The flavors of fall in this easy homemade cranberry sauce is always a favorite with Thanksgiving dinner. Prepare in advance and enjoy the holiday!
Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Sauce and Turkey are an inseparable pair and should always be introduced together or it would not be Thanksgiving.
Back when our family was young I began a tradition of hosting holiday dinners for our families. I was really into cooking from scratch and that’s when I realized there was cranberry sauce and then there was cranberry relish.
Cranberry sauce is quickly made by cooking fresh cranberries in water with sugar added. Cranberry relish is made by chopping fresh (uncooked) cranberries in a food processor then placed in a bowl with fresh or dried fruits, nuts, and/or whatever else you might like to compliment the tart berries. So simple, yes?
Since my family prefers cranberry sauce I’m sharing this basic, easy homemade cranberry sauce recipe given to me back in the ’80’s when I mentioned to a friend that I never made homemade cranberry sauce. I knew immediately I had to make this when my friend said it is the easiest recipe you’ll ever make. I’ve been making it ever since – way before ‘foodies’ began blogging. Psst…..you can find the recipe on the package of fresh cranberries – I have a feeling everyone knows this by now.
To help reduce your pre-holiday cooking stress you can prepare this easy homemade cranberry sauce 1 to 2 days in advance. You will never need to open a can again with this keeper of a recipe.
I have also cut out refined sugar in the past few years. I use fresh squeezed orange juice and if the orange is not sweet enough I’ll add a teaspoon of maple syrup. It’s delicious, but if you don’t like oranges and maple syrup you can substitute honey, or use coconut sugar + water – it will still be delicious.
Using fresh oranges serves three purposes: (1) zest the orange to add to the cooked cranberry sauce, (2) squeeze the juice to cook with the cranberries, then (3) cut out the orange segments and add them to the cranberry sauce.
Add your preferred sugar a little at a time to get to the desired sweetness level, stir and taste as you go. I often use fresh squeezed orange juice for more sweetness then cut up some of the orange sections to add to the cooked sauce.
Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce is delicious and flexible. I added fresh orange and nuts.
For the basic 3 Ingredient Recipe you only need 1 bag of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar. Bring water to boil, add sugar & stir to dissolve then add in the cranberries. Cook 10 mins., set aside to cool.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Cuisine: Side Dish
- 1 pkg. fresh cranberries
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (or use water + 1/4 cup coconut sugar)
- 1 tbls. maple syrup (optional or as needed)
- orange zest from 1 orange
- 1 orange cut in sections with membrane removed
- 2 TBLS. chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds optional)
- OPTIONAL-1 tsp. Grand Marnier (optional)
- In 2.5 quart saucepan add fresh squeezed orange juice and bring to a boil (or add the water + sugar if you don’t want to use orange juice).
- Rinse the cranberries and add to the boiling liquid. Stirring occasionally bring the berries to a slow boil and cook 10-12 minutes. If you want to add in the nuts and sliced orange segments stir them in now.
- Pour the cranberries into a bowl and set aside to cool.
- If the sauce is too thick, that’s o.k., just add a little more liquid to get the desired sauce you like.
You can use your preferred citrus fruits, add nut if there are no allergies, and use coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey in place of the refined sugar. Enjoy the Holiday!
This easy homemade cranberry sauce recipe is so very flexible and can be made in 15 minutes. Feel free to make it your own by adding your preferred fruits – pineapple, grapefruit, mango – well, you get the idea.
Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!