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Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Fresh Cranberry Sauce made with fresh or frozen cranberries. This homemade cranberry sauce can be made ahead 2-3 days before serving.

bowl of fresh cranberry sauce in a bowl with orange in the background

We all have that ONE thing that HAS to be on the Thanksgiving table or it’s just not Thanksgiving, don’t we? For my daughter, it’s cranberry sauce. (For me, it’s my grandmother’s cornbread dressing.)

This homemade cranberry sauce recipe is sweet and tart, made with only a handful of ingredients, and on the table in under fifteen minutes. Bonus: it’s best served chilled, which makes it the perfect make-ahead recipe!

whole cranberries with sugar in a saucepan

Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can use fresh or frozen cranberries. I always pick up a few extra bags of cranberries when they go on sale to to keep in my freezer. To make this recipe, you will need:

  • Fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Orange juice
  • Water
pouring orange juice into a saucepan with cranberries

How to Make Cranberry Sauce

It may not be as easy as opening a can, but this homemade cranberry sauce is plenty easy to make! Here are the basic steps:

  1. Combine the cranberries, sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Cover with orange juice and water, stir to combine.
  3. Bring the mixture to a slight boil before turning down the heat and simmering for 15 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely before serving.
cooked cranberries in a saucepan with wooden spoon

What to Serve with Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is typically served at holiday meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Occasionally, I will surprise my daughter with bringing out a can of jellied cranberry sauce or making this fresh cranberry sauce recipe on a random weeknight. (It’s her favorite!)

Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce

If you have leftover cranberry sauce, here’s a few of my favorite ways to use it up:

bowl of cranberry sauce next to a spoon and blue napkin

Tips for Making Fresh Cranberry Sauce

  • To get your desired consistency, you can use a potato masher to gently mash the cranberries slightly while the sauce is still warm.
  • This fresh cranberry sauce is best once it has been stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator 2-3 days before serving it.
  • If you want a sweeter cranberry sauce, you can add in more sugar. My family likes it sweet, more like the jellied version from the can!
spoonful of fresh cranberry sauce above a bowl

More Thanksgiving Recipes

bowl of cranberry jelly with an orange peel twist
bowl of fresh cranberry sauce in a bowl with orange in the background

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 173kcal
Author: Emily Grace

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (12 oz bag)
  • cup brown sugar packed
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup water

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, white and brown sugars, cinnamon and salt.
  • Cover with orange juice and water, stir to combine.
  • Bring mixture to slight boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until desired consistency. (See notes.)
  • Spoon mixture into a serving bowl or airtight container to store until ready to serve
  • Let cool completely before serving.

Notes

You can use a potato masher to gently mash the cranberries slightly while the sauce is still warm to get the desired consistency.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator 2-3 days before serving.  Feel free to add in more sugar if you want it to be more sweet.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 55mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 81IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @GraceGoodEats or tag #graceandgoodeats!

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