Part of Thanksgiving

How to Make Cranberry Sauce

It’s time to ditch the can! Make your own full-flavored cranberry sauce with just a few easy steps.

Ditch the can this holiday season, and easily whip up your own homemade cranberry sauce instead. Simply simmer cranberries with sugar, water and citrus zest to create a tasty homemade sauce. It's quick, full of flavor, and can be enhanced to your liking with ingredients like orange, lemon, cloves, cinnamon, or even red wine. One taste, and you'll be done with the can forever!

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1 Prepare Cranberries

Rinse a 12-ounce package (4 cups) of fresh or frozen cranberries in a colander. Discard any damaged berries and remove any stems.

If using frozen cranberries, there is no need to thaw them beforehand.

2 Dissolve Sugar

Place 1 of cup water and 1 cup of granulated sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.

For enhanced flavor, replace half of the water with 1/2 a cup of orange juice or good-quality dry red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon).

3 Add Cranberries & Citrus Zest

Add cranberries and 2 to 3 large strips of orange, lemon, or tangerine zest to the saucepan.

For a unique flavor twist, add a 3-inch cinnamon stick or 2 to 3 cloves to the pot.

4 Simmer

Bring cranberry mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer gently for 12 to 15 minutes until the cranberry skins have popped and the mixture has thickened. Remove citrus zest (and cinnamon stick or cloves, if using).


5 Chill

Cool completely at room temperature. Once cool, place in an airtight container and chill at least 2 hours. Cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

Prepare cranberry sauce in advance! It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

About Kitchen Is My Playground

Tracey is the creator of the popular blog The Kitchen Is My Playground, which she founded in 2011. Her goal is to share recipes with other home cooks looking to create flavorful (and somewhat adventurous) food for their families and friends. Connect with her on PinterestFacebookTwitter or Google+.