Home > Holidays > Cranberry Sauce Cranberry Sauce November 13, 2018 | 15 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Kick your holidays up a notch this year with perfectly tart, sweet, and easy-to-make Cranberry Sauce! If you’re serving this easy sauce for Thanksgiving or Christmas, consider serving it alongside these Mashed Potatoes, a Wild Rice Salad, Roasted Vegetables, Thanksgiving Dressing, and/or this Watergate Salad. Cranberry Sauce Cranberry sauce is one of my husband’s favorites. (Sadly for him, we don’t eat it much outside of Thanksgiving…) But because it’s his favorite, I wanted to create an extra-special recipe for him so he could enjoy it the one time of the year he gets to eat it. 🙂 What I’m sharing today is the best Cranberry Sauce I’ve had! It’s just the right amount of sweet while still remaining true to the delicious tart profile of cranberries. The texture is perfect and this sauce is so easy to make, you’ll never want to go back to the cans! And as it turns out, making this sauce homemade is not as difficult as you’d think. How do you make homemade Cranberry Sauce? Start by combining white and brown sugar with cranberry and orange juice. Over medium heat, whisk to dissolve the sugar and then stir in the fresh cranberries. Watching closely and stirring occasionally, the cranberries will begin to become soft, break down, and thicken the sauce (thanks to the natural pectin in cranberries). You can use a spoon to smash some of the cranberries as they become tender. Let stand off the heat and the sauce will continue to thicken. So now that we know how to make cranberry sauce; how do we make it the very best?… How to make it the BEST Because let’s be honest, if we’re going through the trouble of making homemade Cranberry Sauce, it better taste good! 🙂 The majority of recipes combine 1 cup of sugar, a bag of cranberries, and 1 cup of water. To make it the best, though, we’ll be making some tweaks: reducing the sugar (and switching out some of the white for brown sugar) and replacing the water with cranberry and orange juices. The cranberry juice adds an extra layer of tart cranberry flavor while the orange juice adds an additional layer of flavor and sweetness to create a hint of cranberry-orange in the sauce. Fresh juices make all the difference! They’re definitely the “secret” to this sauce! Cranberry Sauce FAQs: Is canned Cranberry Sauce good for you? Cranberries are really good for you, but they are naturally very tart. Consequently, most cranberry products you purchase will have added sugar. Canned sauce typically has quite a bit of sugar and isn’t a healthy food for that reason. Homemade cranberry sauce also has quite a bit of sugar, but you are able to control the amounts and you’ll know EXACTLY what is in it when you’ve made it at home. QUICK TIP Cranberries are a great source of vitamin C and vitamin E. Both vitamins have crucial antioxidant nutrients — these nutrients help keep your body healthy. Can you make Cranberry Sauce from dried cranberries? While I highly recommend making it from fresh cranberries, it can be done with dried cranberries! Check out this recipe for more information. If you’re wondering if you can substitute dried cranberries for fresh in this recipe, I would not recommend it. Is Cranberry Sauce served hot or cold? One of the best things about this sauce is that it can be made ahead of time so you won’t have to stress about making it during a busy day of prep. You can prepare the sauce as early as a week in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Let the sauce cool to room temperature, and then place it in a covered container in the refrigerator. Generally, Cranberry Sauce is served chilled or at room temperature. But you know what? You’re in charge of this recipe, so if you want to serve it hot, that’s up to you! Just note that it won’t be as jelled when warm. Serve this sauce alongside: Leftover Turkey Sliders Crock Pot Turkey so easy! Raspberry Fluff Salad reader favorite! Frog Eye Salad Roasted Brussels Sprouts FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Cranberry Sauce 5 from 4 votes - Review this recipe Kick your holiday meals up a notch with homemade Cranberry Sauce! It's sweet yet tart and the perfect touch. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Cranberry Sauce 5 from 4 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Kick your holiday meals up a notch with homemade Cranberry Sauce! It's sweet yet tart and the perfect touch. Course Side Dish Cuisine American Keyword cranberry sauce, cranberry sauce recipe Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Chilling Time 1 hour Total Time 20 minutes Servings 6 -8 as a side Calories 146kcal Author Chelsea Ingredients1/2 cup 100% orange juice1/2 cup 100% cranberry juice1 bag (12 ounces) cranberriesPinch of salt1/2 cup white sugar1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark; I like dark best!) InstructionsWash and dry the cranberries. Make sure to check the cranberries for any stems or bad cranberries and remove. (Nothing ruins a good sauce like branches in it!)In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve both sugars in the orange and cranberry juices. Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in the cranberries and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and then reduce to a simmer. Stir to blend and simmer for an additional 7-12 minutes. (Watch carefully, as the sauce can bubble up a bit!) Some of the cranberries will burst and some will remain whole -- you can mash up more cranberries as desired. (If the sauce is thickening too quickly, lower the temperature a bit, and alternatively, if it isn't thickening, increase the temperature a bit.)Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken more as it cools. Store for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. Nutrition FactsCalories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.