Easy Cranberry Sauce

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Cranberry Sauce is the perfect compliment to every turkey dinner. Nothing is more satisfying than flavor of a sweet and tart homemade cranberry sauce. You don’t have to wait until the holidays to prepare and serve this super easy side!

Traditionally, cranberry sauce goes with the Thanksgiving turkey, but even chicken, goose, and Cornish game hens taste divine with this cranberry sauce recipe! Adding a splash of orange juice not only adds extra flavor and this looks beautiful on a Thanksgiving dinner plate!

A bowl of fresh cranberry sauce topped with rosemary and a silver spoon.

Cranberry Sauce

Once you make your own cranberry sauce, I almost guarantee you’ll never buy canned cranberry sauce again (unless you’re using it to make cocktail meatballs).

It’s insanely easy to make and the bright burst of flavor from the cranberries is tempered by a simple sauce made from orange juice (or water if you prefer) and sugar. Leave a few berries whole or puree the entire sauce…but either way, homemade is best!

A white bowl of cranberry orange sauce with fresh rosemary.

How to Make Cranberry Sauce

The trick to the best ever cranberry sauce is replacing the water called for in most recipes with orange juice. The amazing flavor the citrus adds takes this to the next level!

You can use fresh or frozen cranberries in this recipe, just ensure they’re rinsed well and any debris is removed (like stems). If using frozen, there’s no need to defrost first.

Add your cranberries whole and simmer slowly for about 10 minutes. Remember that the sauce thickens as it cools.

A pot full of ingredients for fresh cranberry sauce with orange juice.

Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

Absolutely! In fact, stock up on cranberries when they show up at your local supermarket because they have multiple uses all year round from Sour Cream Cranberry Bars to Cranberry Trifle or even toss them into smoothies.

When selecting cranberries, buy 1 or 2 pound packages that have full, unbroken berries that are bright pink or red in color. Fresh cranberries will last up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator and they can be frozen up to a year as long as they are sealed in an airtight bag.

A saucepan full of homemade cranberry sauce and a cinnamon stick.

I love to experiment with flavor depth by adding a tiny pinch of nutmeg, cinnamon, or allspice to bring out the flavors even more! Replace a tablespoon or so of the o.j. with something boozy, a splash of Grand Marnier, a dash of rum or a bit of brandy.

What to do with leftover cranberry sauce: Leftover cranberry sauce is perfect to top ice cream, cheesecake or sponge cake. It’s great on turkey sandwiches or layer it into Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal or on top of french toast.  The possibilities are endless!

More Turkey Dinner Sides You’ll Love

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Servings: 8 servings
Cranberry Sauce
Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
 
Author: Holly
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry sauce

Nothing says ‘holidays’ more than the tangy flavor of a full-bodied homemade cranberry sauce.

Ingredients
  • 12 oz cranberries about 3 cups
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water or orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-12 minutes uncovered.

  3. Cool and serve.
Recipe Notes

Sauce will thicken upon cooling.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 131, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 98mg, Carbohydrates: 33g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 1.8%, Vitamin C: 25.6%, Calcium: 1.1%, Iron: 1.1%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

REPIN this Delicious Side Dish

Cranberry Sauce in a white serving bowl

Nothing says ‘holidays’ more than the tangy flavor of a full-bodied homemade cranberry sauce. #spendwithpennies #cranberrysauce #withcranberries #holidays #holidaysidedish #sidedish #festivesidedish #cranberries
10 Minute Homemade Citrus Cranberry Sauce! If you've never made homemade cranberry sauce, you MUST try it. It's so easy and tastes about 1000x better than canned!
Nothing says ‘holidays’ more than the tangy flavor of a full-bodied homemade cranberry sauce. #spendwithpennies #cranberrysauce #withcranberries #holidays #holidaysidedish #sidedish #festivesidedish #cranberries

Holly

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

8 comments on “Easy Cranberry Sauce”

  1. Hi. This looks great! Do the cranberries need to pop open when cooking?
    Also, if using frozen cranberries do they need to thaw out before cooking?
    THANK you!

  2. Hey I was wondering how far in advance to Thanksgiving cal the cranberry sauce be made. Thank you for sharing your recipe

  3. This’s is how I make it but I also add orange zest. Gives it just a little texture. 

  4. Do you serve this cold, hot, room temperature, or what?

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