Delicious, homemade Cranberry Sauce has hints of orange and cinnamon making it mouthwatering. Skip the canned cranberry sauce and make this quick and easy homemade sauce perfect for all of your Thanksgiving celebrations.
Have you ever wondered how to make cranberry sauce? It’s really super easy to make and honestly, tastes so much better than the canned version. I’ve made my own for years, but I’ve never put the recipe on the blog. Not sure why not! Today, that’s going to change! It’s a staple in our table just like my famous Easy Stuffing, Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Easy Homemade Gravy and Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey!
Just look at these bright berries, cooked in a touch of sugar with orange juice, it’s tart flavors are balanced with sweetness and just plain tasty! It’s simple to make also. It’s the perfect compliment to your roast turkey.
If you want to make your holiday even less stressful, make it a couple days ahead. Even better, make it a week, or a month ahead, seal it well and pop in it in the freezer. One of your sides will already be done and you can check it off the list!
Why You’ll Love this Cranberry Sauce Recipe!
- Quick and easy with minimal prep time! It only takes about 25 minutes to make this delicious side dish.
- Six ingredients! Need we say more? I’m all about easy recipes during the holidays.
- Packed with flavor from the addition of orange juicy and zest
- Make ahead friendly. That’s right this can be made a few days in advance for less work on Thanksgiving Day.
Ingredients for Cranberry Sauce
- Cranberries – Fresh or frozen will work, but we prefer fresh. Do not use dried cranberries in this recipe.
- Sugar – A mixture of white and brown sugar sweeten this tart cranberry sauce perfectly.
- Orange Juice – Fresh is best! You’ll need the zest from an orange so you might as well get the most out of that orange.
- Water – Cranberries will need liquid to cook in so water and orange juice are what we cook them in. If you use all orange juice it gets over powering.
- Cinnamon – The perfect hint of warmth.
- Orange Peel – You’ll need to zest the outside of the orange with a grater or zester.
How Do You Make Fresh Cranberry Sauce
- Place cranberries in a medium saucepan on the stove over medium heat.
- Pour the orange juice into the pan add the sugar. Stir and dissolve the sugar.
- Add the cranberries and simmer until the cranberries start to pop about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and place sauce in a heatproof bowl.
- As it cools, the cranberry sauce will thicken.
- Garnish with orange zest if desired.
Can Cranberry Sauce Be Made in Advance?
Yes, you can make this 2-3 days in advance, then serve it cold or reheat in the microwave or a saucepan over medium-low heat.
Should Cranberry Sauce be served warm or cold?
Traditionally sauce is served chilled. As the sauce cools, it will also thicken up. When it’s warm though it becomes a great sauce or glaze! I have some ideas for repurposing this side below.
How to Store Leftover Cranberry Sauce
Refrigerator: Place leftover cranberry sauce in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to up to two weeks.
Freezer: Place leftover cranberry sauce in a freezer safe container and store it in the freezer for up to three months. To defrost remove from freezer, place in refrigerator overnight or until thawed.
How do You Make Cranberry Sauce Thicker?
If you would like your sauce thicker, continue to cook it so the sauce reduces and thickens up. Another option is to add a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch whisked with water) to the sauce and cook until it thickens up.
Uses for Leftover Cranberry Sauce
Though I can’t imagine you’ll have much leftover, if you do here are some great ideas for using up homemade cranberry sauce!
- Crock pot cranberry pork loin
- Spread on your leftover turkey sandwiches
- Cranberry pinot noir meatballs
- Glaze chicken breast or thighs
- Cream cheese cranberry dip
More Easy Side Dishes for Thanksgiving
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 piece orange peel
- zested orange for garnish optional
- In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the water, cinnamon and orange juice.
- Stir in cranberries and orange peel. Cook until the cranberries start to pop, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat, take out orange peel and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Garnish with zested orange peel.