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Cranberry Sauce Recipe

The only Cranberry Sauce recipe you will need! This homemade cranberry sauce is bursting with fresh juicy cranberries and is perfect served with Roast Turkey. You will be surprised how easy this is (with just 4 ingredients) and it’s way better than canned.

Cranberry Sauce is iconic for the holiday table along with classic sides like Mashed Potatoes, easy Turkey Gravy, creamy Sweet Potato Casserole and of course soft Dinner Rolls. This Cranberry Orange Sauce proves that homemade is best.

Cranberry sauce recipe in bowl with orange, cinnamon and honey.

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Cranberry Sauce Recipe:

You can’t beat homemade because it has a real cranberry texture. The cranberries burst and release their juices as they heat, which turns into a jelly-like sauce as it cools. This one is bursting with bites of sweet, tangy cranberries.

This is one of the easiest side dishes you’ll make but Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without it. Make this once and you’ll quickly realize canned cranberry sauce is no match for the real thing.

Homemade Cranberry sauce with grated orange zest

How Long Does Cranberry Sauce Last?

You can make cranberry-orange sauce ahead and take a little pressure off the biggest cooking day of the year! Homemade cranberry sauce will keep well covered and refrigerated for 10-14 days.

Can I Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

Cranberry Sauce freezes really well. Transfer it to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag, remove excess air and freeze up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Ingredients for Cranberry Sauce:

The sauce is infused with orange and cinnamon and sweetened with honey. The honey gives this sauce a boost of flavor and makes it healthier than using sugar. This recipe has all-natural, unprocessed ingredients.

Ingredients with fresh cranberries, honey, cinnamon and orange

Can I use Frozen Cranberries?

Yes! We love keeping a bag of fresh-frozen cranberries in the freezer for when the cranberry sauce craving strikes. Did you know fresh cranberries can be frozen in their original bag or a freezer-safe bag for 10 to 12 months?

You can use fresh or frozen cranberries to make cranberry sauce. Frozen will take slightly longer to reach a simmer but the flavor and consistency will be the same in the finished sauce.

How to Make Cranberry Sauce:

This recipe is EASY and comes together quickly. It takes just 10 minutes for the sauce to form.

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine honey, water, orange juice, zest, and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring it to a simmer.
  2. Add fresh (or frozen) cranberries then simmer at a low boil 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until cranberries start to burst.
  3. Add more honey to taste then remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick.

Step by step how to make cranberry sauce

Pro Zesting Tip: Zest the orange before juicing it (it’s much easier!). When zesting, be sure you only remove the orange peel and not the white portion underneath which can make your sauce taste bitter. Don’t go crazy with the zest. Using more than a teaspoon can overwhelm the sauce. If you only have store-bought orange juice, you can omit the zest and it will still work well.

Cranberry sauce being scooped with a spoon

How to Serve Cranberry Sauce

If you have never tried homemade, you are in for a deliciously easy treat! As the sauce cools, it thickens and becomes spreadable – perfect for the Thanksgiving Turkey, with Pork Tenderloin, chicken, ham, and on Dinner Rolls. That combination of sweet and savory is irresistible. You could even use it as a topping for Cheesecake. The possibilities are endless!

Cranberry Sauce Can be served hot or cold right out of the refrigerator. We usually serve it cold or at room temperature.

Spreadable cranberry sauce served in a bowl with orange zest

More Thanksgiving Side Dishes:

Try these top-rated holiday sides to make this your best holiday menu yet! If you’re looking for more Thanksgiving menu ideas, check out all of our Thanksgiving recipes here.

Q: Do YOU have a special cranberry sauce you make every year? I’d love to hear about it. If you haven’t started that tradition, I invite you to try this recipe and hope it becomes a new favorite for you and your loved ones. Have a beautiful and memorable Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

4.84 from 25 votes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Cranberry sauce recipe served in bowl garnished with orange zest
This cranberry sauce is infused with orange and cinnamon and sweetened with honey. Cranberry relish bursting with bites of sweet, tangy cranberries. Store-bought is no match for homemade cranberry sauce!
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $3-$5
Keyword: cranberry sauce
Calories: 88 kcal
Servings: 10 people (makes 2 1/2 cups cranberry sauce)

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup honey or add to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice freshly squeezed from 1 large orange
  • 1 tsp orange zest lightly packed, from the same orange*
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 oz cranberries fresh or frozen

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 2/3 cup honey, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 tsp orange zest and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve honey.

