This Cranberry Sauce recipe is so incredibly easy to make with just 4 ingredients and the taste is so much better than canned or jarred!
Prepare cranberry sauce months ahead of time and keep it in the freezer. Simply thaw and serve on the big day!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce Is So Easy
This cranberry sauce recipe is both sweet and tart and tastes so much better than a can! Serve it at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. It goes great with roast turkey, goose, Cornish game hens, or even ham.
- It’s super easy to make. No prep is needed.
- Can be made as a whole berry sauce or smooth.
- Use fresh or frozen berries.
- Can be made months ahead and frozen.
Once you make it homemade, I almost guarantee you’ll never buy canned cranberry sauce again (unless you’re using it to make cocktail meatballs).
Ingredients for Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries – Cranberries are the star and fresh or frozen taste exactly the same in this recipe. If using frozen, there is no need to thaw first.
Cinnamon – I love to add a cinnamon stick to the mix, if you don’t have one, add a small pinch of ground cinnamon or even apple pie spice!
Sugar – Cranberries are very tart so sugar is needed to balance the flavor. White sugar or brown sugar work. This cranberry sauce recipe can be made with sweetener, maple syrup, or honey in place of sugar.
Liquid – A bit of water is needed to cook the cranberries. Replace water with juice like orange juice or apple apple juice.
- Juices – We use water or orange juice but use your favorite juice like pineapple or apple juice.
- Zest – Stir in some lemon or orange zest or orange peel for some extra flavor.
- Fruit – Add chopped apples, pears, a slice of ginger, or even chopped pecans.
- Spices – Play with the spices and add a pinch of nutmeg, or allspice.
- Boozy – Substitute 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.
How to Make Cranberry Sauce
It’s so easy!
- Place cranberries, sugar, and water (or juice) in a saucepan with a cinnamon stick per the recipe below.
- Simmer (you’ll hear the cranberries start to pop) and stir for about 10 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
- Water produces a more traditional flavor while orange juice makes it zestier.
- This cranberry sauce recipe will thicken as it cools.
- If you’d like a smooth sauce, place the warm mixture into a mesh strainer and strain it into a bowl. Press the cranberries with a spoon to remove as much juice as possible.
How to Freeze Cranberry Sauce
Fresh cranberries will last up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator and they can be frozen for up to a year as long as they are sealed in an airtight bag.
Prep the cranberry sauce up to 3 months ahead of time and freeze. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Got Leftover Cranberry Sauce?
Leftover cranberry sauce is perfect for topping ice cream, cheesecake, or sponge cake. It’s great on leftover turkey sandwiches or layer it into overnight refrigerator oatmeal or on top of french toast or homemade waffles or pancakes.
Did your family love this homemade Cranberry Sauce? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Easy Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water or orange juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- In a medium pot, combine cranberries, sugar, water, and the cinnamon stick.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes uncovered.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and discard. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until chilled.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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