Fresh cranberry sauce is bomb-diggity.  It's beautiful, and so tart, sweet, and tasty.  It's also easy as pie, so there's no reason to buy the canned stuff or go without.  I used to never like cranberry anything until one Christmas my mom made cranberry salsa which is amazing! 

Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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Fresh cranberry sauce is bomb-diggity.  It’s beautiful and so tart, sweet, and tasty.  It’s also easy as pie, so there’s no reason to buy the canned stuff or go without.  I used to never like cranberry anything until one Christmas my mom made cranberry salsa which is amazing! For all the best homemade dressing, dip, and sauce recipes check this out.

homemade cranberry sauce in a bowl and some fresh cranberries

Then I got the taste for this old fashioned holiday treat. And speaking of homemade cranberry sauce, if you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner (or any special holiday meal), check out this stress-free Thanksgiving dinner checklist!

Later, I discovered what I have not liked about cranberry sauce before is the spices.  I don’t like ginger, so I left it out.  I loved it!  When you make it, you can go ahead and add some ginger, or cinnamon, or whatever you like if that’s what you want to do.

Fresh cranberry recipe

This recipe will make any holiday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or whatever special occasion even more special. You’re going to love it and be amazed at how easy it is.

bowl of fresh cranberries
pan of cranberry sauce with orange zest and sugar on the stove

When I made this recipe for Thanksgiving, I bought fresh cranberries and tossed them in the freezer until I needed them.  Either fresh or frozen is fine for this recipe.  While the cranberries are cooking, the most amazing cloud of mesmerizing smells will permeate the air and enrobe you in the holiday spirit (and make you hungry).

How to make fresh cranberry sauce

Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice

Delicious homemade cranberry sauce
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time18 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry sauce, cranberry sauce with orange juice
Servings: 8
Author: Christina Kamp


  • 1 12 oz. bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar I use raw sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  • Toss cranberries and sugar into a sauce pan reserving 1/2 cup of whole cranberries.
  • Zest all of the lemon and orange into the cranberries and then squeeze the juice from them into the mixture.
  • Add the pinch of salt.
  • Cook the cranberries for 10 minutes on low heat until they are soft, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn the heat up to high and boil the mixture until the cranberries pop.
  • Add the reserved cranberries and stir them in.

It’s so simple to make this homemade sauce, I urge you to give it a try for your next holiday gathering.  I liked it so much, I’m going to make it for Christmas again.  It was a big hit with my guests as well. 

Check out this great ham and cranberry roll up recipe to use with leftover cranberry sauce and leftover ham or turkey. And this cranberry syrup is soooo good!

I love to serve this with:

For foods that are in season at Christmas time, click here. 

How long does fresh cranberry sauce last? 

This cranberry sauce is acidic so it will last 10-14 days in the fridge. 

Are there any new dishes you tried this Thanksgiving that you liked so much you want to make them again for Christmas?  I’d love to hear about it! 

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  1. 5 stars
    i cooked cramberries whith sugar and cinnamon ! and i made cheese cake and i put on top of the cheese cakes they were delicious!!!!

  2. 5 stars
    I love what you guys are up too. This sort of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve included
    you guys to my own blogroll.

  3. 5 stars
    Homemade cranberry sauce is so simple to make. Why would anyone want to use that canned stuff? This looks like a great recipe. This Thanksgiving I tried a few new recipes; Maple Whiskey Glazed Turkey and gravy, Pear and Bacon Stuffing. Both were awesome and I’ve made again since Thanksgiving

    1. I just used the juice from both the lemon and the orange and voila, it worked! It was so tasty! 🙂 Thanks for reading!