Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Day 5: Cranberry Confit

Nice-11 27This recipe, which comes via my mother, is my favorite of all the variations on cranberry sauce that I’ve tried. Despite the addition of golden and dark raisins and brown sugar, the garlic, pearl onions and vinegar push it over into savory territory, like a chutney. It’s better the day after making it, and it makes a wonderful sandwich spread with leftover turkey or even just cheese and lettuce. Peeling the onions is definitely the most time-consuming part, but the confit seems to gain in flavor the longer it simmers.


  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 2/3 cup dark raisins
  • 2 pounds small or pearl onions, ends trimmed off and peeled, but not chopped (or chop into large chunks if using small onions)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or substitute Brummel and Brown, a yogurt-based butter substitute)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries


Soak the raisins in piping hot water to cover for at least 10 minutes, until tender. Over medium heat, sautee the onions in the oil and butter until translucent. Add brown sugar and stir to mix thoroughly. Add red wine vinegar, raise heat and bring mixture to a boil. Add vermouth and boil for 2 minutes. Add the raisins, garlic, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat to a simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes. Add cranberries and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until cranberries have broken down and confit has thickened. Remove from heat and serve slightly cool or at room temperature.


Nutritional Information (Makes 12 servings)                                                                      
Per serving: 194.8 calories; 1.8g total fat; 13mg sodium; 41.3g carbohydrates; 3.1g fiber; 2g protein         


How will you be preparing cranberries this Thanksgiving?


Photo credit: Mark H. Anibinder


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