Cranberry Smoothie – A Couple Cooks


This cranberry smoothie recipe is tart and creamy! It’s simple to blend up and bursts with bold berry flavor.

Cranberry Smoothie

Got cranberries? Here’s a great way to use them: a Cranberry Smoothie! This recipe was inspired by the leftover cranberries and is a fantastic way to use them, whether they’re fresh or frozen. This bright crimson puree is frosty and tangy, with bold berry flavor. Sweeten it to your own taste with maple syrup or honey, so it can be anything from tart to mildly sweet to brightly sweet tart. Here’s how to make it!

Ingredients in a cranberry smoothie

This cranberry smoothie is beautifully bold and tart, featuring the flavors of cranberry, orange and vanilla. You can adjust the sweetness to taste, so it works as a very tart or mildly sweet drink. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Frozen cranberries (or fresh): Frozen berries are key for the texture in this smoothie. If all you have fresh cranberries, pop them in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
  • Banana: Make sure the banana is ripe to capitalize on it as a natural sweetener. You can use a room temperature banana since the berries are frozen, though frozen bananas work too.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt adds protein, making this smoothie have more staying power. You can use Greek, plain or vanilla yogurt. Or, leave it out and add slightly more liquid.
  • Orange juice (or milk or cranberry juice): Orange juice has a nice contrast to the berries. If you use sweetened cranberry juice, adjust with more maple syrup or honey to taste.
  • Vanilla extract: It’s optional, but it add a nice balance to the flavors.
  • Honey or maple syrup: Add just as much sweetener as you need to balance out the tart berries.
  • Ice cubes

Then, it’s just a matter of blending it up! Add a little more liquid if it’s not able to whiz together into a frosty puree. Here’s our favorite blender that makes the best creamy, frosty smoothies.

Cranberry Smoothie

Customizing the sweeteness

Sweetness is needed to balance the tart berries in this cranberry smoothie, but the amount is up to you! The quantity in the recipe below is optimized for Greek yogurt and orange juice, and has a tart flavor. Add more sweetness to taste, or balance with vanilla yogurt or cranberry juice for a sweeter drink.

On using cranberry juice

We like the zippy flavor of orange juice in this cranberry smoothie, but you can also use cranberry juice! Keep in mind that cranberry juice comes in bottles that are both sweetened and unsweetened. Here are a few tips on using it:

  • If using 100% natural cranberry juice, it has a very tart flavor. Add the honey or maple syrup quantity specified in the recipe below.
  • If using sweetened juice, it tastes very sweet. Omit honey or maple syrup at first, then add more to taste as desired.
  • Need more ways to use cranberry juice? Try our Best Cranberry Cocktail Recipes.

Add orange zest for a flair

Want to add even more nuance in flavor? Add a hint of orange zest! If you have a fresh orange on hand, it adds a nice bold citrus flavor. Use just a few grates of zest (about ⅛ teaspoon if you like to measure). Then add more to taste!

Cranberry Smoothie

Variations on this cranberry smoothie

There are many ways to make a cranberry smoothie, and the great thing about smoothie recipes is that they are basic templates. You can add or wrap in ingredients according to a basic template. Here are a few ideas:

  • Make a vegan smoothie! Substitute half the quantity of juice or non-dairy milk in place of the yogurt, then add more liquid to blend as desired.
  • Add more yogurt. Double the Greek yogurt quantity to add more protein (and add more liquid as necessary).
  • Add protein powder. A scoop of vanilla protein powder adds loads of protein and a bit of sweetness.

More smoothie recipes

Want to blend up tasty purees all colors of the rainbow? Pick from one of these tasty smoothie recipes:

Want more with recipes with cranberries? Try 20 Tasty Cranberry Recipes, or this Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Salsa or Cranberry Bread.

This cranberry smoothie recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, see the modifications above.


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This cranberry smoothie recipe is tart and creamy! It’s simple to blend up and bursts with bold berry flavor.

  • 1 ½ cups frozen cranberries
  • 1 ripe banana (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup yogurt (Greek, plain or vanilla)
  • ½ cup orange juice** or milk (or sweetened cranberry juice and use sweetener to taste*)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
  • 12 ice cubes

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender, breaking the banana into pieces. Blend until creamy and frothy, stopping and scraping down the sides as necessary and adding a splash more juice if necessary.
  2. Taste and adjust sweetness as desired. Serve immediately or store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for 2 days.


*Cranberry juice comes sweetened and unsweetened. If using 100% natural cranberry juice, add the honey or maple syrup. If using sweetened juice, add the honey or maple syrup to taste.

**Want to add more of a bold orange flavor? Add a hint of orange zest (a little goes a long way).

  • Category: Smoothie
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Cranberry smoothie, cranberry smoothie recipe


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