Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

When I was growing up my family always had cranberry sauce during the holidays.  I remember it well. It came in a can. You know the ones, the coagulated cranberry sauce that takes the form of the can, including the ridges.  My mom would simply pour the one, perfectly-formed, can-shaped sauce in to a beautiful sauce bowl and SLICE it up.  Seriously, name another sauce you can slice.  My brother loved it, or so he said.  As a kid I was repulsed, as a grown up I decided I liked cranberries but not in the shape of a can and I could do better.

It’s the holiday season and there’s nothing more festive than homemade goods. This cranberry sauce is super easy and a great addition to any holiday table whether you keep it for yourself or dress up the packaging and give it as a hostess gift.


  • Three cups of cranberries
  • 1 cup of orange juice (no pulp)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Step 1:

Combine the sugar and orange juice into a sauce pan and melt over medium heat, stir frequently. The sugar will become transparent in a few minutes.

Step 2:

Add all three cups of cranberries (and the cinnamon if you like it). Depending on your stove, you may want to turn up the hit to medium high. I cook on a gas stove at home but we have a standard electric stove at a vacation spot. I know how heat can be different.

Step 3:

This part take a little patience but trust me, not much! Soon you will start hearing a popping sound. That is the cranberries heating up, popping, and releasing that scrumptious tart flavor cranberry is known for. Before too long most all of the cranberries have popped and your sauce begins to thicken. The orange juice is going to make it bubble quite a bit so don’t wander off. The next thing you know, Voila!, you’ve made a delicious sauce that can be used on the main course or days afterwards on turkey sandwiches.

Step 4:

If you want to taste it, let it cool on the spoon or you will burn your tongue (experience speaks). Once it is not boiling hot you can pour it into mason jars. This recipe makes about 24 ounces.

Step 5:

Sometimes I put it in 8 ounce jars to give as a gift.  Tie a seasonal ribbon around it and you are good to go!  Enjoy!

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