Homemade Cranberry Sauce

What’s Thanksgiving dinner without the cranberry sauce? It’s sweet, delicious, and tastes amazing with every other dish on your Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without cranberry sauce! Smother it on your turkey, rolls, and mashed potatoes for some sweet and saucy cranberry flavor.

Cranberry Sauce in a small white bowl

fresh cranberry sauce

I just love Thanksgiving. Is there anything better than all of your friends and family coming together for one big delicious meal? Especially when that meal involves turkey, rolls, and mashed potatoes?? I think not!

You can’t have those other Thanksgiving dinner staples without the cranberry sauce! It’s as much a necessity as the rolls and potatoes! With that being said, forget about the canned cranberry sauce and go straight for the homemade stuff! It’s worth it—trust me.

This recipe is all you need to make a tasty bowl of cranberry sauce. It’s super simple and is perfect to make ahead of time. It lasts in the fridge for a while so it’s great for making leftover turkey sandwiches. YUM!

Cranberries being cooked in a saucepan

How to Make Cranberry Sauce

BERRIES. You’re going to need about 1 pound of fresh cranberries for this recipe. Wash them and dry them before you get started!

BOIL. Combine the cranberries, sugar and water in a medium pot over medium heat. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the mixture to a simmer. Mix in the cinnamon stick, allspice and nutmeg.

SIMMER. Simmer this for 5-7 minutes. Just so you know, some of the cranberries will burst and some will remain whole. This is totally normal. After about 5-7 minutes, stir in the orange juice and zest.

Cool the cranberry sauce before serving. Done and done!

fresh cranberry sauce in a pan

cranberry sauce Prep Info

Make-ahead dishes make my life so much easier this time of year. That’s one of the reasons why I love this cranberry sauce recipe. Make it up to one week ahead of time and keep it in your fridge in an airtight container. Perfection!!

It also freezes beautifully! To prevent freezer burn, make sure it is kept in an airtight freezer safe container. Use it within two months for best results. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before ready to serve.

Cranberry sauce tastes amazing with pretty much every other Thanksgiving/holiday dish out there. Serve it on the side of your roasted turkey. Slather it on a soft homemade roll. Or mix it in with your mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. However you eat it, it’s the tastiest side dish that never goes out of style!

Homemade cranberry sauce in a white dish

You really gotta go homemade for this because it’s better than any canned version. And honestly, it will become a staple at your holiday get togethers. 😉

For more classic Thanksgiving recipes, check out:

Cranberry Sauce

5 from 9 votes
Course Appetizer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Calories 1128 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 1 lb fresh cranberries washed & dried
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 orange zested & juices


  • Combine cranberries, sugar and water in a medium pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and mix in the cinnamon stick, allspice and nutmeg. Simmer for 5-7 minutes. (Some of the cranberries will burst and some will remain whole).
  • Stir in the orange juice and zest. Cool before serving.
Adapted from Food Network.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    HOmemade is the way to go! I have honestly never been the biggest fan of cranberry sauce, but my family loves it. This is super quick & easy!

  2. 5 stars
    I’m supposed to bring cranberry sauce to the family gathering this year, so I tested this out and it’s great! Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    Such a classic dish and recipe. everyone should seriously make it homemade for thanksgiving, especially when it’s so easy.

  4. 5 stars
    This is way more appealing and tasty than the lined glob that comes frOm a can. Youre recipe tastes great alone or spread on the tuRkey or rolls.

  5. 5 stars
    I am so glad I saved your recipe. Made for Thanksgiving and was a big hit. Going to make another batch, freeze for Christmas and see how it will taste on my homemade cheesecake.

    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas 🎄🎁

  6. 5 stars
    This is hands down the BEST cranberry sauce ever!!! My family loves it so much, I keep some made up in the fridge all fall and winter long! ❤️