Homemade Cranberry Sauce

No need to ever buy cranberry sauce at the store ever again because this Homemade Cranberry Sauce is easy to make, can be made ahead of time and taste SO much better than store bought. 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce served in a bowl

Growing up my Mom always served canned jellied cranberry sauce, so when I got married and became a home cook, I thought that was the only way to serve cranberry sauce. 

I thought that making your own Homemade Cranberry Sauce was intimidating. Then flash forward to 2019, and I finally made my first ever cranberry sauce. 

And you know what? It’s SUPER easy and not intimidating at all. AND it taste so much better than the store bought canned jellied cranberry sauce. 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce serving on spoon

Cranberry Sauce is one of holiday side dishes that most families add to their feast. Whether it’s for Thanksgiving or Christmas, the holiday dinner just wouldn’t be the same without it. 

With all there is to prepare for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, it’s really nice to have a dish that can be made ahead. 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • Fresh Cranberries
  • White Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Orange Juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Water

Kitchen Essentials Needed

  • Sauce Pan
  • Measuring Cup
  • Liquid Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoon
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Potato Masher – optional, depending on if you want the cranberries broken down

How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

How to make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. 
  2. Pour in the orange juice 
  3. And the water
  4. Stir to combine
  5. Cook on the stove top, bringing the cranberry sauce to a slight boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until desired consistency
  6. This step is optional depending on what size you like your cranberries. Using a potato masher, while the sauce is still warm, gently mash the cranberries slightly
  7. Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl
  8. Let cool completely before serving

Homemade Cranberry Sauce in bowl with orange zest

Homemade Cranberry Sauce – Frequently Asked Questions

Isn’t it easier to buy cranberry sauce at the store? 

While it may be easier, this homemade cranberry sauce not only tastes a LOT better than store bought, you can also control the amounts of sugar and spices you add. 

Can I add other spices?

Yes, you can add any spices that you like. I have only used cinnamon in this cranberry sauce, but it’s totally up to you if you would like to add other spices like nutmeg. 

Can I freeze this cranberry sauce?

Yes you can make this sauce ahead and freeze it. Be sure to use an airtight container made for the freezer or resealable freezer bag. Let the sauce come to room temperature and reheat on the stove. The cranberry sauce should be fine in the freezer for up to one month. 

Can I make this cranberry sauce ahead of time?

You definitely want to make the sauce at least 4-6 hours before you plan to serve it, as it needs to cool. You can also make it 2-3 days ahead and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Do I need to mash up the cranberries after I cook it?

This is definitely a preference here, if you like the cranberries to be more whole, then cook it a shorter amount of time and don’t mash them. If you like the cranberries smaller, then mashing is the way to go.   

My sauce isn’t thick – what should I do?

You probably didn’t cook the cranberry sauce long enough. If you want it thicker, put it back on the stove and continue cooking. 

Can I add ingredients or make substitutions to this recipe? 

Yes you certainly can. Here are a few to choose from – 

  • Orange Zest – adding a little orange zest will give the sauce a tangier flavor
  • Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce – add the ingredients to the Slow Cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, be sure to check it often to be sure the liquid has not drained out
  • Cranberry Apple Sauce – Culinary Hill has a great looking recipe
  • Jellied Cranberry Sauce – Stephie Cooks shares her recipe

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Looking for more Cranberry Recipe for your Thanksgiving dinner? Click on the photo for the recipe. 

Cranberry Fluff    Cranberry Apple Spritzer    Cranberry Bread

Homemade Cranberry Sauce serving on spoon

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Homemade Cranberry Sauce is easy to make, can be made ahead of time and taste SO much better than store bought. 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (12 oz bag) fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

    1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. 
    2. Pour in the orange juice and water, stir to combine
    3. Cook on the stove top, bringing the cranberry sauce to a slight boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until desired consistency
    4. This step is optional depending on what size you like your cranberries. Using a potato masher, while the sauce is still warm, gently mash the cranberries slightly
    5. Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl
    6. Let cool completely before serving

    Notes

    Make Ahead: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator 2-3 days

    Freeze: Be sure to use an airtight container made for the freezer or resealable freezer bag. Let the sauce come to room temperature and reheat on the stove. The cranberry sauce should be fine in the freezer for up to one month.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 36mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 28gProtein: 0g

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