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+ servings
closeup of cranberry sauce in a clear jar with a spoon

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This sweet and tart homemade cranberry sauce only takes four ingredients and 10 minutes to make! See the blog post for tons of substitutions and flavor ideas.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberries, cranberry, cranberry sauce, Thanksgiving
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 774kcal


  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 7 ounces sugar or maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, etc
  • 8 ounces water or apple juice, orange juice, red wine etc
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest or lemon, lime
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice or lemon, lime


  • Combine water, sugar, zest, juice, and cranberries together in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and let the mixture reduce for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is thickened. It will thicken even more as it cools.
  • OPTIONAL: If you want to thicken your cranberry sauce further, combine 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon of cool water to make a slurry. Add the slurry into the cranberry sauce at the end of cooking and cook for 1 extra minute until it’s thickened. 
  • Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool before using. Cranberry sauce takes about 2 hours in the fridge to cool completely. 
  • Once your filling is cool, use an immersion blender or blender to make your cranberry filling smoother. Totally optional. 



This recipe is so incredibly forgiving. Try out some of these combinations and make this homemade cranberry sauce your own!
In place of water you can use: 
  • Apple juice
  • Apple cider
  • Orange juice
  • Red Wine
In place of sugar try:
  • Brown sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Corn syrup
  • Agave syrup
In place of orange zest and juice:
  • Lemon
  • Lime
You can even add in other fruits like blueberries, strawberries, or apple chunks. 
Add in spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg for some extra flavor but it's all up to you!
Cranberry sauce is naturally high in pectin and will thicken as it cools. Allow two hours for cooling or better yet, make it the day before. 


Serving: 2ounces | Calories: 774kcal | Carbohydrates: 200g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 198g | Vitamin C: 8mg