You'll love this family favorite homemade cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries! This easy, simple recipe combines orange and cinnamon for the perfect Thanksgiving and holiday side dish. Cooks up in about 20 minutes and can be made ahead!
Why you'll love it
It's quick and easy! This is such an easy recipe to add to your Thanksgiving or holiday repertoire! Even if you've never made your own cranberry sauce, you'll be so pleased with how easy it is.
It uses easy to find fresh and pantry staples!
It's an American classic that completes our Thanksgiving table.To be honest, I grew up on canned cranberry-no shame in it. But fresh cranberries are so easy to make and so worth the little bit of effort. And it can be made ahead, so no excuses!
Step by step cranberry sauce instructions
Zest orange (do this first) then cut orange in half and squeeze out the juice.
Add orange juice (and reserved juice) along with sugar to a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir as sugar dissolves. When sugar has melted, add cranberries, zest, cinnamon stick, and zest. Stir to combine.
Bring mixture to a boil over medium to medium high heat. Cook until cranberries burst and sauce thickens slightly-about 10 minutes. I usually start on medium high heat then turn down to medium. Let cool in pan then store covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Recipe notes and tips
Allow several hours for cranberry sauce to cool completely. Serve cold or at room temperature.
The cranberries will pop and splatter a little as they cook. Don't stand over the pot until most of them have burst.
Cranberry sauce is quite versatile. Add chopped pecans for a southern twist. Add chopped apple, dried cranberries, or dried cherries for variety.
You can make this recipe with two oranges, just follow the same steps. You can use a mix of water and orange juice for the liquid, just water, or another juice like cherry, cranberry or apple.
Keep in mind that using more or less liquid will determine how saucy the final product is.
How do I store cranberry sauce? Make cranberry sauce up to one week ahead-store tightly covered in the refrigerator.
More holiday recipes
Thank you for reading this recipe! If you make it, I’d love for you to give it a ★ rating below. This lets me know what you like and want to see more of.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
- 1 orange zested and squeezed, juice reserved
- ¾ cup orange juice plus reserved fresh orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 - 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
- 1 stick cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- Rinse and drain cranberries; set aside.
- Zest whole orange then cut in half and squeeze out juice.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add orange juices and sugar. Stir as sugar dissolves.
- Add cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and cloves to sugar mixture. Bring to a gentle boil then cook until cranberries burst, and sauce begins to thicken-about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cranberries will pop and may splatter so beware!
- Let cool in pan. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Allow several hours to cool completely. Serve cold or at room temperature. I like to make it a couple days ahead, then bring it out about on hour before serving.
- Cranberry sauce is quite versatile. Add chopped pecans for a southern twist. Add dried cranberries or dried cherries.
- You can make this recipe with two oranges, just follow the same steps. You can use a mix of water and orange juice for the liquid, just water, or another juice like cherry, cranberry or apple.
- Keep in mind that the using more or less liquid will determine how saucy the final product is.
- Make up to one week ahead-store tightly covered in the refrigerator.