Cranberries simmering with sugar and water.

Snack Ambassador: Mango Guava Cranberry Sauce

If you’ve been following my adventures in leisure for a while, you’re probably no stranger to Snack Ambassador. For those who haven’t, Snack Ambassador is a segment where I cook with friends from different backgrounds in an effort to learn about and connect with different cuisines and cultures! My first Snack Ambassador post was all the way back in July, and due to scheduling difficulties, it’s taken until now to bring you the second. But hey, better late than never! In this post, I’ve teamed up with my friend Vanessa and her lovely mom, Caridad, to make their take on a Thanksgiving staple: cranberry sauce.

Before I move forward, I’ll let Vanessa introduce herself:

Hey! I’m Vanessa. I’m a first generation Cuban-Peruvian American, born and raised in Southern California. I grew up learning to cook from my grandma, and I also attended Le Cordon Bleu. Currently, I’m a freelance make-up artist working in Los Angeles. I’m also newly married and a proud mother of four pets (Archimedes, Figaro, Alice and Barry), and fan of the Dodgers, Lakers and Flyers. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Caridad, Vanessa and Kirby

Now, according to Vanessa, she’d always hated cranberry sauce before she and her mom came up with this recipe. And I can’t blame her – for a lot of us, cranberry sauce is an afterthought. A gelatinous thing that plops out of a can and somehow holds its shape. But as I learned from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (both the book and the Netflix series), cranberry sauce actually serves an important role at the Thanksgiving table. It’s a vessel for acid in what can easily become a very bland and fatty spread of food. It adds tang, and brightens up even the most boring of dishes (I’m looking at you, turkey).

This particular recipe was a bit of a happy accident. While watching a baking show, Vanessa and her mom heard a contestant mention incorporating mango, guava and cranberry into a dish. The flavor combination piqued their interest, and they waited to see how it would turn out. But that moment never came. The dish was omitted. So they decided to take matters into their own hands. Vanessa’s family tends to give their holiday meals a Latin flair with dishes like black beans and turkey marinated in mojo, so a cranberry sauce with mango and guava just made sense. Unsurprisingly, this tasty side dish was a huge success. It’s even earned a place in their annual Thanksgiving lineup!

I know you’re excited, so let’s jump into the recipe.

Mango Guava Cranberry SauceMango Guava Cranberry SauceMango Guava Cranberry SauceMango Guava Cranberry SauceMango Guava Cranberry Sauce

Mango Guava Cranberry Sauce


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12 oz bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 14 oz package frozen mango pulp
  • 14 oz package frozen guava pulp



  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Add cranberries and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently for about 10 minutes, until most of cranberries have burst open. Add the mango and guava pulp and stir until pulp is no longer frozen.
  2. Transfer sauce to a serving bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

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