This is a super simple recipe for Cranberry Sauce made by simmering fresh cranberries with sugar, orange, spices and a little water. It is a perfect combo of tart and sweet. Best part is they come together in about 10 minutes. You will love these cranberries on your holiday table!
Unlike this Cranberry Relish Recipe that is raw and crisp, this cranberry sauce is more of a jellied sauce with whole berries in the mix. Which is amazing spooned over roasted turkey.
((If you want cranberries outside of cranberry season, you can use frozen berries for this recipe… or pop over to this recipe using two cans of Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberries))
Perfect For Turkey Day!
Traditionally, in the US, Cranberry Sauce is served on Thanksgiving (and Christmas). It goes really well with Roasted Turkey, and the tart sweetness of the cranberries is a nice palate cleanser for the heavier dishes like mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing classically served at this meal.
It is also served cold, which is a nice contrast to all the hot or warm dishes that are served on a holiday table.
Whole Fresh Cranberries- Fresh cranberries are available in the US from late October to the end of December. This recipe will also work with frozen whole cranberries. You may need to add a little time when cooking from frozen.
Sugar- Raw cranberries are unbelievably tart, almost painfully tart!! It is crucial that you balance the flavor with sugar.
Orange- The flavor of fresh orange juice and orange zest pair perfectly with the tart berry flavor of the cranberries.
Water- Helps to cook down the cranberries. Then when it mixes with the sugar and the pectin and juice from the cranberries it becomes a beautiful and delicious gelatin.
Kosher Salt- Balances the flavor of the sugar and the tart berries.
Clove and Cinnamon- It is optional to add the spices. At the holidays we find that a pinch of cinnamon and clove really enhance the flavor of the cranberries.
How To Make Cranberry Sauce
- Add all the ingredients to a pot.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and cool.
- Transfer to a covered container.
Set the pot over medium heat, and give everything a good stir.
Simmer the cranberries for about 10 minutes, until the berries begin to burst.
Cover the Cranberry Sauce and pop in the fridge for 24 hours, up to 1 week.
Cranberry Sauce is actually better if it can be made at least one day ahead. Just like this Jell-O Salad, it needs time to set up in the fridge.
Make this Simple Cranberry Sauce up to one week in advance of your dinner. Keep it covered in the fridge until it is time to eat. They are great served nice and cold next to all the hot dishes.
Storing & Freezing
Any leftover Cranberry Sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks! If you want to keep it even longer you can freeze the cranberries for up to 6 months.
Make sure you taste the cranberries after they have simmered and cooled. This is a good time to adjust any flavors, before they set up in the fridge.
Sweeter: add some brown sugar, white sugar, or honey to the cranberries. Pop them back over low heat for a few minutes so the sugar melts into the berries.
More Tart: zest in a little lemon and squeeze in some lemon juice. If you have more cranberries you can simmer them in a smidge of water, no sugar, and add them to your cranberry sauce.
More Texture: if you want to add a little extra texture to your cranberry sauce you can spoon in a couple tablespoons of crushed pineapple in juice. Just like we use in the this Canned Cranberry Sauce, pineapple goes amazing with cranberries!
Too Thin: don’t worry, your cranberries will set up in the fridge! The pectin from the berries and the sugar will make them more jelly-like as they cool. You can also simmer for a couple extra minutes to concentrate them a little more.
Too Thick: add a little more water or orange juice (or pineapple juice) to thin the berries a little bit.
More Fresh Cranberry Recipes
Simple Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- Add all the ingredinets to a sauce pan. Simmer over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. You want the berries to be bursting and releasing their juice and pectin.12 oz fresh, raw cranberries, ¾ cup sugar, zest of 1 orange, ½ cup orange juice, ½ cup water, pinch kosher salt, pinch clove and cinnamon
- Remove from the heat and let cool. After they have cooled enough, give them a little taste and make sure they suit your tastebuds perfectly. See flavor and texture troubleshooting in the notes below.
- Store in the fridge for 24 hours- up to a week.
- Serve cold as a tart and sweet side dish.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.