Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Sauce

This homemade cranberry sauce is a classic. Made with fresh or frozen cranberries and ready in 20 minutes, it’s a Thanksgiving dinner must-have. Also easy to replicate!

Do you like cranberry sauce? My dad can’t get enough of these during the holiday season. He’ll even stock up on fresh cranberries when they become available in late October and freeze them to eat all year round.

When he finally runs out of frozen cranberries sometime in May, he starts buying the cans. He will hide the cans in a secluded corner of the pantry and eat the canned cranberries all by himself. Yes, he is a little obsessed.

Video: how to make cranberry sauce


cranberry sauce

For me it was an acquired taste. As a kid, I just couldn’t understand why something so beautiful garnet didn’t taste like berry pie filling!

Cranberries are tart, very tart, and need sugar to balance their acidity. But even with sugar, the acid comes through. As an adult, I’ve grown to love cranberry sauce in all forms, including a no-cook cranberry relish.

Cranberries pair absolutely perfectly with turkey. Sort of like lemons and chicken. Something about the flavors, they’re just meant for each other. That’s why the sauce is so good to spread over the turkey in your leftover turkey sandwiches.

The following is a simple and easy cranberry sauce recipe that you can easily dress up with extras. If you have a favorite method, please let us know in the comments!

Cranberry Sauce Swaps & Substitutions

  • At the end of cooking, stir in one of the following ingredients: Pecans, Orange Zest, Raisins, Currants, Blueberries, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice.
  • For a stronger orange flavorreduce the amount of water in the recipe to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup orange juice.
  • For a reduced-sugar cranberry sauce, use half the recommended amount of sugar, taste and add more as needed. Also, reduce the amount of water to 1/2 cup and add more as needed if the sauce seems too thick.
  • For making sugar-free cranberry saucereplace the sugar with a sugar substitute like Splenda or Truvia.

How Far Can You Make Cranberry Sauce?

For the best texture, make sure the cranberry sauce is thoroughly chilled before serving to give it time to serve. If you make it the day before Thanksgiving, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and saves you one task a day itself.

You can make this cranberry sauce up to a week before serving.

How to store and freeze cranberry sauce

Store leftover cranberry sauce in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Or freeze the sauce for up to 6 months.

Love cranberries? Try these recipes!

  • Cranberry relish
  • Apple Cranberry Chutney
  • Cranberry Glazed Meatballs
  • Cranberry Orange Nut Bread
  • Cranberry Upside Down Cake

From the editors of Simply Recipes

cranberry sauce

preparation time
5 minutes

cooking time
15 minutes

total time
20 minutes

9 servings

2 1/4 cups

The recipe calls for a cup of water. You can easily substitute this with 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup water if you want to boost the orange flavor in the sauce (cranberries and oranges go great together!)

You can reduce the sugar if you want. Start with half and add more if you feel the need. If you use less sugar, you also reduce the amount of water you add.


  • 1 Cup (200g) sugar

  • 1 Cup (250ml) water

  • 4 cups (one 12-ounce packet) fresh or frozen cranberries

  • Options: pecansOrange peel, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice


  1. Rinse cranberries:

    Place the cranberries in a colander and rinse. Pick and discard any damaged or bruised cranberries.

  2. Boil water with sugar:

    Place the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

  3. Add cranberries, cook until they burst:

    Add the cranberries to the pot and bring to the boil again. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries have burst.

  4. Stir in mix-ins, if using:

    As soon as the cranberries have burst, you can leave the cranberry sauce as it is or refine it with other ingredients. We like to mix in a pinch or two of orange zest in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.

    Some people like to add raisins or currants or even blueberries for extra sweetness. You can also add holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice. When adding spices, start with a pinch of each and add more to taste.

  5. Let cool down:

    Take the pot off the stove. Allow to cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to a bowl and chill in the fridge. Note that the cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

nutritional information (per serving)
103 calories
0g Fat
27g carbohydrates
0g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!