Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I know some people are die-hard fans of canned cranberry sauce, but homemade cranberry sauce is awesome. It’s got a better texture and flavour than the canned ones, and it’s ridiculously easy to make. So, if you’re not adamant that cranberry sauce be in the shape of a can (some people really like that), then you’ll love the homemade version.

Do you have to use fresh cranberries?

No, you don’t have to use fresh cranberries for homemade cranberry sauce. The frozen cranberries that you get at grocery stores work just as well as fresh cranberries. Frozen cranberries are also a little cheaper than fresh cranberries, so if money is tight, you can save a little by buying frozen cranberries. 

Can cranberry sauce be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can make cranberry sauce days before your holiday party. Homemade cranberry sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 14 days. If you want the sauce to last longer, then you can store it in an airtight container, let it completely cool in the fridge, and then transfer it to the freezer; it’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.  To reconstitute frozen cranberry sauce, allow it to thaw in the fridge for about a day or two.

Meal ideas for left over cranberry sauce

If you have cranberry sauce left over from your holiday dinner, you can use it to make brie and cranberry grilled cheese sandwiches. You can add left over turkey or chicken to the sandwich. You can also use cranberry sauce as a jam, and you can use it to make cranberry brie bites (I’ll post the recipe for this at some point).

The recipe for this homemade cranberry sauce is on the printable recipe card below. Enjoy! 

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce is a holiday side-dish that everyone will love. This sauce comes together in less than 20 minutes and can be made ahead of time.
Servings: 24 tablespoons
Calories: 46kcal


  • 340 g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • cup water
  • ¼ orange (juice and zest)
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • Place the cranberries in a strainer and wash them. Pick out and discard any stems or bruised/damaged cranberries.
  • Place a sauce pan on the stove at medium heat. Pour the water, granulated sugar and brown sugar into the pot and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  • Add the cranberries, orange juice and zest, and the cinnamon stick to the pot. Stir everything together and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and thicken (about 10-15 minutes). Stir occassionally as the sauce simmers to prevent the cranberries sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and let the sauce cool to room temperature.
  • Spoon the sauce into a clean, airtight container and chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.


Calories: 46kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

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