Making your cranberry sauce recipe is easy and tastes much better than the store-bought kind! This recipe is for a classic cranberry sauce, but feel free to get creative with add-ins like orange zest, pecans, or even a splash of cognac.
Give it a try this holiday season and see how delicious homemade cranberry sauce can be.
Everyone loves sweet and sour treats, but they can also be a good source of antioxidants. So make sure to pack some of these cranberry sauce recipes when you’re going out for celebrations!
Cranberries are very tart and require sugar to balance out their tartness. The tartness comes through even with the sugar. I’ve grown to appreciate cranberry sauce in all forms as an adult, including a no-cook cranberry relish.
Cranberries Are High In Pectin
Cranberries are extremely high in pectin. Gelling agents are the cellular glues that hold plants together and are also used in jellies. Most other berries need a certain amount of powdered or liquid pectin to achieve the required gel level in jelly. The right amount is already present in cranberries.
Cook them with some sugar and a touch of water to get them started, and the cranberries will set into a jelly by themselves.
Thanksgiving Turkey Is Perfect with Cranberry Sauce
Turkey goes perfectly with cranberries. It’s like lemons and chicken. There’s just something about the flavors that go together. Leftover turkey sandwiches taste great with the sauce spread on top.
This recipe for cranberry sauce is simple and easy, and you can easily dress it up with additional ingredients. Please share your favorite way of making it in the comments!
Substitutions & Swaps for Cranberry Sauce
At the end of cooking, stir in raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, pecans, and allspice.
To make a reduced-sugar cranberry sauce, use half the sugar, then taste and add more if needed.
The sauce can be thinned by adding more water if it seems too thick. Reduce the amount of water to 1/2 cup.
Instead of sugar, substitute Splenda or Truvia for the sugar in cranberry sauce.
Is it possible to make cranberry sauce in advance?
Before serving, ensure the cranberry sauce is thoroughly chilled to ensure the best consistency.
When you make it the day before Thanksgiving, it has plenty of time to chill, and you save yourself a task on Thanksgiving.
This cranberry sauce can be prepared up to a week in advance.
Keeping Cranberry Sauce Fresh & Freezing It
Up to two weeks can be spent refrigerating leftover cranberry sauce. You can also freeze the sauce for up to 6 months.
Classic Cranberry Sauce Recipe
One 12-oz. bag of fresh or frozen cranberries, 34 cups granulated sugar (you can substitute white sugar with brown sugar for a richer, more caramelly flavor), 1 cup water, 1 tsp. Orange zest, a pinch of salt, and, if you’re feeling frisky, 1-2 Tbsp. Orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier, must make this plain cranberry.
Cranberries should readily coat the back of a spoon after cooking for a few minutes over medium heat. Stir constantly to prevent sticking and burning at the bottom.
This takes 10 min or so. Put the cranberry sauce in the refrigerator or cool it to room temperature after turning off the heat. Dealer’s preference).
The cranberries release their natural pectin as they explode, and as the sauce cools, it gels into the consistency you are familiar with, so there is no need to add any thickening. It must be this straightforward variation in my family.
I’ve tried all the glitzed-up cranberry sauces, garnishes competes and relishes with different spices and infusions. Our favorite dish, though, is this straightforward one.
Sprinkle the rosemary and chili flakes atop the vegetables, then top the pie with the elaborate maple syrup and pecan topping.
The most fantastic cranberry sauce doesn’t require any special attire. You could use fresh orange juice, apple cider, or another delectable drink for the water, but doing so dulls the vibrant cranberry flavor that we all love so well.
Numerous Flavoring Options
Lastly, preparing your cranberry sauce allows you to customize the flavorings.
I’m a conservative at spirit, so my sauce usually contains only cranberries and sugar, but as it cooks down, a couple of strips of zest and the juice of orange are added.
The floral orange complements the tart cranberries perfectly. A cinnamon stick can also be a tasty addition; the spicy phenolic compounds in cinnamon are similar to those in cranberries, so the flavors complement each other nicely.
If you want specific instructions for cranberry sauce variations, try our spiced red wine cranberry sauce, candied pecans, apple-orange cranberry sauce, and pear and ginger cranberry sauce.
Orange Cranberry Sauce: How to Serve
If you’ve never attempted homemade, you’re in for a yummy simple treat! The sauce thickens and becomes smooth and creamy as it cools, making it ideal for Thanksgiving turkey, pork loin, chicken, ham, and Dinner Rolls.
That sweet and savory combination is irresistible. You could even use it as a cheesecake topping. The options are limitless! Cranberry Sauce can be served hot or cold straight from the fridge. It is typically served cold or at ambient temperature.
Is It Possible To Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time?
Cranberry sauce can be made ahead of time.
The cooled sauce should be stored in the refrigerator for five days before Thanksgiving or five days after Thanksgiving (and it’ll probably last much longer).
If you have leftover cranberry sauce, try spreading it on your turkey sandwich the next day.
Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe
- 1 medium saucepan
- 3/3 cup honey or add as per liking
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup orange juice freshly squeezed from 1 large orange
- 1 tsp orange zest lightly packed, from same orange
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 12 oz fresh or frozen
- In a medium saucepan, combine 2/3 cup honey, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 tsp orange zest and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve honey.
- Add 12 oz cranberries and bring to a boil. Once boiling, adjust heat to keep at a low boil and cook 10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cranberries will burst and sauce will begin to thicken. A minute or so before turning off the heat, taste for sweetness and add more honey to taste for a sweeter sauce. Keep in mind the sauce will thicken when it cools.
- Remove from heat, discard cinnamon stick and cool cranberry sauce to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to serve.