  2. Add 12 oz cranberries and bring to a boil. Once boiling, adjust heat to keep at a low boil and cook 10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cranberries will burst and sauce will begin to thicken. A minute or so before turning off the heat, taste for sweetness and add more honey to taste for a sweeter sauce. Keep in mind the sauce will thicken when it cools.
  3. Remove from heat, discard cinnamon stick and cool cranberry sauce to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

*Zest the orange before juicing it (it's much easier!). Be sure you only zest the orange peel and not the white portion which can make the sauce bitter. Don't use more than 1 tsp or it overwhelms the sauce. 

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 88
% Daily Value*
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 53mg2%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 20g22%
Vitamin A 35IU1%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

P.S. I am truly thankful for you, my readers, whether you just stumbled upon my blog today or have been following along since 2009 when this blog was born, I truly appreciate you. Because of you, my husband and I can do what we love to wake up to daily. We have especially been blessed to hear how our recipes have blessed your families, nourished your children and impressed your parents! This Thanksgiving, we are thanking God for you.

Cranberry sauce with orange, cinnamon and honey. There's no match for homemade cranberry sauce! Cranberry relish bursting with real juicy cranberries. | natashaskitchen.com

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natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • James Colpas
    December 14, 2019

    Excellent! We only have adults around at the moment, so we add Grand Marnier and Port Wine to it. Bam! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 14, 2019

      That’s awesome! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! Reply

  • Nataliia
    December 14, 2019

    This was easy to make and it came out tasty. My first homemade cranberry sauce. Never again buying the canned one. Thanks Natasha! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 14, 2019

      Thank you so much for that wonderful feedback! We seriously can’t get enough of this recipe. Reply

  • Zina P
    December 5, 2019

    Homemade is always better and this cranberry sauce was a hit….then, especially delicious when leftovers made an cranberry galette….yum! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 5, 2019

      Thank you for that amazing review, Zina! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Reply

  • Patti
    December 2, 2019

    Made a double recipe for Thanksgiving & it was a big hit. I’ll be making it again! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 2, 2019

      I’m so glad you all enjoyed it, Patti! It is one of our favorite cranberry sauce recipes! Reply

  • Mary
    December 2, 2019

    Hi Natasha, it was the first time I made fresh cranberry sauce, it was so easy, delicious and everybody loved it. I just added a little brandy! How long can you keep it in the refrigerator?
    Anyway thank you for the recipe!! Reply

    • Natasha
      December 2, 2019

      Hi Mary, I have some tips and advice for storing the cranberry sauce in the post above which should help. I love your idea of adding brandy. Was that at the very end that you added it? Reply

  • Rosie
    November 29, 2019

    I did not have enough honey for this recipe so I substituted a powdered sugar replacement (Swerve) and it still turned out great! It makes the house smell amazing while it cooks down! Also, I wanted to sneak in a bit of fiber into the dish so I chopped up a Fuji apple and tossed it in, cooked it down and used a potato masher to blend it all together. The orange zest is a must in this dish. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 29, 2019

      That sounds delicious!! Thank you for that great review, Rosie! Reply

  • Phillip Bustin
    November 28, 2019

    I had o.j. but no oranges for zest could I use lemon zest instead? Reply

    • Natasha
      November 28, 2019

      Hi Phillip, that should still work fine. I would probably just leave out the zest and it will still work out great. Reply

  • Aman
    November 27, 2019

    I tried this recipe. It is sooooo easy and yes so good. Thanks Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 28, 2019

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Aman! Reply

  • Michele
    November 27, 2019

    Natasha, I too have been making my own cranberry sauce for many years and while I have used orange juice and white sugar in the past I never thought about using honey (which tonight I used an orange blossom honey) and a cinnamon stick. I just finished making your recipe a few minutes ago and I had to test a sample, you know for quality control, hehe! Anyways it is amazing and by far my favorite ever! I will admit I used 3/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice and completely omitted the water. I cannot wait to see what my guests think about it tomorrow! Now on the prep the rest of what I can tonight to make tomorrow a bit easier! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Reply

