Homemade Cranberry Sauce

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Cranberry sauce is essential to any holiday meal. It gives a refreshing zing that cuts through all the heavy, rich Thanksgiving dishes. I put cranberry sauce on almost everything; turkey, stuffing, and vegetables always get a dollop!

I love making Homemade Cranberry Sauce to add to my Thanksgiving spread. It’s so delicious and fresh-tasting and takes almost no effort to make.

Homemade vs Canned Cranberry Sauce

I think that canned cranberry sauce isn’t very good. I know some people thoroughly disagree, but to me it’s really more like cranberry-flavored jello. It’s thick and not saucy at all. When you squeeze it out of the can it plops on the plate in one chunk, complete with the can lines etched into the lump. Not appetizing!

Canned cranberry sauce has high fructose corn syrup, and corn syrup in it too, and honestly doesn’t even taste like real cranberries. Now don’t get me wrong, I love canned goods. I use them all the time in my recipes! But cranberry sauce is so easy to make homemade it’s almost as easy as opening a can.

Homemade cranberry sauce has real cranberries and tastes like actual fruit, not some weird fruit-flavored gelatinous substance. And the good news is it only takes 3 ingredients and takes 15 minutes to make.

Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

Cranberry sauce only takes three ingredients to make the most delicious and fresh-tasting Thanksgiving condiment! Once you make this you will never want to go back to the canned stuff.

  • cranberries: you can find bags of fresh cranberries in the produce section during the holidays
  • no pulp bottled orange juice: orange just adds a perfect zing to this sauce and really compliments the cranberries. using bottled orange juice instead of zest or fresh squeezed also cuts down on prep time with very similar results!
  • sugar: gotta add some sugar to balance out all the tartness

How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Making cranberry sauce is so dang easy.

First, add your sugar and orange juice to a pot over medium heat. Heat that up until it comes to a simmer, then add in your cranberries. Heat those for about 12 minutes, or until the cranberries burst. It will look a little runny, but it will thicken up as it sits. Serve with your holiday dinner!

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Recipe by Julia Pacheco Course: Dinner, SidesCuisine: American, ThanksgivingDifficulty: Easy


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  • 12 oz 12 cranberries

  • 1 cup 1 no pulp bottled orange juice

  • 1 cup 1 sugar


  • To a saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and orange juice. Whisk together and bring up to a simmer. Once simmering, stir in the cranberries and simmer whisking frequently for about 12 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst.
  • Place sauce into a serving bowl let it sit to thicken up. The longer it sits, the thicker it will become. Enjoy with all of your holiday meals!

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One Comment

  1. This is the easiest and best fresh cranberry sauce ever. I made it last year for the first time for Thanksgiving..needless to say I’m making it again this year. I’ll never go back to the canned stuff. Thanks Julia for another great/easy recipe

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