Homemade cranberry sauce adds fresh fall flavor to 3 dishes – TODAY

Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy the wonderful flavor of sweet, tart cranberry sauce! This sensational side is great with so much more than just turkey. Lifestyle expert Evette Rios is making an easy, orange-infused cranberry sauce and uses it to create three delicious recipes. She shows us how to make cranberry sauce with orange zest, walnut “meatballs” with cranberries over pasta, ricotta pancakes with cranberry sauce and pumpkin empanadas with an apple and cranberry filling.

Orange and Walnut Cranberry Sauce

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

I love this recipe because it is so simple, zesty and hearty. Once I make it, I keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and use it again and again to layer flavors onto all sorts of dishes. It is a great base to have, especially around the holidays.

Walnut and Cranberry 'Meatballs' with Mushroom and Sage Pasta

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

These “meatballs” are super fun to make and are a great dish to get the kids helping out in the kitchen. Also, the touch of sweetness from the cranberry sauce rounds out any dish you serve them with.

Ricotta Pancakes with Cranberry Sauce

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

These pancakes are moist, creamy and totally delicious. The cranberry sauce adds such a nice complement to the creaminess of the ricotta.

Empanadas are such a fun way to enjoy the flavor of pumpkin spice, seasonal apples and tart cranberries. I love them warmed up for breakfast but they are also delicious served with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.

If you like those make-ahead recipes, you should also try these:

Roasted Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Broccolini

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Turkey Wild Rice Hotdish

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

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