Cran-Cherry Chutsauce

As you might deduce, this recipe is a cross between a traditional cranberry sauce and a chutney, using a combination of fresh cranberries and dried cherries. My husband voted for chutsauce over sauceney…

Every November I make small batches of at least two different kinds of both cranberry sauce and fruit chutneys, because I love them so much. Sadly, I’m the only one who really enjoys them in my family, so I can’t make large batches. But to me, they’re so much fun to make, fun to experiment with, and just a good festive thing to do in the kitchen – with Christmas carols playing, of course.


This chutney-sauce would be fabulous with turkey or pork or duck, but it would also be a pretty and delicious topping a slab of cream cheese.

The recipe that caught my eye was on right here. I altered it quite a bit.


Cranberry Cherry Chutney Sauce

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 purple onion, finely chopped
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
1/4 cup white sugar
12 ounces clean, sorted cranberries


7 ounces dried, pitted cherries*
3/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
1/4 cup ruby port
1/4 cup water

Place the butter in a medium-sized enamel pot over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the onion and saute them for about 5 minutes, without any extreme browning.


Add the salt, brown sugar, and white sugar. Stir together and cook until the sugar dissolves.

Add the cranberries, cherries, and the Chinese 5-spice powder. Give everything a stir.

Then add the port and water. Let everything cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat. It should take about 15 minutes until all of the cranberries have popped and the liquid is reduced.


Remove from the stove and let cool completely.


To store, place the chutney sauce in clean jars, cover, and refrigerate. Or, alternatively, freeze the chutsauce/sauceney until needed.


* I used dried Rainier cherries, which are extremely large. The original recipe listed 1 cup of dried cherries, but didn’t indicate the size or kind of dried cherries, so I weighed mine instead of measuring out 1 cup. You can adjust according to what kind of dried cherries you use; dried cranberries can be substituted as well.

note: Instead of port or just water, which was in the original recipe, consider using a liqueur, like an orange liqueur, or just orange juice or pomegranate juice. It all works to help plump up the cherries and cook the cranberries. Orange zest could be included in this recipe as well.

By Published On: November 21st, 201438 Comments on Cran-Cherry Chutsauce

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. thesinglegourmetandtraveller November 21, 2014 at 8:10 AM - Reply

    Sounds great for Christmas. I don’t eat chutney often but I do like some kind of cranberry sauce with my turkey :)

    • chef mimi November 21, 2014 at 9:08 AM - Reply

      I love both, but with just the addition of onions, and none of the other aromatics and spices, it’s still more like a cranberry sauce. I think it might be cranberry cherry chutney for chutney haters!!!

  2. DesignsbyJeanneR November 21, 2014 at 8:26 AM - Reply

    Love this combination, & your pics are beautiful!

  3. Angeline M November 21, 2014 at 9:07 AM - Reply

    The idea for putting this over a slab of cream cheese sounds divine!

    • chef mimi November 21, 2014 at 9:11 AM - Reply

      Actually I’ve already done that and it was divine. And we were all too hungry for me to take photos, but it was pretty as well!

  4. Our Growing Paynes November 21, 2014 at 9:19 AM - Reply

    This looks amazing. I usually do a variation on a cranberry sauce and I love your addition of port. Food for thought!

    • chef mimi November 21, 2014 at 9:38 AM - Reply

      Port has so many uses in my kitchen!!!

      • Our Growing Paynes November 21, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        I used to dislike port but I am a huge fan now. And I’m branching out and using it in my cooking. With great result!

  5. Cecile November 21, 2014 at 10:27 AM - Reply

    I, unequivocally LOVE this!! I recently made some whole-berry cranberry sauce with a bit of apple and cinnamon AND I have a whole other bag of cranberries left-over! Concerning your ‘tip’ about using a using a liqueur instead of water. I recently saw a tip about soaking cranberries in cranberry juice. I thought that was an excellent idea, although, knowing me, I’d rather use a delicious liqueur, as you suggested. And just one more thing, I recently tried to develop a recipe for whole-berry cranberry sauce using (purchased) orange juice. I substituted 1/4 cup orange juice for the water and the end result was n.a.s.t.y. I ended up throwing it away – it was just too sour, even after I added more sugar. I bet fresh orange juice would’ve been perfect. I’ll try that next time! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • chef mimi November 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM - Reply

      That’s really sad. It hurts to throw food away, doesn’t it?!!

