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Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Once you see how easy it is to make it homemade, you may never serve canned again!

What’s Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? If your only experience with cranberry sauce is opening up a tin can of gelatinous matter, you’re cheating yourself out of a real treat. The homemade version using whole cranberries is so easy to make and delicious to eat, you’ll never look at the canned stuff again. The best part is that cranberries are a true superfood, so you’re adding nutrition as well as flavor to your meals. Stock up when cranberries are in season (October to December) and freeze, and make it year-round.

Easy Homemade Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
This recipe couldn’t be any easier—it calls for just 3 simple ingredients on the stovetop to create a delicious, antioxidant-rich side dish that even tin-can diehards will swoon over!
Makes 2 ½ cups, enough for leftovers.

1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen whole cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan. You’ll hear the cranberries “pop.” Boil for about 7 minutes over medium-low heat, then remove from heat. Let cool slightly.

Using a potato masher, lightly mash the cranberries (you won’t get them all), then let the sauce stand until it reaches room temperature. Store in a covered glass container, and chill overnight. Mixture will appear runny when it’s warm but will firm up as it cools. Use up within a week.

Other serving options: Great on turkey sandwiches, stirred into oatmeal or yogurt, topped in a baked brie appetizer, or warm it up and serve it for dessert atop vanilla ice cream!

Susan Higgins is the Farmers' Almanac's Web Content Editor & Social Media Manager. She is a freelance writer/editor, copywriter, blogger, and writer of short fiction. Her passions are advertising, cooking, the ocean, libraries, pets & animal welfare, Netflix binges, and finding the perfect book at her local library.

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Colleen Piasecki

We make our own. We use my Nanas cranberry maker with a wooden cone shaped squished and cone shaped metal strainer. My Nana made it and we carry on tradition. Every year!!

Sandi Duncan

Homemade is always the best! Sounds like a wonderful family tradition.

Linda Zuk

A local store deli makes their own with cherries in it. It’s my favorite!


Try substituting orange juice for the water. You won’t regret it. Also try substituting just a little less than a cup of honey for the sugar.

Judy Dodson

Have always loved cranberry sauce, but never made it at home. I never found a recipe to make it. This sounds wonderful and easy, so I may have homemade this year! Love the idea of pineapple and nuts too! Thanks!


Try using cran-apple juice for the water and add walnuts. I think you’ll like that as well! Add some zest of orange peel if you like.


the canned cranberry would be great if they would stop putting high fructose corn syrup in it.

Susan J Hill Brown

I cut the amount of sugar, add oranges and walnuts. Have not tried adding pineapple but that sounds good, too.

Alberta McCosh

What I have done for years is add an 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple with the juice and some chopped walnuts. Friends who do not like cranberry enjoy this recipe. You just need to let it be known that there are nuts in the relish.

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