Homemade cranberry sauce is an easy recipe that’s best served with sliced turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas.  This healthy sauce can be made ahead with fresh or frozen cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, and marmalade.  Your family and friends will love this simple side dish so much there might not be any leftovers.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Side Dishes, Thanksgiving

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This recipe was originally published on August 15, 2017.

Homemade cranberry sauce is one Thanksgiving recipe that you will want to make year round.  It’s sweet, tart, and citrusy–the perfect accompaniment to a roasted turkey.  All three of my girls love cranberry sauce, especially Busy Baker, so we always make extra.

spoonful of homemade cranberry sauce

What is leftover cranberry sauce used for?

  • a condiment on turkey sandwiches
  • fruit spread on toast
  • warm sauce for ice cream
  • added to whipped cream
  • topping on a baked Brie
  • stir it into plain yogurt

Can you freeze homemade cranberry sauce?

Yes.  Put it in a freezer bag, then lay it flat and push the air out of the bag.  It will freeze for up to two months.  When you want to use it, defrost in the fridge overnight.  It’s great in homemade baked goods like muffins, tarts, bars, and sweet rolls.

holding a bowl of homemade cranberry sauce

Are cranberries good for you?

  • High in vitamin C
  • High in fiber
  • Contains vitamin K and manganese

How do you make homemade cranberry sauce?

Gather all the ingredients.

ingredients for homemade cranberry sauce

Rinse the cranberries in a colander.  Discard any bad ones.

colander full of cranberries for homemade cranberry sauce

Place the marmalade, orange juice, and sugar in a 3 quart saucepan.

pouring orange juice into a pot for homemade cranberry sauce

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.

liquids in pot for homemade cranberry sauce

Stir in the cranberries.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

adding cranberries to pot for homemade cranberry sauce

Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest.

adding orange zest to pot for homemade cranberry sauce

Transfer to a serving bowl.  Cool on the counter, then cover then chill in the fridge until thickened.

putting homemade cranberry sauce into a bowl

Pro Tips

  • Make this cranberry sauce ahead of time; it keeps in the fridge for up to 10 days.
  • Remember, once the sauce cools, it will taste less sweet.
  • The sauce thickens as it cools due to the pectin and acid reacting with the sugar.
  • When it’s served warm, it’s more like a sauce then a jelly.
  • Try Xylitol for a sugar substitute.
  • If you have texture issues, put the sauce through a sieve.
  • Are the cranberries too big?  Mash with potato masher.

spoonful of homemade cranberry sauce

If you have never made homemade cranberry sauce, I encourage to give it a try.  It’s so easy and tastes much better than the canned stuff.

Serve this cranberry sauce with these other Thanksgiving classics.

roasted turkey in a pan bowl of sour cream mashed potatoes pouring giblet gravy onto sliced turkey

Did you make this homemade cranberry sauce?  Leave a recipe rating below to share how you liked it.

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce


  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade cranberry sauce is an easy recipe that’s best served with sliced turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas.  This healthy sauce can be made ahead with fresh or frozen cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, and marmalade.  Your family and friends will love this simple side dish so much there might not be any leftovers.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 5 strips of orange zest (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Rinse the cranberries in a colander and pick out any bad ones.
  2. Put the marmalade, orange juice, and sugar in a 3 quart saucepan.  (The pan’s higher sides helps the mixture not to boil over.)  Bring the mixture to a boil to dissolve the sugar, stirring continuously.
  3. Place the cranberries into the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Simmer with the lid askew for 10 minutes or until the cranberries’ skins have popped.  Keep an eye on the pot so it doesn’t boil over.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange zest.  Transfer to a serving bowl, then let the sauce cool on the counter for 30 minutes.  Cover and chill until needed.  The sauce will thicken when it’s fully chilled.
  5. If desired, garnish with 5 strips of orange peel placed in the center.  Served chilled or at room temperature.

Notes

Since the cranberry sauce can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 10 days, it’s great to make this ahead of time.

Keywords: orange juice, Thanksgiving

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