No holiday meal is complete without homemade cranberry sauce. It’s a festive classic. Not only does it add a delicious sweet-tart flavor kick to the plate, but it’s also surprisingly easy to make! So ditch the canned stuff and make the best cranberry sauce ever. As a bonus, my version contains much less sugar than most recipes. So, you can feel good about adding a spoonful or two to your roast turkey and leftover turkey sandwiches this year!
- Ingredients You’ll Need
- How To Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce ~ Step-By-Step
- Why You’ll Love This Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- Recipe Variations
- Tips For Making The Perfect Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- More Christmas Recipes
- How To Make Cranberry Sauce ~ Full Recipe
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe ~ FAQs
- Pin Cranberry Sauce For Later!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ground Cinnamon
- Frozen Cranberries
- Coconut Sugar
- Natural Apple Juice
- Port (or red wine)
This cranberry sauce recipe is not your average canned variety! Adding coconut sugar and natural apple juice gives the dish a hint of natural sweetness. In contrast, ground cinnamon adds just a touch of festive spice. As it’s the holiday season, I love adding port or red wine for an even more flavorful twist on traditional cranberry sauce. It feels a little extra special.
So, whether you’re a savvy cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this easy-to-make recipe will quickly become one of your favorites!
How To Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce ~ Step-By-Step
Place a medium saucepan on medium-high heat and add the cinnamon. Cook over the heat for about 30 seconds until it releases its flavor.
Next, place the cranberries, coconut sugar, apple juice, port, orange juice, and half of the orange zest into the pan. Bring to a boil.
Lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly. You want the cranberries to soften and break down. Remove the cranberry sauce from the heat and pour it into a suitable container to allow the sauce to cool completely at room temperature. The cranberry sauce will continue to thicken up as it cools down.
Serve your cranberry sauce cold or warm, topped with some of the remaining orange zest (optional).
Full recipe and ingredients list in the recipe card below.
Why You’ll Love This Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- Easy Recipe – This cranberry sauce recipe is quick and easy to make, and it’s absolutely delicious!
- Make Ahead – It can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve. The flavors only get better!
- Perfect For Holiday Meals – This sauce is the perfect accompaniment to the Thanksgiving table, your Christmas day meal, or a Boxing Day buffet.
- Great Any Time – Cranberry sauce is great this time of year to serve with your Christmas turkey and ham. But it’s not just for Christmas. It’s a perfect year-round sauce to serve with pork, chicken, or fish.
Suppose you want to give your cranberry sauce a unique spin. In that case, several ingredients can be added or substituted depending on what flavors you like best.
- Spicy Cranberry Sauce – if you like a little heat with your sweet, try adding some crushed red pepper flakes or jalapeno pepper to your cranberry sauce. This is a great way to add a bit of depth to the sauce without making it too spicy.
- Lemon Cranberry Sauce – adding lemon zest and juice to your cranberry sauce is an excellent alternative to fresh orange juice to brighten the flavor.
- Maple Cranberry Sauce – For a unique twist on cranberry sauce, try reducing the coconut sugar and replacing it with pure maple syrup. This will give the sauce a lovely sweetness with a hint of maple flavor. You can also add some chopped nuts for an extra texture.
- Herby Cranberry Sauce – If you want to add more savory flavors to your cranberry sauce, try adding some fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary. This is a great way to liven up the sauce and make it more interesting.
- Apple Cranberry Sauce – add a chopped peeled apple for a little more texture and sweetness.
- Boozy Cranberry Sauce – instead of adding port, what about your favorite spirit or liqueur? Whiskey or Brandy are both a perfect addition to the festive season. I also love Grand Marnier (or any orange liqueur) for a stronger orange flavor.
Tips For Making The Perfect Homemade Cranberry Sauce
1The Perfect Cooking Temperature
Place the cranberries in a saucepan over low heat and cook until they begin to burst. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
2The Perfect Flavor
Letting the cranberry sauce cool completely before serving allows flavors to develop fully. And as the sauce cools, it will thicken.
3The Perfect Texture
I like my cranberry sauce chunky, so I prefer to leave some cranberries whole. If you prefer a smooth sauce, use a food processor or blender to achieve the desired consistency. Simply mash berries with a fork if you want something somewhere in the middle.
More Christmas Recipes
If you like the look of this Cranberry Sauce, check out more of my delicious recipes that are perfect for the holiday season.
How To Make Cranberry Sauce ~ Full RecipePrint
Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe ~ FAQs
Yes! The Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. This is because the pectin in the cranberries sets as it cools, creating a thicker consistency. So if your cranberry sauce is too thin, don’t worry – just let it cool, and it should thicken up nicely.
Yes! Homemade cranberry sauce can be frozen for up to 6 months. Leftover cranberry sauce can be frozen in an airtight container or a freezer bag. Ideally, freeze it in small batches and thaw only what you need when you need it. When ready to enjoy it, simply defrost it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or microwave.
Yes! This homemade cranberry sauce recipe is gluten-free.
Yes! This homemade cranberry sauce recipe is vegan.
No. This recipe for cranberry sauce is not keto, as it contains coconut sugar. Even though coconut sugar is natural, its carbohydrate content is too high to be considered keto compliant.
Yes! I like to use frozen cranberries as they are much easier to get hold of where I live. But fresh cranberries work just as well in this recipe.
Thinking of making this Cranberry Sauce? I’d love to know how it turns out. Get in touch via the comments section, and let me know!
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