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4.98 from 35 votes

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! Also check out our favorite ways to use cranberry sauce. It's not just for the holidays!
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


  • 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
  • optional: 1/8 tsp ginger powder or 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger


  • 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.