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Cranberry Sauce

Posted by Denise on December 6, 2011


cranberry sauce in green bowl

Make your holidays more colorful and tasty with easy, tasty homemade Cranberry Sauce.


Right after Thanksgiving, I found myself with a bag of leftover fresh cranberries that I didn’t already have plans for. So I decided to try to make cranberry sauce. It was so easy, and wow, is the flavor so much better than the canned grocery store sauce! It literally took about 30 minutes to make, from washing and picking over the fruit to cooking it down into a flavor-packed whole berry sauce. Would you believe that a basic, delicious cranberry sauce only has 3 ingredients and one of those is water? It was so easy and tasted so good that I will include this with our holiday meals from now on.

Make sure you clean and check over the cranberries, taking out any stems, twigs, leaves, or soft berries that may be in the batch. Rinse them under running water just to make sure they are clean. Now they are ready to use.

The amount of sugar you use with this recipe will vary based on your likes, the sweetness or tartness of your cranberries, and even other spices added. Start with less sugar than you think you need, then taste and add as needed to get it where you like it best.

There are quite a few ways to change cranberry sauce up, too. Add a couple of tablespoons of orange juice, a little orange zest, or some cinnamon to get another totally different sauce. Substitute brown sugar for the white sugar and you have another different taste. I’m sure you can think of many other great versions, too.



Cranberry Sauce

Serves 4-6



cranberry sauce ingredients 

Ingredients for Cranberry Sauce






16 oz package (about 3 cups) of fresh cranberries


Water to cover


Cup white granulated sugar, more to taste if needed


Tablespoons orange juice, if desired





1.   Wash and sort cranberries. Place in a sauce pan and add water to just cover the berries. Turn burner to medium-high and heat the mixture up to boiling. (If flavoring with orange juice and zest, add now.)


cleaning cranberries for sauce



2.   Once the liquid is starting to boil, add the sugar and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until most of the berries start to burst. The natural pectins in the cranberries will make the mixture thicken. Stir occasionally to mix everything together.


 adding sugar to cranberry sauce in pan

cooking cranberry sauce



3.   When most of the cranberries have burst open, remove the pan from the stove and allow to cool. Serve separately cold as a salad or spoon warm sauce over roasted pork, turkey, chicken, or other meat.


 cranberry sauce almost done


cranberry sauce on leaf plate


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