Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe (2024)

The BEST Cranberry Sauce Recipe is fresh, homemade, and make-ahead. With just 3 ingredients and 15 minutes of your time, you can enjoy the absolute best homemade cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving.

Make this recipe a few days before Thanksgiving to save time and have one less thing to do on the big day!

Check out mySmall Thanksgiving Dinner Menuwith Recipes and a Printable Grocery list. I show you step-by-step how to make Thanksgiving dinner.

Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe (1)

CRANBERRY SAUCE

Cranberry Sauce is one of those foods the picky kid in me would never eat, but the adult in me LOVES! It really was love at first taste, and now I put fresh cranberry sauce on just about everything.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving leftovers is a roasted turkey grilled cheese with cranberry and brie sandwich. I love it dripping with cranberry sauce! yummmm I can't wait for Thanksgiving!

If you've never made a FRESH homemade cranberry sauce recipe because you thought it would be too difficult - think again! It's super easy! All you need is fresh cranberries, orange juice, sugar, and about 15 minutes! You can even make this up to a week ahead of time and store in the fridge until Thanksgiving!

Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe (2)

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CRANBERRY SAUCE RECIPE

  1. In a saucepan set over medium heat, dissolve 3/4 cup of sugar in 3/4 cup of orange juice and then add 12 ounces of fresh cranberries. After several minutes the cranberries will start pop, pop, popping! Cook until the sauce gets juicier and the berries burst and break down, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add a pinch of salt. Give the cranberry sauce a little taste and adjust the flavor to your liking. If the sauce is too tart, add about a tablespoon or two more sugar at a time until the sweet/tart balance is just right for you. Smoosh the cranberries if you like or leave them chunky. It's totally up to you! Cranberry Sauce is delicious warm or cold, so serve it how you like it and enjoy!

Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe (3)

HELPFUL TIPS AND FAQ'S FOR MAKING THE BEST CRANBERRY SAUCE RECIPE

HOW TO BUY & STORE FRESH CRANBERRIES

Cranberries are only harvested in the fall and usually show in grocery stores in November. Only a small percentage of cranberries harvested are sold fresh, so when I see fresh cranberries in the grocery store, I stock up. Fresh cranberries can be frozen for up to a year!

Fresh cranberries are typically sold in bags in the produce section of your grocery store. When buying fresh cranberries, I recommend giving the bag a thorough check to make sure there aren't any soft or mushy berries. Also, look to make sure liquid hasn’t collected inside the bag, as that is a sign of rotten cranberries - nobody wants that!

Store fresh cranberries in their bag in the refrigerator up to a month. Or freeze them in their bags up to a year. I always buy extra bags of fresh cranberries to store in the fridge for use throughout the year. Also, because I have this irrational fear there will be some crazy cranberry shortage and I want to be prepared just in case.


CAN FRESH CRANBERRY SAUCE BE MADE AHEAD OF TIME

YES! Cranberry sauce is one of those Thanksgiving recipes I always recommend to make ahead of time. I usually make it the day before Thanksgiving and store it in the fridge, but it can be made up to a week ahead. Store fresh cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the fridge.


WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER CRANBERRY SAUCE

Leftover cranberry sauce can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some of my favorite ways to use leftover cranberry sauce:

  • Leftover Thanksgiving Casserole is a delicious recipe made from all your favorite Thanksgiving recipes and my best cranberry sauce recipe makes it taste even better!
  • Have you ever tried my Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies? If not, you're missing out! You'll want to make extra cranberry sauce just to have enough to make these cookies!
  • BBQ Cranberry Chicken is a delicious dinner recipe that's easy to make using leftover cranberry sauce.
  • Whip up some cranberry butter to spread on bagels or toast. Use it to top pancakes, waffles, or french toast for a special treat. Also makes a great sandwich spread.
  • Mix fresh cranberry sauce into yogurt and top with homemade granolafor a delicious breakfast. It makes a great addition to smoothies and oatmeal too!

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Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Side dish

American

Yield: 6

Author: Life Tastes Good

Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe (4)

The BEST Cranberry Sauce Recipe is fresh, homemade, and make-ahead. With just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes of your time, you can enjoy the absolute best homemade cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving.

prep time: 5 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 15 M

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 12 ounces of fresh cranberries
  • salt to taste

instructions:

How to cook Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve 3/4 cup sugar in 3/4 cup orange juice. Add 12 ounces cranberries and heat for about 10-15 minutes until the berries burst and break down. Add a pinch of salt and adjust flavors to your liking.
  2. Allow to cool
  3. Garnish with orange zest if you like

NOTES:

Article last updated on 10/23/2019
When buying fresh cranberries, I recommend giving the bag a thorough check to make sure there aren't any soft or mushy berries. Also, look to make sure liquid hasn’t collected inside the bag, as that is a sign of rotten cranberries
Store fresh cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week

Products I Use (Paid Links):

Calories
136.78

Fat (grams)
0.14

Sat. Fat (grams)
0.01

Carbs (grams)
35.01

Fiber (grams)
2.10

Net carbs
32.90

Sugar (grams)
29.97

Protein (grams)
0.48

Sodium (milligrams)
98.59

Cholesterol (grams)
0.00

Nutrition label disclaimer: Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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