      • Cecile November 21, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        And it was even a bigger bummer than I didn’t get a post out of it !! ; o )

      • chef mimi November 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        oh, i know what you mean!

  6. Amanda November 21, 2014 at 11:33 AM - Reply

    Perfectly seasonal, Mimi. I love that you use Chinese 5-spice here and port. I can already taste it. Yum.

  7. spiritedcook November 21, 2014 at 12:21 PM - Reply

    Very similar to one I make but I hadn’t thought of adding cherries! Have a happy Thanksgiving!

    • chef mimi November 21, 2014 at 2:29 PM - Reply

      Thanks. Happy Thanksgiving back at you!

      • spiritedcook November 24, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        Just had to let you know that I started blogging again! You definitely inspired me. I retired this past August and now I have the time for this and so many other fun things. Love not having to set the alarm clock….

      • chef mimi November 25, 2014 at 8:02 AM

        Congratulations! funny you mentioned that. My husband is retired and he wakes up to an alarm every morning. Idon’t get it! I would love to sleep in, but with three dogs, I have to get up for them. But no complaints. Retirement is fabulous. Although I don’t know if your husband is retired or not, but there’s no real retirement for women, it seems…

      • spiritedcook November 25, 2014 at 8:11 AM

        My husband is retired too, and did so before me. Of course, when he says “What’s for lunch?” now, I want to ask what he ate while I was still working the past two years….

      • chef mimi November 25, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        uh huh. so crazy.

  8. Choc Chip Uru November 21, 2014 at 1:45 PM - Reply

    This chutsauce hybrid sounds like the perfect side :D
    Great idea!

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. ladyredspecs November 21, 2014 at 2:48 PM - Reply

    This looks beautifully festive Mimi, perfect for the Christmas ham, or maybe a baked brie

  10. Abbe Odenwalder November 21, 2014 at 9:29 PM - Reply

    Love this combo for chutsauce Mimi! Your choice of ingredients are all things I truly enjoy and Manservant tells me that cherries are good for gout. Which means he likes to eat cherries!

    • chef mimi November 22, 2014 at 5:41 PM - Reply

      Yay! Cranberries and cherries are a fab combo!

  11. anotherfoodieblogger November 21, 2014 at 9:46 PM - Reply

    Your background has gone from purple to brown? Is that just me or on purpose? Either way, what a delicious recipe for gift-giving and eating some yourself, of course!

    • chef mimi November 22, 2014 at 7:23 AM - Reply

      Oh yeah. It will be a red background in December. I’m kind of a freak like that.

  12. trucvert November 22, 2014 at 11:57 AM - Reply

    Love, love love this! Though we’re a little cherry obsessed right now ;)

  13. chefceaser November 23, 2014 at 2:40 AM - Reply

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.

  14. DellaCucinaPovera November 23, 2014 at 2:46 AM - Reply

    I really like the idea of adding red onions here! This is one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving/ the holidays <3

  15. eliotthecat November 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM - Reply

    Gotta buy some fresh cranberries before they are all out of our stores. Beautiful recipe, Mimi.

  16. dianeskitchentable December 1, 2014 at 10:45 AM - Reply

    I think it looks great & is a super idea. I usually just buy myself a tiny can of cranberry sauce since no one else seems to like it here. Funny thing is I always had the cranberry sauce without the berries & would put that out for Thanksgiving & Christmas (it’s all what you grew up with right?). So my husband would always pass on it & say that he liked the kind with berries. So one year I finally made the kind with berries & he STILL passed on it. The man was lying all those years & never liked cranberry sauce in any form.

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