    • Natasha
      November 27, 2019

      Oh I’m so happy you loved the cranberry sauce! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Reply

  • Michelle
    November 27, 2019

    Natasha, I have been my own cranberry sauce for years now but I must say this recipe is far by the best I’ve made, thank you for your yummy recipes! Happy Thanksgiving 🦃🍽🍁 Reply

    • Natasha
      November 27, 2019

      I’m so happy to hear that you found a new favorite cranberry sauce! Thank you for sharing that with me and Happy Thanksgiving! Reply

  • Julia Frey
    November 26, 2019

    I love the addition of a cinnamon stick in this recipe! It adds such nice warmth to the sauce. Thank you for sharing! Reply

    • Natasha
      November 26, 2019

      Thank you Julia! I agree – it absolutely does add warmth and infuses the sauce with lovely yet mild cinnamon flavor. Reply

  • Betsy
    November 26, 2019

    This is great. I usually use dark brown sugar, but the taste can be fairly intense using DBS. The honey gives the cranberries a much lighter, cleaner flavor and lets the citrus and cranberry flavors shine! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 26, 2019

      I’m so glad you enjoyed that, Betsy! Thank you for that great review! Reply

  • Jen
    November 26, 2019

    I’ve never tried to make my own but this recipe looks so easy. I think I’m going to give it a try. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 26, 2019

      I hope you love it, Jen! Thank you for that awesome review. Reply

  • gena morgan
    November 25, 2019

    1 bag cranberries
    1 cup sugar
    1 cop port wine
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon all spice
    1/8 teaspoon cloves
    put all in pan with a lid
    bring to a low boil for 10 minutes
    I love this one got it out of a magazine 20 years ago Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 26, 2019

      Thank you for sharing that with us! Reply

  • James
    November 19, 2019

    If you make this day before thanksgiving…what do you do to it in order to serve it on thanksgiving day? Reply

  • Lorraine
    November 13, 2019

    I am going to try this.
    If I don’t use honey how would Maple Syrup work.
    I know some people add walnuts what do you think? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 13, 2019

      Hi Lorraine, I haven’t tested that to advise. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe. Reply

  • Enid Roberts
    November 3, 2019

    You might want to try my favourite no cook recipe.
    . Large bag fresh cranberries
    . 1 large orange, cut into small chunks
    . Honey or sugar to taste

    Blend together on high until tiny pieces. (Add just enough OJ to blend) Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 4, 2019

      Thank you for sharing that with me! Reply

  • Megs
    July 22, 2019

    Hi Natasha,

    Thank you for sharing wonderful and easy recipes. I did try this cranberry sauce, and it’s tastes yum! Can you tell me how long will this stay once I refrigerate the sauce.

    Thanks
    Megs Reply

    • Natasha
      July 22, 2019

      Hi Megs, a homemade cranberry sauce will keep about 9-14 days in the refrigerator. Keep it covered in an airtight container for best results. Reply

  • Cristina Sanchez
    December 26, 2018

    I made this sauce, before I always bought it at the store, but now I just make my own. Thank you Natasha, this sauce is sooo yummy, way better that the one I used to buy in the stores. Thank you!!!!!!!! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 26, 2018

      I”m’ so happy to hear that!! Thank you Cristina! Reply

  • Kris
    November 21, 2018

    Perfection! Dad always opens a can of cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, so this year I told him I’ll bring homemade cranberry sauce. New addition to our Thanksgiving table. Thank you Natasha! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 21, 2018

      You’re so welcome! I hope you love it! Reply

  • Harold
    November 20, 2018

    I’m a novice at hosting Thanksgiving Dinner. I will be using all of your recipes and crossing my fingers that all will turn out well. Thanks for the inspiration. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 20, 2018

      Wow! I’m so inspired reading your review! I’m looking forward to your feedback!! Reply

  • Laurie Schmidt
    December 26, 2017

    Sounds delish! Can this be processed to have on hand? Maybe 10-15 minutes in a water bath? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 26, 2017

      Hi Laurie, I honestly haven’t tried canning it for storage. I have frozen it but haven’t tried canning so I’m not sure. Reply

