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This Thanksgiving, make some homemade Cranberry Sauce to go along with your turkey dinner! Easier to make from scratch than you think and tastes so much better than store bought!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Have you seen the Friends episode where Monica has Chandler make the cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving? And then Joey runs into all the food, landing it all on the floor and Chandler yells “my cranberries!” and then Monica replies “a monkey could have made them.” She wasn’t kidding. Cranberry Sauce is the easiest thing you’ll make for your Thanksgiving dinner. It’s very few ingredients and needs only 10 minutes of cook time. Make it in advance or make it the day of, this cranberry sauce will have you fall in love with turkey all over again.
My Cranberry Sauce Recipe| Main Ingredients Needed
Homemade Cranberry Sauce requires 3 basic ingredients: fresh cranberries, sugar and water. The spices and orange zest can be adjusted to what you like and prefer, but the basic recipe is super simple and oh so worth the time. Here’s what you need:
- Fresh Cranberries – even with sweeteners, cranberries are naturally very tart! Don’t worry because that is exactly why this sauce is perfect for any Thanksgiving spread.
- Sugar – to sweeten and to create the sauce. As the water reduces, the juices of the berries and the sugar come together and thickens.
- Orange Zest – this adds citrusy notes.
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Salt – just pinches here and there to create that warm and familiar flavor of Thanksgiving. Add more, as desired.
- Water – you need water to dissolve the sugar and turn this into a ‘jam’ of sorts.
How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Who knew that cranberry sauce, made from scratch, would be so easy?! For full details and increments, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Place all ingredients into a small pot. Stir to dissolve the sugar while cooking.
Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer until all cranberries have burst and the sauce has thickened.
Remove and discard orange peels. Pour sauce into a small bowl and serve with turkey.
Note: As the cranberry sauce cools, it will thicken even more!
Cranberry Sauce comes in a lot of different flavor profiles, lots of which are a little out of the ordinary, but if you’re feeling adventurous or wanting a delicious change, give one of these a whirl!
- Orange Juice: use orange juice, instead of water, to add even more sweetness and citrus notes.
- Brown Sugar: I used regular granulated sugar for this recipe but feel free to experiment by using brown sugar or a combination of both types.
- Raisins, Currants, or Blueberries: these are added in some recipes to add more natural sweetness to the tart cranberries.
- Pecans: and then other recipes call for chopped pecans which adds nutty flavor and crunch!
One of the beauties of this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time. No need to add one more thing to make on Thanksgiving. Make it ahead and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve! It’s the perfect accompaniment for turkey because you can make it ahead and keep it stored until you’re ready for dinner.
Make the recipe as directed. Then store cranberry sauce in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, microwave 10-15 seconds to loosen up and bring to room temperature.
Don’t Forget Side Dishes for Thanksgiving Dinner:
- Buttery Mashed Potatoes
- Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe
- Green Bean Casserole
- Cauliflower Au Gratin
- Buttery Corn Casserole
- Maple Glazed Carrots
Be sure to print/pin/save/bookmark this Cranberry Sauce recipe for your Thanksgiving table this year! Have a great day, friends!
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- Wash cranberries well in colander.
- Place all ingredients into a small pot. Stir to dissolve sugar while cooking over medium heat.
- Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer until all cranberries have burst and sauce has thickened.
- Remove and discard orange peels. Pour sauce into a small bowl and serve with turkey.
- OR store in airtight container for up to two weeks in refrigerator. Microwave 10-15 seconds to loosen up and bring to room temperature before serving.