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All my life the cranberry sauce we were served for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner came out of a can. I really didn’t know what I was missing until I learned how to make it from scratch.  Honestly, good cranberry sauce is just too easy to make from scratch to ever buy it from a can or bottle.

Cranberries are an exceptionally healthy food when they are fresh which is another reason to make your own cranberry sauce! We’re giving you a basic cranberry sauce recipe here that you can then add to and modify to make it your very own special cranberry sauce.  Be sure to see the notes for suggested variations to the recipe. 

Serve it for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and your friends and family will be talking about it the rest of the year.

Delicious Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins

A simple basic cranberry sauce recipe with instructions on how to spice it up and make it your own.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry sauce,
Servings: 2 cups
  • 1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water or orange juice, see notes
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Wash cranberries
  2. bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  3. Add cranberries and return to boil.  Reduce heat and continue cooking at a slow boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  You want the majority of cranberries to have burst open.
  4. Remove from heat and chill until ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

Notes: This is just the basic cranberry sauce recipe.  Orange juice can be substituted for the water.  The orange and cranberry flavors go well together.  You might want to try a half and half mix of orange juice and water the first time. 

You can try adding raisins or blueberries when cooking.  Also experiment with spices such as star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice.  Finely chopped pecans or walnuts can be good as well as some orange zest.  But take it slow.  Add a bit of spice and taste, then adjust.  I don’t recommend using all of these spices in the same batch.  Just experiment with them until you have your own special cranberry sauce.

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Fresh homemade cranberry sauce