When the grocery store is out of fresh berries, fear not- you can make your own cranberry sauce using frozen cranberries instead! Naturally sweetened and made with a lot less sugar than the canned stuff, this great recipe belongs on your holiday table.
I was older than I want to admit when I discovered that cranberry sauce didn't have to come from a can. And what a wonderful realization it was!
I will warmly remember my days of eating canned cranberry jelly- it was my first taste of those sweet-tart red berries and the beginnings of my infatuation with them (a fondness that led them to be the star in this dessert crisp and smoothie!).
But once I had tasted a couple of homemade versions, I knew there was no going back. And so I set out to make my own perfect cranberry sauce recipe.
Opting to use frozen berries, which I can find at any time of the year, and maple syrup in place of brown or white sugar, I came up with this easy recipe worthy of all of your holiday meals.
- Frozen Whole Cranberries- No need to thaw- just use them directly in the recipe. Fresh cranberries will also work.
- Orange Juice- You can use pure orange juice from a carton or get fancy and squeeze fresh orange juice. If using fresh, feel free to add in a bit of the orange zest as well for extra orange flavour.
- Maple Syrup- Honey will also work. As written, this recipe is a sweet-tart sauce, which is how I like it but feel free to add a bit more at the end to suit your tastes.
- Cloves- Feel free to leave it out if you don't have any on hand.
- Sea Salt
1. Simmer. Place cranberries, juice, syrup and seasonings in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes stirring often and breaking up the cranberries with the back of your spoon. Cook until the sauce is nearly at your desired consistency- it will thicken a little bit more once it cools.
2. Cool. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature to allow it to fully thicken before serving.
Make Ahead: This recipe stays well up to a week and needs to cool after preparing so it is the perfect recipe to make ahead when preparing for your Thanksgiving meal.
To Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Make it Your Own
- Smooth Cranberry Sauce- Allow to come to room temperature and then transfer to food processor and puree until smooth.
Wondering how to enjoy your homemade cranberry sauce? I have plenty of ideas- you might even want to make a double batch because there are so many delicious and fun ways to enjoy the leftovers!
- Serve it with roast turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner (obviously)
- Or have it with Swedish Meatballs in place of Lingonberry Jam
- Spread on toast as your jam or use it as the "J" on a PB and J (one of my favorites!)
- Put your leftover turkey to good use and make a Cranberry Brie Turkey Sandwich
- Spoon it over ice cream or enjoy it on top of a cheesecake
- Eat it straight from the spoon...
Absolutely! Frozen berries work in place of fresh in cranberry sauce and don't need to be thawed prior. As a bonus, they can be easier to find outside of the holiday season so you can make sauce any time of year.
12 ounces (340 grams) or cranberries is approximately 3 cups.
If you have dietary restrictions, check the packaging of specific ingredients that you use to ensure they are compliant. This recipe is:
- Dairy Free
- Gluten Free
- Nut Free
And if you liked this recipe...
...you might also like these other homemade sauces!
- 3 cups frozen cranberries (1 12-ounce bag)
- 1 cup pure orange juice
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- pinch fine sea salt
- Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and place over medium heat.
- Simmer and cook until thickened to desired consistency, about 25 minutes, stirring often and breaking up the cranberries with the spoon.
- Taste and add additional sweetener to taste.
- Allow to cool and then serve.
My first time making cranberry sauce, it was so easy to follow this recipe and so good .
Homemade cranberry sauce is soooo much better than canned! I love the orange and maple together
Thank you for your kind review, Michelle!
This was such a hit! Thank you for the cranberry sauce recipe, I can’t wait to make it again!
I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe, Shadi!
I'm a big fan of cranberries. This recipe looks delish . . . bring on the leftovers!
Thank you for your kind comment, Elizabeth!
YES! I have found THE cranberry sauce recipe for my Thanksgiving table. The flavors of orange, cinnamon and cloves just taste like the holidays. I'm finally getting rid of the canned version! Thank you so much.
I'm glad you liked this recipe, Tara! Thank you for your kind review.
Making cranberry sauce from scratch is so much better than store bought!! I'm definitely going to be making this for Thanksgiving next month!
I hope you love it, Anjali!
Saving this beautiful recipe for thanksgiving. 1000x better than the can.
Thank you for your kind review, MacKenzie!
The orange twist on this sauce is amazing! And I love that it's sweetened with maple syrup, right up my alley!
I'm glad you liked this cranberry sauce, Shelby!
I'm glad you liked this cranberry sauce, Jeanette!