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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Freshly made cranberry sauce garnished with orange zest.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes

Skip the canned jellied stuff, grab a few simple ingredients and make your own slightly tart, slightly sweet easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce. Probably the most underrated side dish of Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner, but it really should be the star for bringing everything together in one bite.

Bacon Green Bean Casserole and Sausage Stuffing along with our fresh cranberry sauce make for one delicious holiday meal.

Homemade cranberry sauce garnished with fresh orange zest in a white bowl.

What is cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce more than likely wasn’t among the side dishes at the first Thanksgiving in American with the Pilgrims. They might have been used in a stuffing, but that’s not really known either.

Amelia Simmon published American Cookery in 1776. It is the first American cookbook every published and contains the first American recipe for cranberry sauce.

Cranberries are native to North American but are now enjoyed world wide. Those in the UK enjoy this sauce with their Christmas meals and a bit more tarty, whereas Americans tend to use it more for Thanksgiving and a whole lot sweeter.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients needed to make Homemade Cranberry Sauce: water, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, salt, cranberries, and cinnamon.
  • Cranberries — the star of the show! Grab a bag of fresh cranberries in the produce section of your local grocery store.
  • Liquids — water and orange juice turn the berries into sauce.
  • Seasonings — fresh zest from an orange, a pinch of salt, and cinnamon.
  • Brown sugar — turns your tart berries sweet.

How to make Easy homemade cranberry sauce

first four Step by step directions images for making homemade cranberry sauce.

Step 1 — Rinse and pick through the bag of cranberries, removing undesirable berries, and add to a 2 quart Dutch oven.

Step 2 — Add the orange juice and water and begin to cook on medium high heat.

Step 3 — Add the orange zest.

Step 4 — Add the brown sugar.

Photo steps five through eight for step by step directions for making homemade cranberry sauce.

Step 5 — Add the salt and cinnamon. Stir well.

Step 6 — Stir frequently. As the sauce begins to boil, the berries will spit and pop. This is normal.

Step 7 — Allow to boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until you see it start to reduce and slightly thicken; stir frequently.

Step 8 — Reduce heat to medium low and allow it to simmer away for another 10-15 minutes, stirring often. It will not have a thick, gelled consistency at this stage. Remove from heat. Allow to cool down, then put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours but overnight is best.

Easy and simple homemade cranberry sauce ready to serve with turkey and stuffing meatballs and gravy.
Freshly made cranberry sauce garnished with orange zest.
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Skip the canned jellied stuff, grab a few simple ingredients and make your own slightly tart, slightly sweet easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Chill2 hours
Total Time2 hours 35 minutes
Course: Condiments, Sauces, and Gravy
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Servings: 15
Calories: 102kcal

Equipment

  • 2-quart Dutch oven

Ingredients

  • 12 oz fresh cranberries cleaned and sorted
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup water
  • cups dark brown sugar
  • tsp cinnamon
  • tsp salt

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients to the mini Dutch oven.
  • Cook over medium high heat and bring to boil. The cranberries will begin to pop.
  • Boil, stirring constantly for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce begins to reduce and thicken.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and allow it to simmer away for another 10-15 minutes, stirring often.
  • Remove from heat. Allow to cool down, then put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours but overnight is best.

Nutrition

Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 47IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Dutch Oven Daddy is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Did you try this recipe?Leave me a comment and rating below or Tag @DutchOvenDaddy on Instagram to show us your photos!
6 replies
  1. Justine
    Justine says:

    5 stars
    This was the most delicious cranberry sauce I’ve ever had. Perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, and so so easy to make!

    Reply
  2. Anjali
    Anjali says:

    5 stars
    We made this over both Thanksgiving and Christmas and it turned out great both times!! It was well balanced, not too tart and not too sweet either!

    Reply

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