There’s nothing inherently wrong with canned cranberry sauce, but I figure that if I’m going to go to all the trouble of making a sprawling turkey dinner with all the fixings, I might as well put in the effort to make a cranberry sauce worthy of the rest of the meal. Especially since homemade cranberry sauce is so quick and easy to make!
When you’re out shopping for your Thanksgiving dinner, skip the canned stuff and pick up a bag of fresh cranberries instead. Then follow the recipe below to turn those fresh berries into a flavorful homemade cranberry sauce that will take your meal to a whole new level!
How To Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Fresh cranberries
Pour the contents of a 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries into a saucepan. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to the cranberries and stir to combine.
Turn the heat up to High to bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then allow it to continue simmering for 10 minutes.
Remove the finished sauce from heat and allow it to cool before transferring it to an airtight container for storage. Store it in your fridge where it will keep for 1-2 weeks. That’s all there is to it!
BONUS: 5 Cranberry Sauce Tips And Tricks
Although the basic recipe for homemade cranberry sauce above is fantastic as written, there are plenty of ways you can jazz it up or make things easier for yourself. Here are some extra tips you might find useful!
1. Add Some Citrus
Sweet and tangy citrus can bring an additional dimension to the flavor of your cranberry sauce. Try swapping half of the water for orange juice, or adding a teaspoon or so of fresh lemon or orange zest to the cranberries, water, and sugar before simmering.
2. Make It Ahead
The flavor of cranberry sauce, like many other foods, evolves over time, so making it ahead of time will make your life easier and give your sauce a better flavor. Make your cranberry sauce 2 or 3 days ahead of time, then refrigerate it in an airtight container until needed.
3. Try A Different Sweetener
Cranberry sauce is traditionally made with white sugar, but you can use a different sweetener to switch things up if you like. You could use brown sugar, honey, or even maple syrup as the sweet element in your sauce.
4. Add Some Spice
Make your cranberry sauce more flavorful by adding a couple cloves, a cinnamon stick, or a small chunk of fresh ginger to the simmering mixture of cranberries, water, and sugar. Fish them back out of the finished sauce before storing it in your fridge.
5. Give It Texture
Some cranberry sauce recipes call for chopped pecans, walnuts, or even raisins. If you like a bit of crunch or chew, stir a handful of any of these options into your finished cranberry sauce for taste and texture.
Do you serve cranberry sauce with Thanksgiving dinner?
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces cranberries
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- Pour cranberries into saucepan.
- Add the water and sugar and stir.
- Bring to boil, then reduce heat and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm or chilled.