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Skip the can this year. Make homemade cranberry sauce instead with just a few simple ingredients and only fifteen minutes!
When it comes time to plan out the holiday menus, there is usually a debate on having the often dreaded cranberry sauce on the table. Trust me; I get it. We've discussed this in our house a lot over the years. I love cranberries; I always have. My sister is allergic to them, so we keep them away from her. My husband always said he was never a fan, but he was always served the jellied canned stuff growing up.
Now he's a total convert because I introduced him to homemade cranberry sauce. I mean, I can't blame him for thinking he wouldn't like it because I don't like the canned stuff either. Granted, I also hate jello, so that doesn't help either with that stuff, haha.
I guarantee that if you think you hate it too, this is the recipe to try this year.
Why it's better than the canned stuff!
- Uses a few simple ingredients.
- Easy to make in only fifteen minutes.
- Tastes a hundred times better than canned cranberry sauce with the perfect balance of tangy and sweet.
- Cranberries - I prefer fresh cranberries but you can also use whole frozen cranberries.
- Orange Zest / Orange Juice - Fresh is best.
- Sugar - You can use honey, maple syrup or alternative if you prefer.
Making Cranberry Sauce
- Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan.
- Let it simmer until the cranberries have started to pop and the sauce thickens.
- Remove the cranberry sauce from the heat and let it chill until you are ready to serve.
Tips and Tricks
If you want your cranberry sauce to have more texture, reserve about a half cup of cranberries and stir them in once, the others have started to pop. This will allow some cranberries to stay together, adding more texture to the final sauce.
Yes, you can. I would recommend using unsweetened dried cranberries for this recipe. I would also add an additional quarter cup of liquid to help rehydrate the dried cranberries.
Serve it hot or cold?
It doesn't matter; I tend to serve it cold on Thanksgiving, but that's a personal preference for our house.
Can you make it ahead of time?
I usually make this cranberry sauce the day before and let it chill in the fridge overnight. You can easily make this a few days earlier if you want to. You can even freeze it if you need to. When you are ready to serve it, just let it defrost in the fridge or warm it up over low heat on the stove. If you do freeze it, note that there will be a little more liquid present, and you might want to simmer it to let it thicken again.
How to use leftover cranberry sauce?
We don't usually have much leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving, but I am usually happy when we have some. When we do, though, it makes me happy.
- Smear some on bread to make the best leftover turkey sandwich.
- Add a dollop onto some pancakes or waffles.
- Stir some into some yogurt for an easy treat.
- You can even add some on top of a bowl of ice cream.
- Someone make cheesecake? Yea, it goes great on that too!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 12 Ounce Bag Whole Cranberries Fresh or Frozen
- 1 Cup Orange Juice
- 1 Zest of an Orange
- ¾ Cup Sugar Honey or Maple Syrup
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- ⅛ Teaspoon Ground Ginger
- Combine all the ingredients into a small saucepan over medium-low heat.12 Ounce Bag Whole Cranberries, 1 Cup Orange Juice, 1 Zest of an Orange, ¾ Cup Sugar, 1 Teaspoon Vanilla, ⅛ Teaspoon Ground Ginger, ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Stirring occasionally, let the sauce simmer until the cranberries have started to pop and the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
- Once desrired thickness has been achieved, remove the sauce from the heat.
- Transfer the cranberry sauce to a dish and let it chill until you are ready to serve.