February 24, 2023

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Making this cranberry sauce really could not be much easier and we love how fresh it tastes as compared to canned cranberry sauce! It has bursts of lemon, cinnamon and orange and just screams Thanksgiving.

You simply place all the ingredients into the pot, bring it to a simmer, reduce the heat, and cook for 15 minutes before cooling. Nothing tricky about that! I feel like a lot of people get intimidated when it comes to cooking sugar but rest assured, this recipe requires no thermometer and you will be left with a minimal mess when completed.

Also definitely worth making year round to have on hand to use as a condiment, a spread, or even as a component for a salad!

Why Cranberry Sauce is a Thanksgiving Staple

Did you know that cranberries are one of the only Native American fruits? Makes sense why would celebrate Thanksgiving with this staple that no matter traditions, is always at our tables!

Cranberry sauce recipes that were originally just made with sugar and water date back to the lated 17th century and actually, the first acknowledgment of a cranberry sauce recipe is in a 1796 cookbook called American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. The cookbook  calls for serving roast turkey with you guessed it, cranberry sauce.

Ingredients for Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Like we said, this recipe is so simple that it's a "why wouldn't I make this?" moment. You only need 8 ingredients which most you might already have on hand. Here is your grocery list:

  • Cranberries: I prefer to use a mix of both dried and fresh cranberries. Using both varieties gives you a nice depth of flavor. The dried cranberries bring a nice preserved fruit flavor while the fresh cranberries give it a nice, well, fresh taste and provide pectin to thicken the sauce.
  • Citrus: For the complementary citrus component, I always like to use both orange and lemon. The orange brings a nice balance of sweet and acidic flavors while the lemon zest brings a nice fresh pop that brightens the sauce.
  • Spices: I like to keep it simple here and only add a bit of cinnamon but you can add whichever spices you want. Other popular spices include cloves, allspice, and star anise.
  • Sugar: I always use granulated sugar for this recipe but you can certainly use brown sugar if you prefer.

Tips for Making Cranberry Sauce

  1. Make sure that you don't evaporate too much of the sauce when cooking: If you prefer the sauce to have a chutney-like consistency, then evaporate the liquid until there is almost none remaining. If you prefer it nice and saucey, evaporate less of the liquid.
  2. Have leftover cranberry sauce? Use it as a condiment for your next charcuterie or cheese board or as a spread on your next turkey sandwich. You can even toss some in a mixed greens salad with some sort of vinaigrette! It is great! I promise!

Happy almost Thanksgiving! We hope this cranberry sauce is part of your holiday this year.

Cheers and eat well!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This seasonal favorite made with both fresh and dried cranberries could not be easier to make and tastes fantastic! With bursts of lemon, cinnamon, and orange, this homemade cranberry sauce will have you leaving the cans this Thanksgiving.















  • 16 ounces of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 8 ounces of dried cranberries
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • The zest of 1 orange
  • The zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 pinches of salt


  1. Put all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Turn the heat down to a slow simmer and continue to cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes until the fresh cranberries pop and some of the liquid has reduced.
  3. Turn off the heat and cool before serving. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

Note: Makes 1 quart of sauce


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