Easy classic cranberry sauce with orange and cinnamon flavors. Using just 4 simple ingredients, and ready in about 20 minutes, you’ll never want store-bought again! Be holiday-ready with this easy homemade cranberry sauce.
Can you believe it’s less than a month until Thanksgiving?! I’m equal parts excited and freaking out with how quickly this holiday season is passing.
When it comes to Thanksgiving food, do you have a favorite? I’m a sides gal… the turkey or ham is great, but I load my plate up as much as possible with allllll the delicious sides!
One side/condiment that tends to get overlooked is cranberry sauce, which is such a shame. So sweet and tart, and perfect on top of turkey/ham, on dinner rolls, and fantastic as a jam in leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches!
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY SAUCE
Once you see how easy it is to make homemade cranberry sauce, you’ll never want to go back to the canned stuff again!
- Add cranberries and sugar to saucepan.
- Add orange juice and zest.
- Stir, add cinnamon stick and cook until cranberries burst and sauce thickens.
COOKING TIPS FOR MAKING HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE
- The berries – I prefer to use fresh cranberries, but frozen will work as well (just thaw them overnight in the refrigerator).
- The sugar – feel free to adjust the sugar amount to your tastes. I feel the amount listed is what was needed to balance out the tartness of the cranberries.
- The texture – I like a more rustic texture to my cranberry sauce, but if you prefer a smoother texture, you can use a potato masher or the side of a wooden spoon to mash the berries after they’ve cooked and are soft.
- Watch the spatter – as the berries begin to burst, there can be some spatter. Feel free to use a spatter-screen if you have one, a lid, or lower the heat slightly.
VARIATIONS OF CRANBERRY SAUCE
- Plain – omit the orange, and add 1/2 – 2/3 cup of water to cook the cranberries down.
- Apple Cider – omit the orange, add 1/2 – 2/3 cup of apple cider. You can also add 1 peeled and finely diced apple to the sauce.
- For an extra orange flavor, add a peeled and diced second orange to the sauce.
- Herbs – a sprig of rosemary can be added to the sauce as it cooks to give it some extra herb-y flavor.
MAKING CRANBERRY SAUCE AHEAD OF TIME
When it comes to holiday recipes, the more you can make ahead of time, the better!
This cranberry sauce can be made up to 3-4 days ahead of time. I think it actually tastes better when it’s made ahead of time, since the flavors have more time to combine!
STORING THIS RECIPE
Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for about a month.
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- 16 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 orange
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Add cranberries and sugar to a saucepan and stir.
- Zest orange, then juice, and add both to the saucepan.
- Add cinnamon stick and cook over MED-LOW for 15 minutes, or until the cranberries burst and mixture thickens to your liking.
- Remove cinnamon stick and serve at room temperature or chilled.
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- Frozen cranberries can be used instead of fresh. Thaw before using.
- Additional orange zest or peel can be added as a garnish.
- Feel free to adjust the sugar amount to your tastes. I feel the amount listed is what was needed to balance out the tartness of the cranberries.
- If you prefer a smoother texture, you can use a potato masher or the side of a wooden spoon to mash the berries after they've cooked and are soft.
- As the berries begin to burst, there can be some spatter. Feel free to use a spatter-screen if you have one, a lid, or lower the heat slightly.