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Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Homemade Cranberry Sauce is so easy to make! It only takes a few minutes on the stovetop and you can flavor it how you you like it! It is seriously a must have for Thanksgiving!

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A clear bowl full of bright red homemade cranberry sauce sitting on a wooden cutting board with a spoon in the sauce, next to the cutting board is bunch of loose fresh cranberries.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Everyone needs cranberry sauce on the holiday table right? To me you truly can’t have a thanksgiving meal without it.

The sweet yet tart flavor of the sauce is the perfect accompaniment to the rich and savory feast of turkey and potatoes.

One of the best parts is that it couldn’t be easier to make!

Supplies

You don’t need a lot to make cranberry sauce, it comes together fairly easy on the stovetop:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • medium sized saucepan
  • whisk and rubber spatula

Ingredients

Here is where my cranberry sauce will differ slightly from the standard version…

To make cranberry sauce you really only need water, sugar, and fresh cranberries.

I think that it is fun to add a little extra flavor so I do that by using the following, just to give it a little extra pizazz!

  • apple cider – using apple cider gives the sauce a little more of an in-depth flavor, the sweet apple flavor helps round out the tartness slightly but is not overpowering
  • sugar – I use plain sugar but if you wanted to use brown sugar that would probably taste great here as well
  • fresh cranberries – you will need 1 bag for this recipe, you can cook it from frozen if that is what you have, remember cranberries are very seasonal so if you love cranberries makes sure to always grab an extra bag for the freezer (they freeze really well) so you can have them throughout the year
  • cinnamon sticks – just the addition of a cinnamon stick gives it that little bit of flavor boost that complements the cranberries well, if you aren’t a fan of cinnamon you may leave it out, if you are a super fan of cinnamon you can use 2 cinnamon sticks

For a complete detailed list of the ingredients continue towards the bottom of the page.

Ingredients needed to make cranberry sauce laid on a table including fresh cranberries, apple cider, sugar, and cinnamon sticks.

How to make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Over medium heat to bring to a simmer. 

Once you are at a simmer reduce to medium-low heat to continue to simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally until sauce thickens and cranberries have popped. 

Remove from heat, let cool slightly before serving.

Bowl of cranberry sauce on a wood cutting board with loose fresh cranberries all around.

Tips, Tricks, and Questions

  • You can use a different liquid in place of the apple cider like just plain water or orange juice!
  • A higher heat boil might cause the cranberries to foam, keep at a medium heat.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes you can. Just keep it in the fridge in an airtight container. You may reheat if you wish or just serve it chilled!

Make this your own!

  • Instead of apple cider use orange juice or water
  • Add in other spices beside cinnamon, maybe a dash of ginger, nutmeg, or cardamom
  • a little citrus peel like orange or lemon would be delicious
  • add in a little whiskey or brandy for an extra flavor punch

You really can play around with cranberry sauce, as long as you keep the ratio of liquid to cranberries you can truly make it your own!

Small bowl of cranberry sauce with a spoon in the bowl sitting on a wooden cutting board next to loose fresh cranberries.

Need more Thanksgiving & Holiday recipes? You might like these:

And make sure to save any leftovers to make my Cranberry Sauce Margarita!!

Small bowl of cranberry sauce with a spoon in the bowl sitting on a wooden cutting board next to loose fresh cranberries.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Yield: 2 ½ cups
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes

Cranberry Sauce is so easy to make at home! Grab the 4 ingredients needed, add to the stovetop, and after a short time of simmering it is ready for your Thanksgiving or holiday table!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup apples cider
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups cranberries (1 bag)
  • 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Over medium heat to bring to a simmer.
  2. Reduce to medium-low heat to simmer 15 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and cranberries have popped. Remove cinnamon sticks and let cool slightly before serving.

Notes

You can use a different liquid in place of the apple cider like just plain water or orange juice!

A higher heat boil might cause the cranberries to foam, keep at a medium heat.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 110Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 0g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below on the blog or share a photo with me tag @the_schmidty_wife! Can't wait to see what you made!

Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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