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This homemade cranberry sauce is easy to make and perfect for your holiday table!
This is hands down, the BEST cranberry sauce recipe ever. I mean it really puts the store-bought stuff with refined sugar to shame. I’m so excited to share this recipe with you! And did I mention it’s easy to make? Yep! It’s an “all-in-one-pot” recipe. So grab that pot, and let’s get started.
If you are making Thanksgiving dinner this year or need to take a dish to bring to somebody else’s house, this is it. It’s the perfect Thanksgiving recipe because it’s easy to make and easy to transport if needed. It’s right up there with sweet potato casserole!
How To Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Making cranberry sauce is a very simple process. Pretty much anybody could do it! All you do is put all your ingredients into a pot, and cook over low-medium heat (a low simmer) until the entire thing reduces in size by about half. It will be slightly thickened but will do most of its thickening as it cools. Put it in a serving dish (you can cool it in your serving dish if that’s easier) and serve! It’s tasty, easy and you can make it several days ahead of time to save you some work on the actual holiday!
How Long Does Homemade Cranberry Sauce Last?
Homemade cranberry sauce lasts for about two weeks in the fridge. That being said, I’ve had some batches last for nearly a month or more. I think the honey does a good job at working as a preservative here. But to be on the safe said, toss it after two weeks.
Can You Freeze Homemade Cranberry Sauce?
Absolutely!! Cranberry sauce freezes well for up to 6 months. Make sure you pack it well though. It needs an air-tight, food-safe container.
How To Thicken Homemade Cranberry Sauce
If you’ve made your sauce, cooled it, and realized that it’s still not as thick as you’d like it to be, simply return it to a pot and cook any liquid down a bit more. Some folks have added a teaspoon or so of cornstarch or arrowroot powder. But I find that that alters the cranberry sauce in a way that is slightly unpleasant. So it’s best to stick to cooking the liquid out further.
There are so many uses for this sauce! So don’t fret if you have leftovers. In fact, I often make a double or triple batch just so we’ll have leftovers.
How To Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce
- Freeze up to 6 months
- Use in place of mayo on a turkey sandwiches with leftover turkey
- Stir it into your morning oatmeal
- Make a Thanksgiving parfait
- Put a little over some vanilla ice cream
- Use it as filling for homemade pop tarts
- Spread over pancakes and waffles
- Make a cranberry grilled cheese sandwich with cheddar cheese
- Spread over your morning toast with a little bit of cream cheese
Why No Orange Juice?
It may seem counterintuitive to avoid adding the orange juice. I mean, there are plenty of recipes that call for it. The truth is, you can add it if you don’t want the orange to go to waste. But oddly enough, I have found that adding the juice reduces the overall orange flavor and subdues the tang a bit, which is why I only call for the zest.
(Scroll down to recipe card to print recipe)
12 oz. fresh cranberries – Approximately 3 1/4 cups.
1/2 cup honey – Or pure maple syrup
1 medium cinnamon stick
1 large orange – just for the fresh zest.
1 cup water – Use filtered water of some kind for the best flavor.
How To Make Easy Cranberry Sauce
Collect all your ingredients and your pot. Put the cranberries into the pot and zest your orange.
Add the orange zest.
Add the cinnamon stick.
Add the honey.
Add the water to the pot.
Turn your stove on. Phew! That was tough, wasn’t it? Seriously, that’s pretty much it. Cook over medium-high heat for about 30-45 minutes. When most of the liquid is cooked out, turn your stove down to a simmer. The longer you let this simmer, the thicker the sauce will get. Just don’t let ALL the liquid cook out or it will burn. Stir more frequently near the end.
Allow this to cool before you eat some. Trust me. I learned the hard way. It really burns right out of the pot! (I have no patience when it comes to good food!) Then transfer to a serving dish. Serve and enjoy!
How To Store Cranberry Sauce
Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
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Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- A sauce pot
- 12 oz. fresh cranberries (approx. 3 1/4 cups)
- ½ cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 1 medium cinnamon stick
- 1 large orange (just for zest)
- 1 cup water
- Collect all your ingredients and your pot. Put the cranberries into the pot and zest your orange.
- Add the orange zest.
- Add the cinnamon stick.
- Add the honey.
- Add the water to the pot.
- Turn your stove on. Phew! That was tough, wasn't it? Seriously, that's pretty much it. Cook over a medium-high heat for about 30-45 minutes. When most of the liquid is cooked out, turn your stove down to a simmer. The longer you let this simmer, the thicker the sauce will get. Just don't let ALL the liquid cook out or it will burn. Stir more frequently near the end.
- Allow this to cool before you eat some. Trust me. I learned the hard way. It really burns right out of the pot! (I have no patience when it comes to good food!) Then transfer to a serving dish.
- Serve and enjoy!