homemade cranberry sauce in a white bowl
Side Dishes

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Jump to Recipe

One of the most classic side dishes to go along with Turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas has got to be homemade cranberry sauce. Once you make homemade cranberry sauce from scratch you definitely won’t go back to storebought.

I do think the default is just to buy it at the store, because, that is one less thing to worry about during the crazy Thanksgiving dinner prep time. But, it is absolutely easy to make at home and doesn’t take a ton of time.

And if you like you can always make it a few days ahead of time. Trust me, this homemade cranberry sauce is so yummy. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

Bowl of cranberries next to water, sugar, and a pot.

In order to make cranberry sauce from scratch you need just a handful of ingredients:

  • Fresh Cranberries – You can’t make homemade cranberry sauce without fresh cranberries!
  • Water – I always use filtered water when cooking and baking, because my tap water tastes gross. You can also use orange juice which is very common.
  • Sugar – Use white granulated sugar.
  • Salt – This optional ingredient will balance out the sweetness a bit and enhance the flavor.
  • Ground cinnamon – This is another optional ingredient. I really just love cinnamon so I always add it.

Seriously though, you could easily make cranberry sauce with just 3 ingredients, cranberries, water, and sugar.

Bowl of freshly made homemade cranberry sauce.


  • Pot
  • Spoon
  • Bowl

You really don’t need a whole lot of different tools to make this recipe, either.

Step 2: How to make homemade cranberry sauce

Medium metal pot with cranberries, water, sugar, and salt on a stovetop burner.

Take a medium pot and add the water, sugar, salt, and fresh cranberries.

Set the pot on the burner and set the heat to medium. Stir occasionally until it starts to boil.

Pot of boiling cranberries on a burner

I want to point out that as the cranberries heat up they will split and pop, that is completely normal, so don’t freak out when that happens.

Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the cranberry sauce to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will allow it to thicken up.

Hand sprinkling ground cinnamon over homemade cranberry sauce.

With about 2 minutes to go, sprinkle in the cinnamon (if using that) and mix it in.

Once the sauce is thick, you can remove it from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. It will be a deep purple color.

Medium metal pot filled with fresh homemade cranberry sauce.

TIP: You can remove the easy cranberry sauce from the heat at any point between the 10 and 15-minute mark, it just depends on how thick you want it.

White bowl of homemade cranberry sauce.

Once the homemade cranberry sauce has cooled you can put it in the fridge until ready to serve. This is an easy dish to make ahead of time.

When you want to serve it, you can serve it cold, or heat it up a bit. Enjoy!

How long does homemade cranberry sauce last?

If stored in an airtight container, or a bowl with plastic wrap over it, cranberry sauce will last 10 to 14 days.

Can I freeze leftover cranberry sauce?

Yes! It freezes quite well. Make sure it cools completely, then place in an airtight “freezer-safe” container or freezer bag and freeze. Use it within a few months for the best results.

Homemade cranberry sauce pin for Pinterest
(Pin it!)

Here are some other recipes you may like:

Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter

Peanut Brittle

Chocolate Banana Bread

Dinner Rolls

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

homemade cranberry sauce in a white bowl
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Learn how to make a super easy homemade cranberry sauce from scratch. It tastes so much better than storebought cranberry sauce.
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Cooling Time15 minutes
Total Time32 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, European
Keyword: Christmas, sweet, Thanksgiving, Turkey
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 78kcal
Author: Matt Taylor


  • pot
  • spoon
  • Bowl


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries 340g
  • 1 cup water 237ml or use orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar 200g
  • 1/4 tsp salt 1g optional
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1g optional


  • Add the cranberries, water, sugar, and salt to a medium pot and place on the burner with the heat set to medium.
  • Stir occasionally and bring the cranberries to a boil.
  • Turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • At around the 8 minute mark mix in the cinnamon if you are using that.
  • Once the sauce thickens to your liking and is deep purple, you can remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
  • Store in the fridge or serve right away. Enjoy!


How to Make Cranberry Sauce From Scratch | Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe


list of nutritional facts for cranberry sauce
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!


Calories: 78kcal

Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it.  If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

Check out my other website 101 Creative Dates for fun date ideas. Food and dating go hand in hand!


  1. Andrea Thueson

    5 stars
    Is it even the Holidays without Cranberry Sauce? This recipe was perfection! So glad I found this recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe – so easy to make and so yummy to eat!

  3. 5 stars
    I loved every bite of this! Super easy to make!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.