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Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Maxine Dubois
  • Total Time: 11 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


This Cranberry Sauce Recipe is so easy to make – all you need are three ingredients and it only takes ten minutes to make.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 (12 oz) package of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


In a saucepan on medium heat, add the water and sugar, stirring constantly, waiting for the sugar to melt. Once fully melted, add the cranberries and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, until the cranberry sauce has a jelly-like consistency.

Let the cranberries cool at least 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • Use Fresh Cranberries: Fresh cranberries are best for making cranberry sauce. They have a tart flavor and a firm texture that adds a burst of flavor to the sauce. Avoid using canned or dried cranberries, as they may have added sugars or preservatives that can alter the taste and texture of the sauce.
  • Adjust Sweetness to Taste: Cranberry sauce is typically sweetened with sugar or other sweeteners, but the amount can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. You can start with a smaller amount of sweetener and add more gradually, tasting as you go, until you achieve the desired level of sweetness.
  • Add Flavorful Ingredients: Cranberry sauce can be enhanced with various flavorful ingredients such as orange zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, or vanilla extract. These additions can add depth and complexity to the sauce and make it more interesting and unique.
  • Don't Overcook: Overcooking cranberry sauce can cause it to become too thick or gelatinous in texture. To avoid this, simmer the sauce over low to medium heat until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, but do not overcook it.
  • Add Liquid in Small Amounts: Cranberries release their own juice as they cook, so it's best to start with a small amount of liquid (such as water or orange juice) and add more as needed. This helps prevent the sauce from becoming too watery.
  • Allow to Cool and Thicken: Cranberry sauce thickens as it cools, so don't worry if it seems thin while still hot. Allow the sauce to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator, and it will thicken to the desired consistency.
  • Strain for Smooth Sauce (Optional): If you prefer a smoother texture, you can strain the cranberry sauce through a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth to remove the cranberry skins and create a smoother sauce.
  • Make Ahead of Time: Cranberry sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for several days before serving. This makes it a convenient side dish that can be prepared in advance for holiday meals or gatherings.
  • Customize to Your Taste: Cranberry sauce is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Feel free to experiment with different sweeteners, flavors, and textures to create your perfect cranberry sauce recipe.
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 440
  • Sugar: 88g
  • Sodium: 14mgmilligrams
  • Fat: 0.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 112ggrams
  • Fiber: 3.1g
  • Protein: 2.5ggrams