An easy 3-ingredient 10-minute Easy Cranberry Sauce recipe made from scratch with fresh in-season cranberries. A delicious traditional Thanksgiving side dish served with roasted turkey, this cranberry sauce is the star of any holiday spread.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce is easy to make and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month during the holiday season which makes it the perfect recipe to make ahead of entertaining family and friends.
Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and if you’re anything like me, you’re planning out the holiday food menu. Well, this homemade Cranberry Sauce is just about the easiest thing to make for your Thanksgiving Day dinner menu and your guests will love it.
If you’re looking for the next potluck dish to bring to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, I have you covered. This cold cranberry salad has been a family favorite for years. You may never buy canned sauce again once you try this sauce recipe. There are so many different ways to change up the recipe but this is how my mom makes it.
If you’ve never made your own Cranberry Sauce with fresh cranberries, you’re missing out. This classic condiment is so easy to make that you’ll wonder why you used canned cranberry sauce in the first place. You don’t need any fancy ingredients either and it’s simple to cook from start to finish.
How to Make Cranberry Sauce
- Boil sugar and water.
- Stir in whole cranberries.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in vanilla and salt.
- Cool for 15 minutes.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
In New Orleans, many of the po-boy restaurants around here sever their Thanksgiving sandwichs with sauce. As anyone who has attended a Thanksgiving dinner can attest that there are those people that like to sort of mash all their Thanksgiving fixings together with cranberry sauce. Yep, I’m one of those, too. But, I usually save a few scoops of stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, turkey, and mashed potatoes for the end. This is such a common thing among guests that restaurants in the south serve their sandwiches that way.
- Sandwich: turkey melt, panini, wrap, sub, ect.
- Desserts: cakes, cupcakes, pastries, frosting
Cranberry Sauce Ingredients
- CRANBERRIES: Use fresh cranberries. Discard any rotten berries. Boil them in the syrup mixture until they burst. Frozen cranberries may be used in place of fresh. I like to use Ocean Spray cranberries.
- WATER: Adding water to the base will loosen the sauce.
- SUGAR: Cranberries are a tart fruit. Granulated sugar sweetens the berries to make them more palatable. If you’re watching your sugar intake, simply add less sugar than is called for or try this cranberry relish recipe.
- VANILLA: Everything tastes better with vanilla. Simply stir in a splash to incorporate a warm aroma and flavor.
Variations of cranberry sauce may include additional ingredients like using ground cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, bourbon, orange juice or zest, lemon juice, and apples.
With homemade cranberry sauce recipe version, you’ll be able to control how saucy you want it. Sometimes, I like an extra thick sauce with whole cranberries while other times I like the sauce thinned out with water for sandwiches.
Thanksgiving gets hectic, especially if you’re the one doing all the cooking and hosting. That’s why I like to make this sauce a week in advance. Fresh Cranberry Sauce can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a month or one year in the freezer. Plus, this homemade version is cheaper than canned cranberry sauce found at the grocery store.
How to Serve
Planning your Thanksgiving Day dinner menu? You’ll want to add these essential dishes to your menu.
- Slow Cooker Turkey
- Best Ever Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Vintage Cranberry Fluff Salad
- Classic Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Quick Cranberry Relish
- Honey Cornbread
- Oven-Roasted Ranch Carrots
- HoneyBaked Spiral Ham
- How to Brine a Turkey
- Creamed Spinach
For a taste of Thanksgiving, try my quick 10-minute stovetop Cranberry Sauce. Featuring seasonal fresh cranberries boiled in water and sugar, this classic Thanksgiving side dish has a fresh and satisfying taste that will satisfy your taste buds.
Easy Cranberry Sauce
- 12 oz fresh or frozen unsweetened cranberries
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, optional to taste
- ¼ cup water
- In a medium saucepan, boil 1 cup sugar and ½ cup water; about 2 minutes.
- Lower heat to a simmer. Stir in cranberries.
- Simmer until berries are soft and most have burst about 10 minutes.
- Stir in salt and vanilla.
- Remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup water.
- Allow mixture to cool for 15 minutes.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Additional stir-ins can include a pinch of cinnamon, orange zest, lemon juice, bourbon, or honey.
- This recipe can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or stored in the freezer for 8-10 months.