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How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

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This homemade cranberry sauce only uses 3 simple pantry ingredients. You can ditch the can of cranberry sauce this holiday season and make your own in less than 15 minutes.

When it comes to cranberry sauce, we are a house divided around here. My husband is all about that canned jellied kind that you find in the grocery stores. It is what he grew up on and what he prefers at Thanksgiving.

On the other hand, I prefer homemade. The flavor tastes more like Thanksgiving dinner to me and not like just straight-up mush. To be fair though, I have never been a fan of cranberry sauce at all.

This year, this is my first time making it homemade, and now, I cannot get enough of this easy recipe! Here is how you can make the best cranberry sauce recipe you will make this year.

How to Make The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

To make this easy homemade cranberry sauce, all you need is 3 simple ingredients — 1 12-ounce bag of fresh whole cranberries, 1 cup of white sugar, and 1 cup of fresh orange juice.

I love this Thanksgiving recipe because it is literally a dump-and-go kind of recipe.

Add the cranberries, sugar, and cup of orange juice in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, and then just let it go. From there, you watch and wait for those delicious cranberries to pop, releasing all their fruity goodness into the orange juice and sugar. You could even add some orange zest to this recipe as well.

If you are sugar-sensitive, switch out the sugars for pure maple syrup. You can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking.

If you want a much sweeter cranberry sauce, add some brown sugar and a cinnamon stick. I prefer the more tart cranberry flavor.

It takes about 5 minutes for them to start popping. Once they do, turn the heat on medium and stir occasionally for the next 5-8 minutes. In the end, you will end up with this gorgeous, thick, and glistening easy homemade cranberry sauce.

After 10 minutes, your berries should be completely broken down and resemble whole-berry cranberry sauce. At this point, you have made your cranberry sauce. This is so much better than the canned stuff.

Be sure to place it in the refrigerator for about an hour to let it cool and get the consistency you are wanting.

The great thing about making this homemade is that once it is done and cooled to room temperature, you can store it in an airtight container and freeze it until you are ready to use it. Mine is already made up and ready for Thanksgiving.

How to Make Homemade Jellied Cranberry Sauce:

If you are not a fan of whole-berry cranberry sauce, you can make it jellied instead. To do this, you will need to strain the berry skins out of your own homemade cranberry sauce.

Grab a fine-mesh strainer and place it over a medium bowl. Spoon your cranberry sauce into the strainer and begin to press the sauce through the strainer with the back of a large wooden spoon.

Do this until all of the sauce is in your bowl and the skins are left behind in the sieve.

That's it! Now you have your choice of whole berry or jellied cranberry sauce for your holiday meal. Either way, the flavor of this sauce is phenomenal. You will never go back to store-bought cranberry sauce ever again.

Other Uses for Your Own Cranberry Sauce

If you are like me, you love using cranberry sauce in a number of ways. Make a double batch of this stuff so you will have leftover sauce. There are SO many ways to use it up.

One of my favorites is to heat it and drizzle it over some ice cream.

I also put it on top of puff pastry with some brie cheese and a little lemon zest for a Cranberry Tart. To be honest, this is my favorite way to eat it.

Be sure to save the leftover cranberry sauce to use the next day on your Friends Moist Maker Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwiches. It makes a great second-day Thanksgiving meal.

If you have leftover whole cranberries from making this delicious side dish, save it, add some cranberry juice, and make some homemade cranberry jelly!

Check Out This List for More Cranberry Recipes

Looking for Other Holiday Feast Recipes? Look No Further!

Yield: 2 cups

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This easy homemade cranberry sauce will become your favorite Thanksgiving dish.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of orange juice


    1. Combine all of your ingredients in a medium saucepan. Start on high heat for 5 minutes until it comes to a boil.
    2. Turn heat down to medium and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally at first, then constantly once the berries start to burst.
    3. When the berries have burst, and everything starts looking saucy and thick, remove from heat.
    4. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Now, refrigerate for 1 hour.

Strain to make jellied cranberry sauce

    1. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Pour the sauce into the strainer, and press the sauce against it with a large wooden spoon or spatula.
    2. Continue doing this until all of the berry skins are all that remains and the jelly portion has been strained into the bowl.
    3. Pour into your desired serving container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 0g

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