There is something about me that I take pride in the little things because I am most enthusiastic about this Classic Homemade Cranberry Sauce out of everything I cooked today.

It is hard to comprehend how easy this sauce can be to make, especially considering how much flavor it contains.

In addition to the strong tartness of fresh cranberries, it has a sweet orange juice and sugar that keeps it in check.

The zest from the orange adds layers of flavor that continue to tickle your tongue after the cranberry burst dies down.

I knew that I would make this delicious and easy recipe year-round because it was so quick and easy to follow.

Apronese knows that, with this simple recipe, housewives will do it very easily and quickly, right?

Cranberry Sauce: What is it?

There are only three ingredients in cranberry sauce and they are all quite easy to find. At its most basic, cranberry sauce consists of:

You can leave out the orange in a pinch, but let me tell you, this simple cranberry sauce will truly make your holiday season one to remember.

It’s easy to make, taste great, and won’t leave you feeling tired afterwards.

I added a splash of orange juice to brighten up the flavors just a bit and give it an extra level of flavor.

Is It Possible to Make Cranberry Sauce Without Sugar?

As for replacing the sugar listed below with honey or maple syrup, you are able to do so, although there will be slight differences in the final flavor and texture of the sauce that you produce.

Check out these other fresh cranberry sauce flavors

You can also play around with the flavor by adding other ingredients like red wine, cinnamon, raspberry, apple, or even Add other flavors like red wine, cinnamon, raspberry, apple, or even jalapeño to the cranberry sauce .

Close up of a spoonful of thick cranberry sauce, made from scratch, with orange essence.

The Classic Homemade Cranberry Sauce

There are three ingredients you need to make this delicious cranberry sauce, but it is packed with so much flavor that it will add excitement to the meal that you are preparing.

Prep Time: 5 mins/ Cook Time: 15 mins/ Total Time: 20 mins

Servings: 6 (1/2 cup ea)


  • 12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries ($2.00)
  • 1 small orange ($0.33)
  • 1/2 cup sugar ($0.09)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)


  • Add the sugar, water, salt, and lemon juice to a medium saucepot, mix well, and then place it over a medium burner, stirring constantly and bringing the liquid to the boil.
  • As the liquid in the pot is heating, rinse the cranberries and add them to the boiling water, sugar, and orange juice. Once the water and sugar have come to a boil, add the cranberries, cover the pot, and allow the liquid to boil. After it boils, you will see the cranberries pop up.
  • Let the pot continue to simmer over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until all of the cranberries have completely broken down and the mixture is able to be stirring easily without burning. Once all of the cranberries have popped, remove the lid, give it a good stir, and turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • As the cranberries simmer in the pot, prepare the zest for the orange with a microplane, zester, or small-holed cheese grater. Cut the orange in half and squeeze out a half cup of its juice (about 1 cup). While the cranberries simmer, prepare the orange juice.
  • As soon as the cranberries have broken down, stir in about 1 tsp of orange zest into the sauce and allow it to cool slightly. Once the sauce has cooled slightly, serve it with the toasted bread. Once the cranberries have dissolved, stir in the orange juice and orange zest.


Serving: 1 Serving ・ Calories: 53.58 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 14 g ・ Protein: 0.42 g ・ Fat: 0.08 g ・ Sodium: 1.13 mg ・ Fiber: 2.42 g
The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer .

To make the holiday season even more special, serve this homemade cranberry sauce over a wheel of baked brie for a wonderful holiday treat.
Close up of a spoonful of thick cranberry sauce, made from scratch, with orange essence.

Cranberry Sauce: How to Make It – Step by Step Photos

Sugar and Water
In a medium sauce pot, add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water.

Stir to combine the ingredients in the sauce pot, then place the pot over medium heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil.
Rinse Cranberries
In the meantime, while the sugar and water get into a boil, you should rinse and drain two 12-ounce packages of fresh cranberries.

This recipe can be made with fresh or frozen cranberries. If you wish to use frozen cranberries, thaw them first before using.
Cranberries in Pot
The rinsed cranberries should be added to the sugar water while it is boiling. Place the lid on top and allow it to continue to boil for another few minutes.
Popped Cranberries
Once the liquid starts to boil again, the cranberries will begin to pop (that’s why you need to cover it). Once all the cranberries have popped, remove the lid, give it a good stir, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Cranberries Broken Down
As the cranberries simmer over medium-low heat, stir them occasionally to ensure that the cranberries do not break down completely (about 5-7 minutes).
Zest and Juice an Orange
You will need approximately 1 tsp of zest and 1/2 cup of juice to make the orange juice and zest. While the cranberries are simmering, zest and juice one small orange.
Stir in Orange Zest
The cooked cranberries should be stirred into the juice, then the pot should be removed from the heat and then the zest should be added.
Stir Cranberry Sauce
If you like, you can prepare this a day or two ahead of time if you need it.

Just stir everything together in a mixing bowl, let it cool slightly before serving (it will thicken as it cools).
A pot full of simple and classic cranberry sauce brightened with orange essence.
In addition to being wonderful on all of the usual Thanksgiving foods, cranberry sauce can also be used to make a delicious turkey sandwich the following day.

Don’t forget that fresh cranberry sauce is delicious on just about anything and you can put it on just about anything as well.

The jam-like nature of the sauce makes it delicious on a piece of toast with butter in the morning. If you like it more over ice cream, you should try it.
A bowl of thick cranberry sauce ready for serving on your holiday table

So complete the delicious homemade cranberry cauce for you.

With this super easy recipe, housewives are free to follow it quickly, and don’t forget to share with Apronese the results as well as other methods.