After making your own homemade Cranberry Sauce, you will never buy cranberry sauce out of a can again! Seriously, this recipe is so easy to make, I bet you won’t have any leftovers of this often-overlooked Thanksgiving side dish! If you need more side dishes for your big feast, try my Maple Bacon Carrots and my Skins on Mashed Potatoes!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberry Sauce

Who remembers that cylindrical glob of cranberries slowly oozing out of the can for Thanksgiving??? I sure do, and I also remember that not much of it was gone at the end of the dinner. In fact, I think we could have slid it right back in the can for next year if we wanted to! Needless to say, it was not a popular dish at my Thanksgiving feasts, so I had to try something a little different. I am certainly glad I did because the homemade Cranberry Sauce will not last this year because it is so great! Trust me on this one–even a friend who doesn’t really like cranberries thought they were good!

Ingredients for Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

With four ingredients, yes, only four, there is no excuse to not give this side dish a chance this year. You have to show a little patience as the Cranberry Sauce cools, but other than that, it is super easy to make and perfect to prepare ahead of time since they have to cool anyway!

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How to Make Cranberry Sauce

I have a bit of a warning before you begin making the Cranberry Sauce. As the cranberries start to cook, they may splatter a bit…And, when they splatter, they may stain your clothes! After all, the colonists would use cranberries to dye their clothing back in the 1600s. So, unless you want some red polka dots, I recommend placing a colander over the top of the saucepan (or splatter guard) as the cranberries begin to pop.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get to the ease of making the Cranberry Sauce. First, in a medium-sized saucepan, dissolve the sugars in the orange juice over medium heat. Stir in the cranberries and cook until they start to pop. Remember, watch out for splattering cranberries! This could take up to about 20 minutes. After they have cooked, remove the cranberries from the heat and put them into a bowl. Let the Cranberry Sauce cool for about an hour before serving. I put them in the refrigerator for a little longer and loved the cool, crisp flavor this created.

Spoonful of Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Other Ways to Enjoy Cranberry Sauce

After the Thanksgiving feast, you may have some leftovers, including Cranberry Sauce. (However, if you make this recipe, there is a pretty good chance leftovers are not going to be an issue…) But, let’s say you have some Cranberry Sauce leftover. Now what? It’s not just for turkeys anymore. Sealed in an airtight container, the sauce could last up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator so don’t let it go to waste!

  1. Try it on your toast in the morning. It’s especially great when added to some peanut butter or cream cheese!
  2. Blend some Cranberry Sauce into your yogurt for added flavor.
  3. Use it with other meats, not just turkey. Add it to pork, chicken, or beef. It’s also great as a glaze to your meats.
  4. Pour some cranberry sauce into your barbecue sauce containers for a slightly different flavor.
  5. Eat the leftover Cranberry Sauce just as it is😀.

More Sauces

5 from 9 votes

Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Forget the cranberry sauce out of a can and make your own Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving!


  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100g) brown sugar
  • ¾ cup orange juice


  • In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, dissolve the granulated sugar and brown sugar in the orange juice.
  • Add the cranberries to the sugar mixture and cook for up to 20 minutes, or when the cranberries start to pop.
  • Remove the cranberry mixture from heat and pour it into a bowl to cool and thicken (about an hour).

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Reader Comments

  1. I make mine with white sugar a little water, red wine Cabernet or merlot, cinnamon & ground cloves. I love cloves smell like Xmas! Always wonderful smell in the house, only a pinch of cloves as they can be overpowering. The best.

  2. I make mine with white sugar a little water, red wine, cinnamon & cloves. Love cloves smell like Xmas! Always wonderful smell in the house, only a pinch of cloves as they can be overpowering. The best.

  3. I had a recipe very similar to this. My ex sister in law borrowed the recipe and lost it. Can’t wait to make this! I love cranberry sauce but not the canned kind.

    1. I have used a bit of orange liquor ..that is also tasty.. I have made it with orange juice instead of water for years.

      1. Love the idea of Orange Liquor. Being from Texas, we always have triple sec and GM for margaritas

  4. I also make my own sauce. I even buy several bags this time of year, freeze and use them throughout the year in bread recipes. For the sauce, I cut back on the sugar and it is still delicious!

  5. I make fresh cranberry sauce with 4 ingredients: Cranberries, Fresh squeezed OJ, a finely grated apple, and Pure Maple Syrup (to taste). Cook all in a pot. Mash the cranberries once they start popping. OH, sometimes I add a small amount of walnuts to the sauce, after it is already made. Delicious and natural. Freezes well too.

    1. Thank you for the suggestion. I think this sounds better “You can use freshly squeezed orange juice with fresh cranberries.”

    1. I would like to know the amount of marmalade as well. I want to try to make a diabetic version with Splenda sugars and sugar free marmalade.

  6. My Mom used to make this every Thanksgiving and Christmas. But she used oranges with the peel,not orange juice. We never ate cranberries out of a can.

  7. This is a great second…having always making cranberry sauce from scratch … this is a winner! Thank you 😊

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