Cranberry Sauce- Fresh cranberries, orange juice, maple syrup, and brandy are slowly simmered until it becomes a thick, sweet, and tangy sauce. The vibrant red coloration, tantalizing taste, and aroma make this the best cranberry sauce, hands down! Serve this delicious cranberry sauce at your next holiday gathering and impress all of your guests.
Holiday feasts aren't complete without cranberry sauce. This year, instead of opening up a can of jellied cranberries, why not try something new and make your own cranberry sauce from scratch? The sweet and tangy sauce perfectly enhances the savory flavors of mashed potatoes, corn, and stuffing.
Cranberry sauce's tart and earthy taste is the ideal complement to any holiday feast. The bright red color is a beautiful eye-catching addition to any table, and the sweet-and-sour flavor accentuates all the other holiday flavors. This homemade cranberry sauce is easy to make and will make all of your holiday gatherings even more special.
Table of Contents
Why You'll Love This Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe
A Holiday Staple- It's not the holiday season without cranberry sauce! This homemade cranberry sauce is the perfect festive addition to your table!
Freezes-Well- Cranberry sauce freezes beautifully! I always make a double batch and keep some in the freezer for last-minute get-togethers or holiday dinners.
Perfectly Tart and Sweet- This is my family's favorite cranberry sauce recipe because it strikes the perfect balance between tart and sweet.
Simple To Make- Homemade cranberry sauce comes together in just a few minutes and only requires a few simple ingredients.
Fresh and Fruity- This cranberry sauce recipe is made with fresh cranberries and orange juice for a perfectly fruity flavor
Equipment Needed To Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Medium Sauce Pan
- Stirring Spoon
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
Ingredients Needed For Cranberry Sauce
- Orange Juice
- Maple Syrup
- Coconut Sugar
- Ground Cinnamon
How To Make The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce
It's simple to make cranberry sauce from scratch-all you need is a few pantry staples and some time. Why go through the hassle of going to the store when you can have homemade cranberry sauce in less time?
All you have to do is combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring them to a boil while occasionally stirring, so the ingredients don't stick to the pan.
Once the cranberry mixture has come to a boil, turn down the heat and allow it to simmer while still until desired consistency is reached.
Note: The average time to simmer the cranberry sauce is about 10 minutes, but the longer you cook, the thicker the sauce will become.
What to Serve/Pair With Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is the perfect addition to any holiday meal or gathering. Here are some ideas of what to serve with cranberry sauce:
- Plant-Based Turkey
- Mashed potatoes
- Green beans
- Fresh Garden Salad
Popular Substitutions & Additions
While this cranberry sauce recipe is perfect as is, there are a few substitutions and additions you can make to suit your taste.
- Make this cranberry sauce recipe extra flavorful with freshly squeezed orange juice and a handful of orange zest.
- Not a fan of orange juice? You can substitute equal parts apple cider or cranberry juice. Add a splash of Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or another type of orange liqueur for an extra boost of flavor.
- If you like your cranberry sauce on the sweeter side, add an additional ¼ cup of maple syrup.
- For a sugar-free version, use monk fruit syrup or stevia instead of coconut sugar. Another option is to only maple syrup.
- Add a handful of diced apples, oranges, or pears for some texture.
- Mix in a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger for a zesty kick.
- Swap out the brandy for bourbon, or leave it out altogether.
How To Store & Reheat Homemade Cranberry Sauce
This cranberry sauce recipe is the perfect addition to your holiday table! It's easy to make, and you can make it ahead of time so you can enjoy your party stress-free!
You can store cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To reheat, place the desired amount in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 30-60 seconds or until heated through. You can also reheat it on the stove over low heat. Thaw frozen cranberry sauce in the fridge overnight before reheating as desired. You may need to add a splash of water if the cranberry sauce is too thick.
The Best Cranberry Sauce FAQs
Should cranberry sauce be served hot or cold?
Cranberry sauce can be served warm or cold, but it is most commonly served cold.
How do I keep my cranberry sauce from being so sour?
Cranberries are naturally very tart, so if your cranberry sauce is still too sour after cooking, add more sweetener and simmer until it reaches the desired sweetness.
Can I freeze this homemade cranberry sauce?
Yes, you can freeze cranberry sauce. Place it in a freezer-safe container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.
What can I use in place of orange juice?
If you don't have orange juice, you can substitute it for an equal amount of cranberry juice or apple cider.
Can I make this recipe without cornstarch?
Yes, you can make this cranberry sauce recipe without cornstarch; however, you will need to allow it to simmer longer to achieve a thicker sauce.
What can I use in place of brandy?
If you don't want to use brandy, you can substitute it for bourbon or leave it out altogether.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces cranberries, 16 ounces is fine too
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup brandy
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Add everything to a medium sized saucepan.
- Bring to a boil stirring occasionally so that the ingredients don't stick to the pan.
- Turn down to medium-high and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- There will be some popping with the cranberries and that's what you want. Cook until it is as thick as you like really. You can cook it longer than 10 minutes if you'd like a thicker jam type of sauce. It will still be very lumpy though. That's good.
- When it has cooled enough to taste - give it a try. If you'd like it sweeter then add maple syrup, a couple of tablespoons at a time. If you add more maple syrup then just heat through at the end to cook the sauce another minute.
- You can freeze cranberry sauce too.
- It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days but if for some crazy reason you have leftovers then freeze it.
- Rigid sided freezer containers with tight-fitting lids work great and make storing and defrosting very neat.
- Cranberry sauce will keep in the freezer for 2 months.