homemade cranberry sauce in a serving dish with orange slices, fresh cranberries, and cinnamon sticks for garnish
American Recipes, Sauces, Sides

Simple Cranberry Sauce

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This Simple Cranberry Sauce is made with fresh cranberries, vanilla, and sweetened with orange juice and sugar. This homemade recipe tastes so much better than store bought, and takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. It’s easy, flavorful, and a perfect side dish to your holiday gatherings.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce in a serving dish with fresh cranberries, and orange slices on the side

Simple Cranberry Sauce is a must have at any Thanksgiving meal. This orange cranberry sauce is irresistible because it’s made with fresh cranberries, orange juice, vanilla, and cinnamon. It’s perfect for any Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas ham, or even slathered on top a warm piece of toast. If you need other side dishes to take to your holiday get together, our Scalloped Potatoes and Garlic Knots are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients for Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce

  • Fresh Cranberries: I prefer to use fresh cranberries in this recipe. If you decide to use frozen cranberries, just know that your sauce will be a little thinner.
  • Sugar: I used white granulated sugar, but you can also use brown sugar if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Orange Juice: Use pulp free orange juice in this recipe.
  • Salt: You only need a pinch of salt. Add more or cut it out completely if you prefer.
  • Vanilla: I prefer to use pure vanilla in all of my recipes, but you can use vanilla extract.
  • Cinnamon Stick: I love to use cinnamon sticks but you can use ground cinnamon.
  • Orange Peel: Use a large peel from a medium-large orange.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan

How to make Simple Cranberry Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan bring orange juice and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add salt, vanilla, fresh cranberries, cinnamon stick, and orange peel.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until most cranberries have burst, stirring frequently. This takes about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, discard orange peel and cinnamon stick, and allow to cool completely.
  • Once it has cooled, place mixture into a serving bowl, cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • You can also serve your homemade sauce, slightly warm, at room temperature, or even chilled. Enjoy!
homemade cranberry sauce in a serving dish with orange slices, fresh cranberries, and cinnamon sticks for garnish

Cranberry Sauce Variations

This is a delicious cranberry orange sauce, but you can add different ingredients to customize it to your liking. Here are a few different varities:

  • Basic Cranberry Sauce: Use water in this recipe instead of the orange juice and omit the orange peel.
  • Brown Sugar Sauce: Use brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar.
  • Cranberry Apple Sauce: Use apple cider instead of the orange juice and add one peeled diced apple.
  • Cranberry Cherry Sauce: Use water for the liquid and add one cup of chopped cherries.
homemade cranberry sauce in a serving dish with orange slices, fresh cranberries, and cinnamon sticks for garnish

Simple Cranberry Sauce

April
This simple Cranberry Sauce is made with fresh cranberries, vanilla, and sweetened with orange juice and sugar. This cranberry sauce recipe tastes so much better than store bought, and takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. It's easy, flavorful, and a perfect side dish to your holiday gatherings.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Course Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 177 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large piece of orange peel

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan bring orange juice and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add salt, vanilla, fresh cranberries, cinnamon stick, and orange peel.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until most cranberries have burst, stirring frequently. This takes about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow cranberry sauce to cool completely.
  • Once sauce has cooled, place cranberry sauce into a serving bowl, cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • You can also serve your homemade cranberry sauce, slightly warm, at room temperature, or even chilled. Enjoy!

Notes

*Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on Modernmealmakeover.com should only be used as a general guideline.

Nutrition

Calories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 44.7gFat: 0.1gSodium: 25.4mgPotassium: 130.8mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 36.7gVitamin A: 4.8IUVitamin C: 34.3mgCalcium: 5.6mgIron: 1.3mg
Keyword Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Simple Cranberry Sauce
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11 Comments

  1. Andrea Metlika

    5 stars
    This is so much easier to make than I thought it would be. It sounds fabulous.

  2. 5 stars
    I could eat this cranberry sauce on its own with a spoon. It had the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

  3. 5 stars
    Yummy! This recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving! I can’t wait to give this a try!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve never tried making homemade cranberry sauce, but it seems simpler than I thought it would be! Can’t wait to try it out 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    This was just the recipe I was in need of! It turn out prefect

  6. 5 stars
    This was just the recipe I was in need of! It turn out prefect. I’ll be saving this for later for sure.

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