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Cranberry Sauce

close up shot of a bowl of Cranberry Sauce with a spoon
Add a bowl of this sweet cranberry sauce to your holiday table for a bright and festive addition to your turkey dinner.
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Table of Contents
  1. CRANBERRY SAUCE INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS CRANBERRY SAUCE RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This time of year, when the weather cools and the holiday season approaches, this cranberry sauce is a classic dish that appears on so many holiday meal dinner tables. Tart cranberries are simmered with spices and orange for a tangy and sweet sauce that is the perfect complement to your Thanksgiving turkey.

For more fall recipes, try our homemade pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin pie.

CRANBERRY SAUCE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup of orange juice
  • 12-ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

SPICES: Cloves and cinnamon are optional but add a nice warm earthy flavor to the cranberry sauce.

CINNAMON: You can substitute ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon for the cinnamon stick.

FROZEN VS. FRESH: Frozen cranberries work just as well as fresh and may be more readily available. Cranberry sauce will take a few minutes longer to come to a boil than if using fresh cranberries.

SUGAR: Some recipes call for brown sugar rather than white sugar for cranberry sauce. Both work fine in this recipe. For a twist, you could also opt to use maple syrup as a sweetener instead.

ORANGE JUICE: You can use either fresh orange juice or orange juice made from concentrate in this perfect cranberry sauce recipe.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS CRANBERRY SAUCE RECIPE

STEP ONE: Combine white sugar, water, and juice in a 12-inch large saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil.

PRO TIP:

If you prefer a slightly more tart cranberry sauce, you can adjust the amount of sugar, adding more or less sugar to suit your tastes.

STEP TWO: Add cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Heat over medium heat until the sauce returns to a boil.

PRO TIP:

The cranberries can be added to the pot either frozen or thawed. They will thaw pretty quickly while coming to a boil.

STEP THREE: Reduce heat to medium-low heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until sauce thickens and turns deep red. The sauce will thicken further as the sauce cools, so remove from heat as the sauce is approaching jam consistency.

STEP FOUR: Remove from heat and cool cranberry sauce. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.

STEP FIVE: Transfer to an airtight container or airtight jars and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

PRO TIP:

When serving your cranberry sauce, make sure to put it in a pretty clear glass bowl so you can show off the bright vibrant deep red color of this yummy condiment.

HOW TO SERVE

Make sure this simple cranberry sauce makes an appearance in a serving dish at your Thanksgiving feast or Christmas dinner this year. It’s also delicious adding leftover sauce to your leftover turkey sandwiches the next day. There is really no reason you have to limit our best cranberry sauce recipe to the holiday season, though. Enjoy it all year round!

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store your homemade cranberry sauce, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  

IN THE FREEZER: Leftover cranberry sauce can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

It is so easy to make your own cranberry sauce and tastes much better than the canned stuff from the grocery store. Make sure this amazing sauce is part of your Thanksgiving dinner, and I guarantee it will be a huge hit.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I preserve cranberry sauce in canning jars?

This easy recipe can be canned and stored at room temperature longer term. I have successfully canned cranberry sauce many times in the past and shared it as gifts with friends and family. Make sure you follow safe canning procedures and make sure the jars are processed in a hot water bath and sealed properly.

How do I know when the cranberry sauce is ready?

You’ll know this simple recipe has reached the desired consistency when it starts to thicken and approach jam consistency.

Can I freeze cranberry sauce?

Cranberry sauce can be frozen for up to four months in an airtight container.

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close up shot of a bowl of Cranberry Sauce with a spoon

Cranberry Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Add a bowl of this sweet cranberry sauce to your holiday table for a bright and festive addition to your turkey dinner.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions
 

  • Combine sugar, water, and juice in a 12-inch saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil.
  • Add cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Heat over medium until the sauce returns to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until sauce thickens and turns deep red. The sauce will thicken further as it cools, so remove from heat as the sauce is approaching jam consistency.
  • Remove from heat and cool cranberry sauce. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Notes

PRO TIP: If you prefer a slightly more tart cranberry sauce, you can adjust the amount of sugar, adding more or less sugar to suit your tastes.
 
PRO TIP: The cranberries can be added to the pot either frozen or thawed. They will thaw pretty quickly while coming to a boil.
 
PRO TIP: When serving your cranberry sauce, make sure to put it in a pretty clear glass bowl so you can show off the bright vibrant deep red color of this yummy condiment.

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 47IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
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