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Delicious cranberry sauce recipe

Delicious cranberry sauce recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Sauce

This is a simple recipe and tastes really delicious! Nothing nicer than having home cooked sauces with your meals, nicer than any shop bought sauce!

County Down, Northern Ireland, UK

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 150ml orange juice (freshly squeezed or shop bought)
  • zest of 1/2 an orange (optional)
  • 300g cranberries
  • 100ml water

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:15min

  1. Combine the sugar, orange juice and zest in a saucepan over a medium heat; stir until dissolved.
  2. Add the cranberries and water and bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. If you like lumpy sauce your sauce is ready, I like mine without lumps so I blitzed it with a hand blender. Add it to your jars and leave to cool, the sauce will thicken as it cools. Once cooled completely pop them in the fridge and can be kept for 10 to 14 days.

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Cranberry Sauce Recipe

If you’ve never made homemade cranberry sauce because you thought it was too complicated, I’m going to show you just how easy it is to make. This simple cranberry sauce recipe is perfect! All you do is add fresh cranberries, orange juice, and sugar (both brown and white) to a pan and cook the berries until the break down into a beautiful vibrant red cranberry sauce.

Served alongside roasted turkey an gravy, cranberry sauce is a favorite Thanksgiving recipe that is so easy to prepare and happens to be amazing! Only 15 minutes to cook, I love this sauce because it is not overly sweet and the combination of cranberry and orange give it a subtle citrus, sweet tang that makes a regular turkey dinner go from ordinary to extraordinary.

The vibrant deep red color and texture of the cranberry sauce is in stark contrast to the Ocean Spray canned cranberry sauce so many of us remember in its jellied molded form. One cannot even put them in the same category on many levels of comparison. From color, taste, texture, and overall pleasantness, homemade cranberry sauce wins by a landslide.

Trust me after you try this sauce, you will never buy canned cranberry sauce again. Be prepared when friends and family “Ooooh and Awwww” over the mere fact you made fresh cranberry sauce from scratch. They will call you “Martha” and hate you for it. But that’s okay.. your secret is safe with me.

I won’t tell how you didn’t spend hours over a hot stove making this. In all honesty, if the world only knew how easy this was cranberry sauce was to make, no one would ever buy canned again! Do yourself a favor and leave that good-for-nothing sauce in the can on the grocery store shelf and for this Thanksgiving make your homemade cranberry sauce.

For those of you wondering if you can make this in advance – YES. Up to two weeks sealed in a container and stored in the refrigerator!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cranberry sauce?

Cranberry sauce is a popular condiment made with fresh cranberries, sugar, and water. It is most commonly served alongside turkey on Thanksgiving at room temperature but can also be served slightly warmed up.

Because cranberries are naturally low in sugar and tart in flavor, most cranberry sauce recipes include sugar to make the sauce both sweet and tart.

How long will the cranberry sauce keep?

Cranberry sauce will last two weeks in the refrigerator or up to two years if properly preserved and canned.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in less than 2 weeks?! It’ll be a Thanksgiving festival here at Damn Delicious until then so stay tuned for many Thanksgiving dishes until now and the big day. And to kick off this Thanksgiving feast, let’s start with this incredibly easy cranberry sauce.

Now I’m not sure how you host Thanksgiving or what you’re responsible for cooking but cranberry sauce has got to be one of the easiest dishes to make. And if you’re like me, any dish that takes minimal effort for the big day is a huge relief since you’ll probably be crazed with a million other things that day.

So how does this come together? Easy. Just 3 ingredients, if you don’t count the water, and all you have to do is let it simmer and thicken. Done and done. Seriously, didn’t I tell you it was embarrassingly easy? It’s also wonderfully sweet and tart, beautifully complementing the orange kick.

Not only is it effortless to make but you can also whip this up ahead of time since it’ll keep for at least a week in the fridge! Although it never lasts that long in ours – we slather it on everything, and they’re also so perfect for Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches!

How to make-ahead and store cranberry sauce

The other wonderful thing about making homemade cranberry sauce is it&rsquos easy to make ahead of time! It&rsquos served cool or at room temperature, so you can just pull it out of the fridge before dinner and free up some stovetop space for other important Thanksgiving side recipes.

  • You can freeze fresh cranberry sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Make sure to pull it out of the freezer 24-48 hours before serving, so it can defrost completely, and give it a little stir before serving.
  • Or, you can store it in your refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 10-15 days.

Wholesome & Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

This wholesome cranberry sauce recipe is a delicious, naturally-sweetened way to bring this staple Thanksgiving dish to your family table.

In our family, you either love it or you hate it. There’s no in-between. If you don’t love it, I won’t judge, because it means there’s more for me!

Often times, we grace Thanksgiving tables with that jiggly, jello-like sauce that still has the ridges of the can on the sides of the sauce. This version of the condiment contains tons of sugar, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup.

Even many homemade cranberry sauce recipes call for loads of added sugar, and it does make sense to some degree. Since cranberries are tart, you need some sweetness to balance it out – but there is another way to balance that cranberry tartness without contradicting the health benefits of the cranberries.

