Cranberry Sauce with Japones Chile | Salsa de Arándano con Chile Japonés


Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner and I’d like to share a couple of recipes that will spice up your holiday menu! I call them, “cranberry sauces with a twist”. This week’s recipe calls for fresh cranberries and dried chiles japones, which happen to be one of my favorite chiles. Your palate is sure to unmask the subtle hints of smokiness and heat complemented by the fresh sweetness of the seasonal cranberry. Guests are sure to want a second helping as well as the recipe, so feel free to pass it along! As always, check in next week for part two of “cranberry sauces with a twist” where I will be featuring the ever so versatile, guajillo chile.

1 ½ cup water
1 cup sugar
4 cups fresh cranberries
10-15 dry japones chile peppers
½ lemon juiced
¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow sugar to dissolve.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add cranberries, dry chiles, lemon juice, and salt.
  3. Continue to cook until cranberries are soft and most of the water is absorbed (approximately 30 to 45 minutes). Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Once soft, remove from heat and cool.
  4. Once cool, add mixture to blender and blend until smooth on medium-high setting.
  5. Pour mixture back into pot and simmer over low-medium heat for 30 minutes or until slightly reduced and darker in color.
  6. Pour into mason jars and allow to cool in refrigerator overnight before serving.

Note: Dry japones chile peppers can be found in the Hispanic section of most supermarkets. They may also be substituted with dry chile de árbol. I used 10 chiles for this recipe and the spiciness was very subtle once the sauce cooled. 




Lola Wiarco Dweck

Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Very bold and flavorful! I used 15 chili’s and it definitely had a kick; which I liked. Some might find it too spicy and may want to use less. Now I need some turkey!

  2. At first, I thought mine was a little too spicy and I used only 10 chiles, but once it was refrigerated overnight the spice level decreased significantly. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and look out for next week’s cranberry sauce recipe made with guajillo chile!

    1. You’re right, it did seem to tone down on the chili side. The first batch didn’t survive, so I’m making a double batch for Thanksgiving. Love the website!

  3. I can’t wait to try it … and am planning on using it with cream cheese and crackers. THANK YOU for the recipe.

  4. Lola, I am making your sauce and want to confirm you blend with the peppers. Or do I take them out?! I love spicy, but will my guests? That seems like a lot of heat!

    1. Hola Flaqueta! I do blend the chiles. I typically use 10, and initially it tastes HOT, but once the sauce cools it cuts the heat in half. Then when you serve it on your turkey the heat is barely detectable so leave in those chiles when blending.;)