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Spiced Pickled Cranberries Recipe

This recipe for Spiced Pickled Cranberries can be water bath canned or made for more immediate serving. Serve it alongside your Turkey for a unique twist on Cranberry Sauce. This is also a great recipe for a novice canner.

Truth…I did not really like cranberries growing up; I know that’s a bold statement this time of the year, but there it is. Cranberries were probably ruined for me by the fluoride-ish cranberry sauce and whole cranberries that come out of the cans in the grocery store.

That being said, I am more than willing to try ‘alternative’ uses for cranberries and push their tart boundaries a bit. For instance, I do love the Cranberry Curd that I used to fill these Chocolate Tarts as well as this Winter Spiced Cranberry Conserve. So, when I was trying to figure out a new way to serve cranberries at our Thanksgiving table this year, I decided to go a different route and the result is pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself!

I leaned on a Pickled Cranberries recipe by canning maven, Marisa McClellan, altering the recipe to have more depth with the balsamic vinegar, as well as a hint of vanilla and cardamom.

How to Serve Pickled Cranberries

I plan to serve these spiced pickled cranberries in a bowl alongside our Thanksgiving Turkey; they are completely different from the sweeter Cranberry Conserve which we will also enjoy at the table. And, after tasting these lovelies and their cranberry balsamic brine, I am already planning to mix some of the brine with some olive oil to toss our salad; I’m thinking greens with some pickled cranberries, sliced apples, toasted pumpkin seeds, and this cranberry balsamic dressing!

close up of pickled cranberries

I can absolutely see draining these pickled cranberries and tucking them in a ‘day after thanksgiving’ turkey sandwich and Marisa recommends using some of the brine mixed sparkling water for a ‘shrub’…that might get made too!

Supplies I Use for Canning Pickled Cranberries:

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While canning isn’t hard, it does require a few pieces of equipment to make the task much easier. These are the tools and equipment I used to make these Pickled Cranberries:

That Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is my bible. Even if I think I could make the recipe in my sleep, I double-check myself against the Ball Book…that whole botulism thing. If you are new to canning, it should be your very first purchase. My cookbook library inventory recently expanded with the addition of The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes!

Pickled Cranberries from overhead.

Spiced Pickled Cranberries Recipe

This perfectly spiced pickled cranberries recipe includes balsamic vinegar for depth, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom for the lovely winter spice.
4.67 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Water Bath CanningTime 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Canning, Preserving, Jam + Jellies
Cuisine American
Servings 5 half-pints
Calories 92 kcal


  • 1 12- ounce bag of fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon sticks broken
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 5 cardamom pods


  • If you will be water bath canning these pickled cranberries, then prepare canner, jars, and lids. See The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance.
  • Thoroughly wash and pick through your cranberries
  • Combine both kinds of vinegar and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes to dissolve the sugar
  • If water bath canning, remove jars from boiling water and distribute cranberries among the 5 jars. If you will not be canning these for long-term use, you can put the cranberries in a glass bowl that has a lid.
  • Cut the vanilla bean into 5 equal pieces and place one in each jar, or the single glass bowl. Divide the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick pieces, allspice berries, cloves, and vanilla bean and add to the jars.
  • Remove the vinegar mixture from the stove and distribute the brine among the 5 jars or pour into your single glass bowl.
  • If canning, leave 1/2" headspace. If you need a wee bit more liquid to get to the 1/2", add white vinegar to make up the difference.
  • If you will not be canning the pickled cranberries, then let the cranberries cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. They will be ready to eat in 3 days.
  • If you will be canning the cranberries, wipe your rims with white vinegar, apply the lids and rims place in the canner, making sure the jars are completely covered with water by 2". Add additional boiling water as needed to raise the water level.
  • Cover the canner and bring water to a gentle boil. Process for 10 minutes, adjusting time as necessary for elevation. (see notes)
  • Remove jars and place upright on a rack to allow to cool completely for 24 hours.
  • Refrigerate any jars that did not seal



This recipe assumes some knowledge of proper and safe canning techniques. Please see the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance.


Serving: 2ouncesCalories: 92kcalCarbohydrates: 22gSodium: 6mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19g
Keyword cranberries, pickled, recipe, spiced
Well, what did you think?Please rate this recipe here! It helps other readers and also helps to support our site.
So, what do you think? Will you give these Pickled Cranberries a whirl? I know that they are not the ‘traditional’ cranberries of past, but the depth of flavor of these cranberries is really delightful.

pin for pickled cranberries

If you want to refer back to this Pickled Cranberries recipe in the future, bookmark this page or pin the following image.

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  1. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ll admit to liking the store purchased cranberry sauce of my childhood but once I had homemade cranberry sauce I fell in love. My husband loves all things “pickled” so we will add this one to our traditions.

    1. Hi Carla! I am afraid that the cranberries would get soggy if frozen. Since they are pickled, they will hold in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks if you choose to not can them.

      Have a great day my friend.



4.67 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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