Fresh Cranberry Sauce is so simple to make and is a great make ahead dish that can simplify your hectic holiday cooking. In addition to fresh cranberries, this recipe uses dried tart cherries for added flavor and dimension. Forget about the canned stuff, this homemade Fresh Cranberry Sauce is so easy, so simple and so good! This recipe has graced my Thanksgiving table for the past 20 years and I hope it becomes a family favorite of yours too!
If you’ve only eaten canned cranberry sauce, whether it’s the jellied or whole berry version, be prepared to have your mind blown! Making your own Fresh Cranberry Sauce is so easy, you will ditch the can for good!
Confession-I grew up on canned jellied cranberry sauce.
You see, my mom is from Japan. As you know, Thanksgiving, with all its glorious food and football, isn’t a thing there. So, she learned to cook these American dishes from my dad, and canned cranberry sauce was his family’s tradition.
When I started making Thanksgiving dinner some 20 plus years ago, the can was the first thing to go, and I have never turned back (and you won’t either!).
Fresh cranberry sauce variations you might like to try
- Add the zest of one orange when you add the cranberries.
- Swap dried cherries for another dried fruit like cranberries or golden raisins.
- Add 1 cup peeled, diced fresh fruit like apples or pears during the cooking process.
- Add 1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans.
- Swap cranberry juice for cranberry-apple, or try it with orange juice instead.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce can be made ahead and stored in a tightly covered bowl for up to 5 days. One less thing to worry about on the big day!
I hope you make homemade cranberry sauce this year!
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
- 1 and ¾ cups cranberry juice cocktail
- 1 cup dried cherries
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 - 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Rinse and drain cranberries; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, bring juice to a low boil. Add dried cherries, turn off heat and cover pot. Let cherries steep for 5 minutes.
- Re-heat cherry mixture over medium heat.
- Add sugars, cranberries, and cloves. Stir as sugar dissolves.
- Simmer cranberry mixture over medium heat until cranberries burst; about 8-10 minutes.
- Let cool in pot before storing in refrigerator. Cranberry Sauce will thicken slightly when cooled. Allow to cool for 6 hours or overnight. Can be made several days ahead, just keep it stored in a the refrigerator in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
If you made this Fresh Cranberry Sauce, or any other recipe on the blog, don’t forget to leave a rating and a comment below. I love hearing from my readers! You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!