Recipes

Homemade Fresh Cranberry Sauce Recipe

If you are looking for a stellar homemade fresh cranberry sauce recipe, then you’ve come to the right place. This bright and flavorful cranberry sauce strikes the perfect balance between tart and sweet. It is also quick and easy to make, and pairs incredibly well with a variety of meals!

That said, it’s a shame if you think cranberry sauce is just for turkey or Thanksgiving. We love to make and enjoy this fresh cranberry sauce recipe whenever cranberries are in season. When you see them available fresh in the grocery store, snag some! Whole fresh cranberries can often stay good in the refrigerator for nearly 2 months.


Did you know?

In addition to being dang tasty, cranberries are so good for your health that they’re considered a superfood! In fact, research has linked the nutrients and high antioxidant levels in cranberries to a lower risk for both urinary tract infections (UTI) and cardiovascular disease, the prevention of certain types of cancer, decreased blood pressure, and a stronger immune system. Even more reason to enjoy fresh cranberry sauce more often than just the holidays!


Okay, enough chitter-chatter. Let’s get cooking. 


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 12-ounce of bag fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup 
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar. It’s okay to substitute with white sugar if that is all you have, but we prefer using brown.
  • One organic, ripe, medium-large orange. You’re going to use both the juice and zest. Going organic is always awesome, but especially important if you’re using the rind of the citrus.
  • Water. Enough to make 1 cup of liquid total, including orange juice (for example: 2/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup fresh orange juice)
  • 1/8 tsp of cinnamon
  • Optional: a pinch of allspice


Please note that we usually double this recipe – so that is what you’ll see in the photos. In my opinion, the more fresh cranberry sauce, the merrier. A double batch is highly suggested for large gatherings or if you want leftovers, which you can also freeze and enjoy later.


Fresh cranberries sit in a wooden bowl, glistening in the light. The bowl is surrounded by whole and halved oranges, loose cranberries here and there, a white ramekin of brown sugar, a white ramekin of maple syrup, and a teaspoon measurement of cinnamon. These are the ingredients to make the perfect fresh cranberry sauce.


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Wash the fresh cranberries. Discard and compost any smashed or bruised ones.

  2. Wash and zest the orange first, and then juice it. It is much easier that way.

  3. Add the fresh-squeezed orange juice to a liquid measuring cup, and then top it off with water until you reach one cup of liquid total.

  4. Combine all of the called-for ingredients in a saucepan on the stove.

  5. Bring the pot to a near-boil, and then reduce to medium-low heat to simmer. The cranberries will begin to pop and combine. 

  6. Continue cooking on a medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until around half of the cranberries have popped and reduced. We prefer our cranberry sauce a bit chunky! Note that the cranberry sauce will seem runny while it is still on the stove, but don’t worry! It thickens significantly as it cools. For an even thicker, smoother, jam-like cranberry sauce, continue to simmer and reduce the mixture a few minutes longer. Allow more of the cranberries to pop and “melt”.

  7. Remove from heat, allow to cool, serve and enjoy! Use your fresh cranberry sauce within 10-14 days when stored in the refrigerator, or freeze leftovers to enjoy for months to come.


Ways to Use Fresh Cranberry Sauce

While the traditional uses for fresh cranberry sauce are more than welcome, I also encourage you to think outside the box! We love to add cranberry sauce to plain yogurt with granola, in oatmeal, on toasted homemade sourdough bread like jam, with grilled cheese sandwiches, or in the place of chutney on a holiday cheese board. 

Or, try mixing a spoonful with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar to create a wonderful homemade salad dressing! I know many people enjoy fresh cranberry sauce with desserts such as cheesecake or vanilla ice cream, along with a variety of meat dishes too.

Recently we served this fresh cranberry sauce with a platter of garlic and herb smashed potatoes (below), and it was nothing short of smashing. It is also excellent with sourdough cornbread, or drizzled on top of our sourdough focaccia (along with brie and rosemary) before baking.


A platter of roasted garlic and herb smashed potatoes covered in cheese is accompanied by a white ramekin full to the brim of fresh cranberry sauce. The sauce is the perfect accompaniment for savory foods.
A cheese plate filled with sourdough crackers, cheddar, brie, slices of apple, persimmon, red bell pepper, celery, pistachios in their shell, slices of pickle, and corn nuts. There are three ramekins interspersed throughout the plate, one contains various green olives, another contains hummus, and the third contains fresh cranberry sauce. Sprigs of rosemary are sticking out of the plate here and there as a garnish.
A cheese board with fresh cranberry sauce, homemade sourdough crackers, various fruits, veggies, nuts, and pickled things.


Drooling yet?


I hope you love this recipe as much as we do. If you give it a try, please come back and let us know how you liked and used it with a review – and share or pin this post! How do you like to eat your cranberry sauce?


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5 from 7 votes

Homemade Fresh Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Holiday Dish, Party Food, Salad Dressing, Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry sauce, cranberry sauce recipe, Fresh cranberry sauce, homemade cranberry sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (okay to substitute with white sugar if that is all you have)
  • 1/4 cup map syrup
  • 1 organic ripe orange, medium-large (both the juice and the zest)
  • water – enough to make 1 cup of liquid total, including orange juice (for example, 2/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • optional: pinch of allspice

Instructions

  • Wash the fresh cranberries. Discard and compost any smashed or bruised ones.
  • Wash and zest the orange first, and then juice it.
  • Add the fresh-squeezed orange juice to a liquid measuring cup, and then top it off with water until you reach one cup of liquid total.
  • Combine all of the called-for ingredients in a saucepan on the stove.
  • Bring the pot to a near-boil, and then reduce to medium-low heat to simmer. The cranberries will begin to pop and combine. 
  • Continue cooking on a medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until around half of the cranberries have popped and reduced. (Note that the cranberry sauce will seem runny while it is still on the stove, but thickens significantly as it cools.)
  • For an even thicker, smoother, jam-like cranberry sauce, continue to simmer and reduce the mixture a few minutes longer, popping more of the cranberries.
  • Remove from heat, allow to cool, serve and enjoy!
  • Use within 10-14 days when stored in the refrigerator, or freeze leftovers to enjoy for months to come.


DeannaCat signature, keep on growing

5 Comments

  • Brittany

    5 stars
    Wow!!! THIS RECIPE IS INCREDIBLE. I’ve never been a huge fan of cranberry sauce. I’ve tried many kinds and made a few recipes myself and none hold a candle to this one! I ate 1/3 of it before it had even cooled, straight out of the saucepan haha. I wish I could have this every day. (I made one substitution- I used coconut sugar in place of brown sugar) 10/10 would recommend to every human on earth.

  • Alison

    5 stars
    Perfection! The popping of the cranberries was a fun moment for me. Simple, fresh ingredients bringing huge taste and love eating seasonally.

  • Isabella Angelina

    5 stars
    Very delicious! This recipe is simple to make and incredibly tasty made as the recipe calls, without any modifications. I made a double batch last week and it was an instant hit. It’s not even in the same ballpark as the canned sauce. I’m definitely making this again.

  • Adrienne

    5 stars
    Great recipe, super simple! We like to add walnuts and chopped apple right before serving for a little compliment to the cranberries ☺️Great in oatmeal or on sourdough toast!

  • Holly Giauque

    5 stars
    Super simple and delicious! This Cranberry Sauce is so versatile, and great on yummy toasted buttery bread. Definitely DOUBLE the recipe!!

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