Des

Hey! I'm Des!

Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

Read more »

Have new recipes emailed to you.

Cranberry Sauce

Ditch the can and make your own Homemade Cranberry Sauce with fresh berries! 2 steps, 6 ingredients is all you need for this holiday classic. 

I’ll be the first one to admit that cranberry sauce was never one of my favorite sides when it came to Thanksgiving dinner. It was just so…log like. But that, my friends, was before I was introduced to the wonderful world of Fresh Homemade Cranberry Sauce.

Overhead photo of homemade cranberry sauce in white dish.

It’s a little sweet. It’s a little tart. It is so full of flavor and really, no holiday table is complete without it. Let me show you just how easy it is to make and you’ll be ditching the can too!

First let’s talk about what you need:

What ingredients do you need to make homemade cranberry sauce?

Raw ingredients for cranberry sauce.

FRESH CRANBERRIES: You’ll be able to find bags of these in the produce section during the holidays. If it’s not Thanksgiving or Christmas, they may be harder to find. If that is the case you can substitute frozen cranberries.

ORANGE JUICE and ORANGE ZEST: You can use fresh squeezed orange juice or bottled. If you use bottled keep in mind that will be sweeter so you might need less sugar depending on your taste.

WATER

BROWN SUGAR AND GRANULATED SUGAR: Cranberries are tart, they need the sugar. This recipe uses a combination of brown and granulated sugar. I like the depth of flavor that brown sugar adds. You can use only one or or the other if you prefer.

Instructions:

Guys,  homemade cranberry sauce could really not be easier!

Step #1: In a sauce pot combine orange juice, water, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Stir in cranberries. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to cook until cranberries begin to soften, about 10 minutes. They will pop during this time. Stir in orange zest.

Overhead photo of cranberries in pot.

STEP #2: Transfer to a serving dish. Allow to cool at room temperature or place in the refrigerator to chill completely. Serve.

Overhead photo of cranberry sauce in a pot.

That’s it! Only 6 ingredients. Only 2 steps. You can do it! You can make your own cranberry sauce. And trust me, once you do you won’t go back to the cans.

A spoonful of cranberry sauce on a slice of turkey.

Looking for more Thanksgiving or Christmas recipes? Your holiday meals aren’t complete without these:

Foolproof Gravy Recipe

Air Fryer Turkey Breast 

Creamy Mashed Potatoes 

Easy Stuffing Recipe

Other great recipes using cranberries:

Farro Cranberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Cranberry Turkey Rollups

Cranberry Apple Crumble Pie 

Rosemary Cranberry Spread 

Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2010. It was updated with new photos and nutrition information in 2020.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Makes 2 cups Prep Time: Cook Time:

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 ounce) package of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Instructions

1

Rinse cranberries and pick out any that are soft.

2

In a sauce pot combine orange juice, water, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Stir in cranberries. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to cook until cranberries begin to soften, about 10 minutes. They will pop during this time. Stir in orange zest.

3

Transfer to a serving dish. Allow to cool at room temperature or place in the refrigerator to chill completely. Serve.

Notes

Nutrition information for estimation purposes only.

Nutrition information

Calories: 149 , Total Fat: 0g , Saturated Fat: 0g , Cholesterol: 0g , Sodium: 4mg , Carbohydrates: 35.9g , Fiber: 2.1g , Sugar: 32.2g , Protein: 0.2g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    Ali @ Gimme Some Oven
    November 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Love “The Flavor Bible”! These sound delicious!!! :)

  • Reply
    Deseree
    November 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks for catching that Jackie! Add it right before you transfer it to a serving dish.

  • Reply
    Jenn's Food Journey
    November 22, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I have always made cranberry sauce with just water and sugar.. I love the addition of the orange juice! By the way, that jelly stuff that plops out on the plate is the only kind of cranberry sauce my boyfriend will eat…ugh!!!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    November 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Des

    When is the orange zest incorporated into this sauce.

  • Reply
    nancy@skinnykitchen.com
    November 22, 2010 at 7:47 am

    I love the idea of adding OJ and brown sugar. Your recipe looks yummy. I’ve always made mine with water or apple cider and white sugar.

  • Reply
    StephenC
    November 22, 2010 at 7:41 am

    This is perfect. I needed a very simply cranberry recipe for Thursday. Your timing is impeccable.

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.