This easy and quick recipe makes the best classic cranberry sauce! This make ahead cranberry sauce recipe has orange zest for an extra zing – you will never go back to canned cranberry sauce again!
This recipe was originally published 11/6/2015. It was updated with new photos on 11/16/2017.
It’s almost Thanksgiving so I wanted to spruce up my Easy Classic Cranberry Sauce Recipe. This is my go to cranberry sauce recipe – it only has three ingredients, is ridiculously easy to make, and takes about ten minutes. Plus you can make it ahead of time, giving you one less thing to do before Thanksgiving day. This is one of my secrets to a low stress Thanksgiving – make as much ahead of time as possible!
I don’t think I had ever had homemade cranberry sauce until I started making this. I was never a fan of the cylindrical red jelly with the ridge marks from the can. I just didn’t get it. Until I had the real stuff. What a difference! The sweet tart flavor compliments all the other foods in the feast so nicely (and it perfectly rounds out the day after Thanksgiving turkey sandwich – essential!).
All you do is throw the four ingredients in a pot and bring it up to a simmer. The berries start to pop, which is a weird sound. You may be slightly alarmed when you first hear it. But it is a good thing, they are releasing their flavors and juices and turning into a beautiful sauce. And there you have it – you made cranberry sauce! Who knew it was so easy?
Got leftovers? Be sure to check out my recipe for Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins and my wildly popular Cranberry Brie Mini Tarts! The Cranberry Brie Mini Tarts can even be served as a Thanksgiving Appetizer. And see all of my Thanksgiving Recipes HERE.
Are you excited about Thanksgiving? Do you like to keep things classic or reinvent the classics every year?
Classic Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ¾ cups granulated sugar
- zest of one orange
- 1 cup water
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then when you hear the berries start to pop, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until most berries are popped and soft.
- Transfer to a storage container and allow to cool. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Hi! This looks absolutely delicious and can’t wait to try it! Can this be frozen?
Hi Jillian – I haven’t tried freezing it but cranberry sauce usually freezes well!
Ashleigh @Dash of Evans says
Yum! I love making homemade cranberry sauce. I used to do cooking demos with the MS recipe and people were always shocked at how easy it is. I love to spread it on sandwiches with turkey and brie for leftovers!
Mmm, turkey and brie, sounds amazing! Thanks Ashleigh!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Oh my goodness, Meghan.. reading about how you prepared for hosting Thanksgiving by pouring over M.S totally had me giggling because I used to do the same exact thing! #GreatMinds and #FabulousHostesses I have NEVER been a fan of canned cranberry sauce – ICK. But homemade is totally a different story, loves it. And yours looks beyond delicious! I could totally get down with a vat of this stuff! Gorgeous photos too, girlie! Pinned! Cheers, doll! <3
Thanks so much Cheyanne! Martha is the Queen, for sure! No wonder we both went on to become food bloggers! 🙂
Christine | Mid-Life Croissant says
I love love love Thanksgiving but I don’t host it. My mom really just has it mastered. So I come. I eat. I nap. Works well 😉 Pinning this though because I may use it on Christmas.
The only thing better than hosting Thanksgiving is going to someone’s house who hosts it well! Eating and napping sounds like bliss. Thank you for pinning Christine!
Can’t believe it’s already November! Nothing beats homemade cranberry sauce and yours looks perfect!! Love the orange zest!
I know, October flew by. I can hardly believe the holidays are upon us. Thank you Kelly!
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
I love cranberries! This sauce is amazing in it’s simplicity. Just pure flavors….nothing else needed!
Somethings are better left alone, and I think cranberry sauce is on of them. Thank you Kathy!
Janet McMorrow says
Wow makes me think about trying it. After the jelly like cran sauce I’ve been completely turned off by it. But this sounds good. ?☺️
Thank you! It is a world of difference from the canned variety 🙂
Yummm….brings back delectable memories!!
Thanks for sharing!!❤️
Mr Briar says
I can’t believe it’s almost turkey day! I want 5lbs each of this and stuffing. That’s all I want.
Done and Done.