How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

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How to make homemade cranberry sauce using fresh cranberries and 3 more ingredients. Simple and easy recipe, perfect for Thanksgiving and the holidays.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce is so easy to make and pretty delicious too. In fact, the first Thanksgiving we made our own, we wondered why we'd never made it before.

Fresh cranberry sauce with orange zest is so much better than the canned stuff. For one thing, it doesn't plop out in canned gel form.

If you buy a bag of fresh cranberries, the recipe is right there on the bag. You can also get creative with the recipe and add different flavors to your cranberry relish, like citrus or cinnamon or whatever else your imagination can cook up.

With this recipe, I followed the instructions on the back of the bag (Ocean Spray Cranberries) and then added a little citrus zing.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?

If you’d rather skip all of my cooking tips, important cooking info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED:

  • Fresh cranberries
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Orange zest

Keep in mind, all of the ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.

cranberry relish in white bowl

KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:

Large Saucepan – This sauce is made entirely on the stove top, so a good saucepan is in order.

Wooden Spoon 

Heat Resistant Spatula – Works well for stirring and scraping the sides of the pan.

Zester – Helpful for adding the orange zest.

Serving Bowl – Add to your Thanksgiving tablescape.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE

  1. Add the sugar and water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Then add in the cranberries, and return the mixture to a boil.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add in the orange zest, simmering for another 5 minutes or so.
steps for how to make homemade cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries in saucepan with spatula

Pour the cranberry sauce into a serving bowl, cover, and allow it to cool.

Here's a delicious idea for you… A spoonful of cranberry and orange sauce pairs really well with my favorite leftover turkey stuffing crescent roll appetizers and leftover ham and stuffing crescent rolls.

spoonful of homemade cranberry sauce with orange zest in white bowl

ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS FOR CRANBERRY SAUCE ADD-INS:

CAN CRANBERRY SAUCE BE FROZEN?

Absolutely, yes, it can! The ingredients used in corn homemade cranberry sauce are all pretty conducive to freezing.

Just be sure to store it in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn.

fresh cranberry and orange sauce in white bowl with blue napkin

WHAT GOES WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE:

And just in case you're still looking for a turkey recipe, Maple Bourbon Brined Roasted Turkey is seriously the best thing ever! Or Pineapple Honey Glazed Ham may be more what you're looking for.

You may also want to check out my list of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes, as well as our favorite Christmas Recipes, where you'll find plenty more recipes for your holiday dinner.

GET THE PRINTABLE CRANBERRY RELISH RECIPE

If you love this fresh cranberry sauce with orange as much as I do, please write a 5 star review, and help me share the recipe on Facebook and Pinterest!

cranberry sauce recipe

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How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

How to make homemade cranberry sauce using fresh cranberries and 3 more ingredients. Simple and easy recipe, perfect for Thanksgiving and the holidays.
4.6 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 117kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff

Equipment

  • Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 3-Quart Saucepan with Cover
  • Microplane Classic Zester/Grater, Black
  • Soup Bowls Set of 4 Porcelain New Bone China, White Scalloped Embossed Pattern, 15 OZ

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • 1 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest*

Instructions

  • Add the sugar and water to a large saucepan, and bring to a boil.
  • Add the cranberries; then return the mixture to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in the orange zest, simmering for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Pour the cranberry sauce into a serving bowl, cover, and allow to cool.
  • Refrigerate or serve.

Video

Notes

*Orange zest is optional; if you'd rather not add that citrus flavor to your cranberry sauce, just leave it out.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Sodium: 2mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g
Tried this Recipe? Tag us Today!Mention @mellockcuff or tag #aomrecipes!
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