Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe
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Homemade Cranberry Sauce is a sweet, tart and colorful addition to any holiday meal. And when it comes to preparing the traditional holiday meal, Homemade Cranberry Sauce has got to be the easiest, if not most colorful, dish to prepare. It only requires five ingredients and comes together in no time.
This homemade Cranberry Sauce recipe only requires five ingredients (and one of them is water) to make this perky festive dish to perfectly complement your holiday turkey, rib roast or ham. But I have to say, even though it is traditionally meant to be one of turkey’s favorite partners (along with gravy) this Cranberry Sauce is an excellent addition to ice cream, pound cake, or drizzled over pancakes. Talk about the perfect use for all of those Thanksgiving leftovers!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Like I said, this homemade Cranberry Sauce is incredibly easy to make. It is also a bit of fun as you hear the cranberries pop, pop, pop! I remember the first time I made this sauce from scratch and wondered what the sound was as I was washing dishes nearby. I kept returning to the stove to figure out if something was wrong with my stove or pan, until it finally dawned on me that it was the cranberries heating up. So be sure to have the kids (safely) close by so they can hear the cranberries talk!
What to Serve With Cranberry Sauce
With it’s sweet and tart flavors, Cranberry Sauce is a lovely compliment to a savory meal. Our family enjoys it during the holiday season especially with beef and poultry. For a Thanksgiving celebration this delicious sauce pairs well with my Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey. Sweet Potato Casserole, Cheese Broccoli Casserole, Southern Green Beans and Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing round out the menu for a meal our family looks forward to each year.
How to Make Cranberry Sauce
As I mentioned before, Cranberry Sauce is super easy to make and can easily be made ahead of serving time by up to a week, then kept refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to serve. It sure does make holiday meals easy when any dish can be prepared ahead of time to cut down on preparation the day of the big gathering. Cranberry Sauce may be enjoy chilled, at room temperature or rewarmed before serving.
Ingredients for Cranberry Sauce
- granulated sugar
- orange juice
- fresh cranberries (frozen may be substituted)
- ground cinnamon
Instructions for Cranberry Sauce
- To make this colorful sauce, bring sugar, water, and orange juice to a boil in a saucepan. Add the cranberries and a bit of cinnamon, then bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken up nicely as it cooks and even more once it cools. If a smoother consistency is desired, use a potato masher or a heavy flat-bottomed glass to mash the cranberries even more.
- Allow the sauce to cool completely before serving or refrigerating. Once cooled, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cranberry Sauce can be made up to 7 days ahead of time and kept refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to enjoy.
See how easy it is? It’s so easy I don’t know why we don’t make Cranberry Sauce all year long! As I mentioned before, try this sauce over ice cream, pound cake or pancakes, or as a bright addition to a sandwich.
More delicious sauce recipes to try:
Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce
This colorful traditional holiday side dish is quick to make with only a few simple ingredients.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 12-ounces fresh cranberries (frozen may be substituted)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Bring sugar, water and orange juice to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Add cranberries and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally for about 10-15 minutes, until sauce thickens.*
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes about 2 1/4 cups.
This homemade Cranberry Sauce can be made up to 7 days ahead of time and kept refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to serve.
*If a smoother consistency is desired, use a potato masher or a heavy flat-bottomed glass to mash the sauce to preference.
Originally published November 18, 2014.
I noticed the sauce doesn’t thicken after 15 minutes, but that just means it’s not done cooking yet, it will eventually start to thicken just keep cooking it until it does.
Does it still work with bottled orange juice? Does it HAVE to be fresh? If so, can you please explain why?
The orange juice is a great addition here! Your photos are absolutely amazing.
Great easy recipe! I went a step further and cut the amount of sugar by half. I added half 16 oz jar of orange marmala to boost the orange flavor a bit more. Delicious!
This is almost exactly how I make it, however I add orange peel (or tangerine, whatever is laying around). It adds so much flavor. Depending on how sweet the orange juice is I reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup. I live in California and only do fresh squeezed juice and the sweetness varies considerably. I also use a potato masher to thoroughly mash things up.
This is almost exactly how I make it. However, I add grated orange peel (or tangerine, whatever is laying around). Depending on the sweetness of the juice I also reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup. I live in California and only use fresh squeezed juice and the sweetness varies considerably by the type of orange and the season. I also use a potato masher to thoroughly mash things up.
Delicious and simple recipe. I love these types of recipes
I add a little oragne ZEST as well
I’m the only one at the Thanksgiving table who likes cranberry sauce, but I’ve made this the last 3 or 4 years for myself to have at dinner. So yummy every time!
I wanted to try making this so I could know the difference between homemade and canned sauce. I was a bit skeptical at first when dumping in the fresh cranberries (not knowing how they would cook), but the result is spectacularly delicious. Thanks for this!
I have made this several times and my family loves it. The cinnamon really adds a nice kick. I have also zested orange into it also. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
Can I substitute Splenda for the sugar?
I have not tested using sugar substitutes so I’m not sure how it would turn out, especially it thickening up.
I add dried cherries to mine and zest along with orange juice.
I just made this today so it’s ready for Thanksgiving. Never made it before and I’m so glad I picked your recipe. It is excellent! Thank you!
So much better than canned. You can adjust the flavors to your liking! Thanks!
Absolutely delicious. My most fav Thanksgiving dish. Love this recipe. Just perfect. I cut the cinnamon in half. Just my preference. Don’t look any further. Make this one for the rest of forever. Lol. Thank you for this.
Good recipe. I add dried cherries to mine. Adds a nice sweetness to counteract the tart cranberries.
Can you freeze any leftovers!
Yes. Freeze cooled cranberry sauce in an airtight freezer container or zip-top plastic bag for up to three months.