Give Canned Cranberry Sauce A Much Needed Kick With Chili Flakes

For decades now, the classic American Thanksgiving feast has been dominated by salty turkey, gravies, starchy potatoes, and butter. Canned cranberry sauce is often the only dish on the table that offers some tartness and much-needed acidity to cut these rich, savory flavors. Don't get us wrong, we love classic Thanksgiving dinner, but do you ever walk away from the table stuffed to the gills and feel that the meal was missing just a little something? That the canned cranberry sauce could be doing more than just adding a little vibrant color and tangy flavor? Luckily, all you need to take it to the next level is to add a little spice with some dried chili pepper flakes. 

Some canned cranberry sauces are great at delivering a comforting, consistent cranberry taste but lack flavor complexity. If you've ever had hot honey or jalapeño infused preserves, you know that spicy and sweet is a delicious combination. Chili flakes are an easy way to give canned cranberry sauce a little edge that will taste great at the Thanksgiving table — and year-round. 

A little heat goes a long way

Dried chili flakes are perfect for jazzing up cranberry sauce because you probably already have a jar in the pantry. It's easy to control how much spice you add, and many brands offer a balanced spiced blend with flakes from many pepper types. 

Canned cranberry sauce with chili flakes tastes great with turkey, potatoes, buttered rolls, and all the other Thanksgiving favorites, but there's no reason to limit your enjoyment of it to once a year. You can also pair it with a wheel of baked brie and serve it with a crusty baguette for an easy and delicious appetizer, or try putting a little in stuffed, roasted jalapeño along with some cream cheese for a spicy, sweet, and delightfully creamy snack. 

There are a few things to remember when adding dried chili flakes to cranberry sauce. For one, chili flakes lose flavor and potency over time, so if you've had chili flakes in the cupboard for a while, you may need to increase the amount or buy a fresh jar. Additionally, they will rehydrate after being mixed into the sauce, which can increase the spice factor. So, if you plan to make the sauce in advance, bear in mind that it may get hotter if left to marinade for a few days. If you want to control the flavors in the chili flake mix, you can buy gourmet blends from some brands like Flatiron Pepper Co