Homemade cranberry sauce in a white bowl, on a wooden board. Sliced oranges, and whole cranberries as well as two pieces of orange peel surround the cranberry sauce. The wooden board is on top of a Christmas tea towel with red trucks and green Christmas trees.

The Easiest Homemade Cranberry Sauce You’ll Ever Make

5.0 from 1 vote

This cranberry sauce is so easy! You can’t mess it up, as long as you stay with it at the stove and stir it occasionally. It will fill your house with the best scents of warm cranberry, citrus and cinnamon. If you’re like me, you’ll be wanting to make this all year long and not just for Thanksgiving. I’ve been making it this way for years. It’s not just for Thanksgiving, though! I love to use it in some of my recipes like my viral Brie and cranberry wreath and this super easy puff pastry braid.

This can be made ahead of time. It will stay good in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days. It never lasts that long in our house though because my girls love it so much!

The nice thing about making your own cranberry sauce is that you have total control of how smooth you want to make it. If you prefer your cranberry sauce to have more whole cranberries in it, you can reserve about 1/2 cup and add them in after the sauce has cooked for about 15 minutes. I have made it both ways and we prefer it to be on the smoother side, so I add all of the cranberries at the beginning and make sure to pop them all with my spoon while I’m stirring.

As seen on instagram here.

The Easiest Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Recipe by Sarah
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: Side dish, Side, ToppingCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Easiest homemade cranberry sauce to make that will become a staple of all of your thanksgiving dinners and more.

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  • 12 oz 12oz bag of cranberries

  • 1/2 c granulated sugar (I use just a tiny bit less than 1/2 cup)

  • 1-2 pieces orange peel (optional)

  • 2 oz A good splash of orange juice (about 2oz)

  • 1 pinch cinnamon (optional)

  • 1 pinch salt (I use pink Himalayan sea salt)

  • 1 smidgen A tiny bit of freshly ground pepper


  • Wash and dry your cranberries and then pick out any squishy or bad ones.
  • Add cranberries to a small pot, then add the sugar, orange peel if you’re using it and orange juice. If you aren’t a fan of orange, go ahead and use water. You just need a good splash of liquid. I use about 2 oz.
  • Stir frequently over medium heat for about 10 mins, until it gets nice and bubbly. Then you can turn the heat down so it stays at a lower simmer. You don’t need to stir constantly, but stir frequently until all of the cranberries have popped and your cranberry sauce is a nice thick consistency. You can also press the cranberries with your spoon/spatula to make sure they’re all popped. If your sauce becomes too thick, you can add a little more water or orange juice. It usually will take a total of about 20 mins on the stove and no more than 30.
  • Remove your orange peel if you used it and add a good pinch of cinnamon (optional), a good pinch of salt and a tiny bit of freshly ground pepper. 
  • Allow your sauce to cool and then put it into an airtight container to store in the fridge. It can be served cold or warmed up and it’s perfect in my cranberry sauce, Brie + hazelnut wreath!

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