Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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This classic cranberry sauce recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving. It is quick and easy to make it. You can use fresh cranberries and whole berries or cranberry sauce. This sauce makes it ideal for the holiday season.

Cranberry Sauce Vs. Cranberry Relish

Cranberry sauce is smooth, while cranberry relish is chunky. Cranberry sauce is made with whole berries, while cranberry relish includes chopped cranberries. The cranberry sauce permits making ahead of time, while cranberry relish should be made closer to when served.

Cranberry Sauce Variations

Change this is a versatile recipe to suit your liking. For example, you could add a splash of orange juice or Grand Marnier for added flavor. Or, if you prefer a smoother sauce, you can blend the cranberries before cooking them.

Choosing Cranberries For The Sauce

When choosing cranberries for this sauce, you can use fresh or frozen. If using fresh cranberries, make sure they are firm and bright red. Avoid berries that are soft or have any brown spots.

As for the frozen cranberries, thaw them before using them. The best way to do this is to place them in a colander and run cold water over them.

Substitutes And Alters

  • If you don’t have any cranberries on hand, you can use frozen cherries or raspberries instead. Keep in mind that these fruits are much sweeter than cranberries, so you may want to adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.
  • If you’re not a fan of cranberries, you can also make this sauce with blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries.
  • To make this recipe vegan, substitute the honey for maple syrup.
  • It is also possible to try this recipe in the slow cooker. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 2-4 hours, or until the sauce is thickened.

Flavoring The Sauce

As mentioned earlier, this sauce is versatile, and feel free to adjust it to your liking. If you want to add a little more flavor, try adding a splash of orange juice or Grand Marnier. Alternatively, you could also add a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger for a bit of zing.

Or, Go Sugar-Free

If you’re trying to cut down on sugar, you can use honey or agave nectar instead. You can also omit the sugar entirely and let the natural sweetness of the berries shine through.

This cranberry sauce recipe will be a hit no matter how you make it!

Making The Sauce Ahead Of Time

Make this cranberry sauce a week in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

The Right Consistency

The key to getting the perfect consistency for this sauce is to cook it until the berries have burst and the sauce has thickened. If you like your sauce on the thinner side, cook it for less time. Conversely, if you prefer it thicker, cook it for a more extended period.

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Cranberry Sauce Recipe

This cranberry sauce is easy to make and saves a lot of time. Make it way before special occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas. For berry lovers, it can't be a better sauce. This recipe is vegan.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 309 kcal


  • Heavy Bottomed Saucepan


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 oz cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 0.5 cup whole berries or cranberry sauce


  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add the cranberries and cook for 10 minutes, or until they have popped and the sauce has thickened.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the whole berries or cranberry sauce.
  • Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.



    Serving Suggestions

    Serve this sauce with turkey, chicken, or pork. It can also be a condiment for sandwiches or wraps.

    Storing Suggestions

    Store this cranberry recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.


    Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 81gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 28mgPotassium: 378mgFiber: 9gSugar: 54gVitamin A: 211IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 205mgIron: 2mg
    Keyword Cranberry Sauce
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

    FAQs Related To Cranberry Sauce

    Why Is Wine Used In This Recipe?

    Wine is used in this recipe because it helps balance out the sweetness of the cranberries. If you don’t want to use wine, you can substitute it with apple cider or cranberry juice.

    What Type Of Wine Should I Use?

    You can use any red wine that you like for this recipe. A fruity wine, such as Pinot Noir, would work well.

    Can I Make This Recipe Without Sugar?

    Yes, you can make this recipe without sugar. Substitute it with honey or agave nectar.

    Wrap Up

    That’s it for this cranberry sauce recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. And, if you’re looking for more holiday recipes, be sure to check out our collection of Christmas recipes. Happy cooking!