This homemade easy cranberry sauce requires just 15 minutes and 4 ingredients, including orange zest and honey to give it a great depth of flavor!
Happy Friday friends! I hope you’ve had a good week and recovered from any sugar highs and candy crazes that Halloween brought.
The hubs and I had our anniversary yesterday – 9 whole years we’ve been married and he’s put up with my particular brand of crazy. A good man, he is 😉
We’re kind-of low-key about the anniversary thing. We give each other cards and maybe make a nice dinner or go out if we’ve got a babysitter. But we just went out last weekend for my birthday, so we stayed in and I pulled out our wedding album so we could look at how young we used to be. 😂 Maybe next year for the big TEN we’ll do something big to celebrate.
Now on to the FOOD! Cranberry sauce was never a big thing for me at Thanksgiving. I didn’t get the hype about it.
Actually, I was a kid, so I probably didn’t know there was hype about it.
And for all of you who feel the same way, please trust me and give this recipe a try.
My homemade easy cranberry sauce is the perfect amount of sweetness — without making you feel like you just ate a bowl of pure sugar — and has such a great richness and robustness from the orange zest and the honey.
It’s all about the balance. 👍
It’s also all about being super duper easy and very fast. Just 15 minutes and 4 ingredients.
Which means you’ll be able to make it ALL the time, like I’ve been doing already this fall.
Basically, I went from being a non-cranberry sauce lover to being a little bit obsessed.
I use this sauce in my leftover Thanksgiving turkey cranberry cream cheese sandwich (aka sandwich heaven!) and in my cranberry balsamic pork chops.
Also in my whole wheat cranberry sauce muffins, which are great for breakfast or brunch around the holidays.
And trust me, there will be more cranberry sauce recipes to come!
Now, I’ve got some notes, tips, substitutions and FAQs coming up below. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on easy cranberry sauce:
- You can substitute fresh orange juice for some or all of the water if you want more orange flavor in your cranberry sauce.
- You can add the honey to taste, to get it to your desired level of sweetness. I like mine mid-level sweet, I’d say, and I use a heaping tablespoon. It depends on the tartness of the cranberries though.
- I prefer my cranberry sauce a little chunky like this, but you can blend the mixture if you want a smoother cranberry sauce.
- You have to sorta test and see about the amount of liquid after yours is all mixed. It can vary a lot. I often add the juice of the orange that I zested at the end if it seems thick.
- Keep in mind, too, that the sauce will thicken as it cools and will also thicken over time. If you are making this in advance, I highly recommend you add extra liquid (1/4 cup or so).
How to make cranberry sauce:
- Combine the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and water in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the cranberries have popped and the mixture has started to thicken.
- Taste and add some honey, a teaspoon or so at a time, to get it to your desired sweetness. You can also add additional sugar, if desired, depending on the tartness of your cranberries.
- Add some juice from the orange or some extra water if the sauce seems too thick. (And keep in mind it will thicken more as it cool and sets up.)
- Let cool and serve at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for later.
I know how crazy holiday food preparation can be, so I also wanted to say that you an absolutely make this ahead of time.
It needs to chill in the fridge anyway, so it’s definitely a side dish you can fix the day before – or several days before.
Speaking of storage…
How to store cranberry sauce:
– Cranberry sauce, once cooled, can be stored in the fridge, covered, for up to a week.
– Cranberry sauce also can be frozen. Place the cooled cranberry sauce in a ziptop bag or a freezer-safe container, that’s labelled, and freeze for up to 6 months.
Cranberry sauce is going to be a new condiment staple in this house. I’d better go make another batch… 😉
And if you need some other easy Thanksgiving side dishes, I’ve got you covered!
Enjoy friends and have a great weekend!
P.S. Be sure to check out my VIDEO for this cranberry sauce recipe to see how seriously easy it is to make!
You can substitute fresh orange juice for some or all the water if you want more orange flavor in your cranberry sauce. Or add some extra at the end if you want to thin out the sauce. I prefer my cranberry sauce a little chunky like this, but you can blend the mixture if you want a smooth cranberry sauce. This cranberry sauce will keep in the fridge for at least a week. You can also freeze extras for up to 6 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 84Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 0g
You can substitute fresh orange juice for some or all the water if you want more orange flavor in your cranberry sauce. Or add some extra at the end if you want to thin out the sauce.
I prefer my cranberry sauce a little chunky like this, but you can blend the mixture if you want a smooth cranberry sauce.
This cranberry sauce will keep in the fridge for at least a week. You can also freeze extras for up to 6 months.