Cranberry Sauce With Just Enough Sweetness

In this homemade cranberry sauce recipe, I took a two-fold approach to the sweetener. First, I used Gala apples. Sweet Galas cook down to a nice mush, adding sweetness and creating that saucy consistency we love. But, with the apples alone, the sauce is still tart, so I add a bit of maple syrup to supplement the natural apple sweetness. It isn’t enough for the sauce to end up tasting mapley, just enough to sweeten and add the slightest hint of maple depth. Finally, just a pinch of cloves and nutmeg give the sauce a bit of extra character, while still keeping that true and bold cranberry flavor.

You can use this recipe to make a chunky cranberry sauce or a thin, butter-like sauce with just a few extra steps.

Ingredient Notes

  • Cranberries – Fresh or frozen either works just perfectly for this recipe!
  • Orange – The juice today and fresh zest, this will add some acidity and brightness to our sauce.
  • Sugar – Just some granulated white sugar, we want some simple clean sweetness to balance out all that tartness.
  • Spices – Ground nutmeg is going to round out our sauce nicely, it adds a sweet spiced taste and aroma. It can be substituted with cinnamon if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Vanilla – Our flavor secret weapon! Just a splash will bring everything above together. But trust me when I say, the vanilla is the secret ingredient here.

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 package, 10 oz, frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • zest of one orange
  • juice of one orange
  • 1/2 cup water


Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl or the instant pot . Place the lid on the instant pot and close the pressure release valve.

Set the instant pot to steam, high pressure for 8 minutes. When done cooking, quick release the steam. Place into a serving dish and serve.

Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Dehydrated Cranberry Sauce

Yes, you can do this. There are two ways you can accomplish this to make extremely tasty, sweet, tart fruit leather treats for your kids (or more to the point, for you!)

Slice your jellied cranberry sauce into thin layers, or cut into fun shapes, dry at 140F / 57c until firm, leathery and dry. Think of these as being like cranberry gummies.

Cranberry Fruit Leather

Mix your sauce with about 30% applesauce, use an immersion blender or a blender to get a smooth consistency, spread into layers on your fruit leather sheets and dry at 140F / 57C until done.


Pancake Topping - simmer a little of that cranberry sauce with some added orange juice and make a perfect pancake or waffle topping!

Bacon Egg and Cheese Cranberry Sauce breakfast sandwich - hands-up if you've ever put strawberry on your homemade breakfast muffins before? This is a perfect way of making it suited for the season! Add a little fresh spinach to remove any guilt from this sandwich!


Cranberry Spreads

Cranberry Mayo - sure, turkey sandwiches are all the rage for the week after Thanksgiving, but this sauce is good for

Rosemary Cranberry sauce glaze - instead of using cranberry juice, use some sauce with a little extra water and simmer to create a glaze - drizzle over your favorite veggies or meat.

Slow-Cooker Meals

Slowcooker Cranberry Chicken This slow cooker meal is from the Croctober Extravaganza, but with leftover turkey and your cranberry sauce!

Cranberry Pulled Pork - add a cup of cranberry sauce to your favorite pulled pork recipe and serve it up on tasty buns or on top of a baked potato or sweet potato.

Main Dishes

Cranberry Ginger Chicken (remember, replace the cranberry/juice combination with your own cranberry sauce and continue with the recipe)

Cranberry Duck Breast - if you are like me don't like the taste of warm whole cranberries, you can admit those and the honey and replace with your cranberry sauce.


Sweet Potato with Cranberry topping - what's better than a baked sweet potato for a quick lunch or snack? Top it with a little leftover cranberry sauce and orange zest for a treat!

Sweet potato toast with cranberry - maybe this is an appetizer instead, but sweet potato toast with a little cream cheese and cranberry spread is a PERFECT way to give yourself the goodness of both of this season's favorite flavors!

3 Sandwiches

Of course, the most basic use of any good cranberry sauce is that post-Thanksgiving Day Turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce, stuffing, and turkey meat! But try it as a panini-style sandwich if you have an indoor grill - or even on the outdoor grill!

Here are some other tasy ideas!

Brie & Cranberry Grilled Cheese sandwiches - this is fabulous with goat cheese as well!

First of all, you have to take a pan.

Sugar and orange juice must be tipped into the pan.

The next step is to bring to the boil.

Now, the cranberries must be stirred in.

Then, simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. (You have to make sure that the cranberries turn tender and at the same time, they hold the shape).

If you are using frozen cranberries, you have to simmer for 5 minutes.

If you are using fresh cranberries, you should simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

When it cools, the sauce will start thickening.

You can keep this sauce in the fridge for one week.

When you want to use it, you should bring to room temperature before serving.

Another brie appearance! Brie and cranberries are a match made in heaven, and it’s never been more evident than in this gorgeous baked brie.

Cranberry Pistachio Baked Brie

Hungry for more?

Here are two more leftover cranberry sauce round-ups: 9 Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce from Oh My Veggies and 12 Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce from Cook the Story.