipation. I am so excited to make this this year!


Monday 7th of November 2011

It is usually in the dairy section. It is my favorite...


Tuesday 30th of November 2010

I made this for our family Thanksgiving, and it was certainly a hit! My sister recently pointed out that the big ugly weed in our backyard is actually horseradish, so I dug some up and made homemade horseradish to go in. SOOOO good! Thank you.


Wednesday 1st of December 2010

How lucky are you to have fresh horseradish outside your door!

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