Cranberry Sauce Recipe

I couldn't believe how easy this cranberry sauce recipe is!

Making your own homemade cranberry sauce doesn't take much more work than opening a can of prepared sauce, but homemade sauce tastes so much better. I like knowing exactly what is in the sauce - just four simple ingredients - no preservatives or unnecessary additives.

It is very satisfying, too, to make your own cranberry sauce from real cranberries!

homemade cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce is traditionally served with holiday meals. It looks beautiful on a plate of roast turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, and its tart flavor is the perfect complement to the rich flavor of turkey.

Leftover turkey sandwiches spread with cranberry sauce are one of my favorite post Thanksgiving dinner ideas - and one of my favorite recipes for Christmas.

Check that you have these staples at home

  • in the cupboard

    • sugar

  • in the fridge or freezer

    • orange juice
    • an orange

Buy these fresh ingredients

  • fresh cranberries

Get out your equipment

  • Essential

    • a saucepan
    • measuring cups and spoons
    • a grater
    • a wooden spoon

  • Nice to have but not necessary

    • a potato masher (if not, use a fork)

    The recipe

    1/2 cup/125 mL sugar

    1/2 cup/125 mL 100% orange juice

    3 cups/750 mL cranberries

    1 tsp/5 mL grated orange peel

    In a medium-sized saucepan, mix the sugar and orange juice.

    Stir until the sugar has dissolved.

    Add the cranberries and orange peel.

    Bring to a boil.
    Reduce heat to a simmer.
    Cook until the cranberries begin to soften (about 5 minutes).

    Use a potato masher or a fork to mash the berries.

    Simmer for another 5 minutes or so.

    Remove from the heat.


    • Use frozen cranberries instead of fresh. Be sure to thaw them before you begin.

    • Use freshly squeezed orange juice instead of bottled.

    Ideas for making this recipe your own

    • Try using another citrus juice in place of the orange juice. How about an orange-pineapple blend? Or a mix of lemon and lime juice?

    • Add some chopped fruit to the mixture. How about a cored, chopped apple? Or a pear?

    • Try substituting honey for part of the sugar.


    • Be sure to use unsweetened, 100% juice. Avoid "cocktails" that contain extra sugar. You don't need any more sugar in this recipe. (If you do use a sweetened juice, reduce the amount of sugar you add.)

    • If you are in a rush, you can leave out the grated orange peel.

    • If you are in a real rush, you can leave out the orange juice. Just add about 1/2 cup/125 mL water instead.

    • The sauce will be very runny when you remove it from the heat, but it will thicken up to the perfect consistency as it cools.

    Menu suggestion

    Serve this sauce with