  • December 7, 2017

    I made this recipe with about 5 oz of cranberries (I used the rest of the bag to make Orange Cranberry Bread), and I scaled the rest of the ingredients accordingly. Wow…so good! I love that I don’t have to use processed sugar. This is going to be my go-to cranberry sauce recipe from now on! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 7, 2017

      I’m happy to hear how much you enjoy the recipe Tammy! Thanks for sharing your excellent review! Reply

  • Ellen K
    November 27, 2017

    Made this for thanksgiving this year and it was a huge hit! I also added a granny smith apple and it turned out great. Definitely will make this one again. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 27, 2017

      I’m glad to hear the recipe is such a success. Thanks for sharing your fantastic review Ellen! Reply

  • Simona
    November 24, 2017

    And I forgot to give it 5 stars. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 24, 2017

      Awesome, thanks! 😃 Reply

  • Simona
    November 24, 2017

    I made it for Thanksgiving,and it was awesome. i’ve always made my own cranberry sauce since I cannot stand the store bought but this one is so yummy and not too sweet. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 24, 2017

      I’m happy to hear how much you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing your fantastic review Simona! Reply

  • Yvonne
    November 23, 2017

    I made this today and YUM! Such a hit. My hubby says it’s a 6 out of 5 star recipe! Thanks for sharing and for making our Thanksgiving just a little brighter. Oh yeah, I didn’t have cinnamon stix, so used a 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. Delish. Thanks for sharing. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 24, 2017

      You’re welcome Yvonne! I’m happy to hear the recipe is a HIT! Thanks for sharing your fantastic review! Reply

  • Kaya
    November 23, 2017

    Made this tonight for Thanksgiving ..and my husband and kids loved it! We’re officially done with the canned version! This so so easy and so much better! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 24, 2017

      I’m happy to hear the recipe is a HIT!!! Thanks for sharing your excellent review Kaya! Reply

  • Daniela Melamed
    November 23, 2017

    HI natsha, it looks delish, but how many people does it serve?

    Thanks! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 23, 2017

      Hi Daniela, this makes 2 1/2 cups of sauce so it should feed 8-12 depending on how much everyone loves cranberry sauce! 🙂 Reply

      • Daniela Melamed
        November 23, 2017

        Thanks again! Reply

  • Kaya
    November 23, 2017

    What if I only have ground cinnamon? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 23, 2017

      Hi Kaya, you can add a small amount (maybe 1/4 tsp) while it is cooking. You can also omit the cinnamon if you prefer and it will still work. Reply

      • Kaya
        November 23, 2017

        Thank you so much.
        Happy Thanksgiving 🦃 Reply

  • Natalia
    November 21, 2017

    Hi Natasha,
    Thank you for your great recepies! I am so happy i found your website and now trying and cooking every week something new! 🙂 question – if i don’t have a cinnamon stick but I do have ground cinnamon. What would be the righ measurement then? Or should i just go and buy sticks? 🙂
    Thank you !

    Natalia Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 21, 2017

      Hi Natalia – I would suggest using just a pinch of ground cinnamon – no more than 1/4 tsp. You can also omit cinnamon and it would still work well 🙂 Reply

  • Maria
    November 21, 2017

    I am so making this for our family Thanksgiving dinner this week! Thanks so much for the recipe! 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 21, 2017

      You’re welcome Maria! I hope everyone loves it! Reply

  • Katya B.
    November 20, 2017

    Hi Natasha! This looks good! I like sweet and salty, and this sauce with Turkey must be good! I want to make this for our Thsnksgiving lunch. I have a question though, can i not use the cinnomin stick? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 20, 2017

      Hi Katya, yes absolutely! That would still work great if you prefer to omit the cinnamon stick. Reply

  • Shirley Lawson
    November 19, 2017

    Natasha, do you have canning instructions for this recipe? I would like to make this to give to family/friends in pretty little jars as gifts. I would also like to have some in my panty when I need it. I can’t wait to try it! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 20, 2017

      Hi Shirley, I haven’t tried canning this recipe so I can’t provide any specific instructions on that and I’m not sure if this is a good candidate for that. It does refrigerate well if you wanted to make it as a refrigerator sauce. Reply

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