This super easy-to-make fresh cranberry sauce is simply delicious. If you ever thought that making your own cranberry sauce was difficult, disabuse yourself of that notion as nothing could be further from the truth. I was shocked at not only how easy cranberry sauce is to make, but how much better it tastes than pre-made or canned cranberry sauce.
I think I made this recipe six times last year alone simply because we enjoyed it so much, and it is so incredibly simple to make. While perfect for your holiday meal during the holiday season (especially on your Thanksgiving table!), the truth is this homemade cranberry sauce recipe is the perfect homemade cranberry sauce recipe, so a terrific side dish anytime!
The Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe
I was always intimidated by cranberry sauce. I thought it was very difficult to make, and not worth my time. Every Thanksgiving I’d buy a jellied cranberry can, cube it up, and serve it. Few people ate it, and I cannot say I blame them. It is not to my taste either.
A few years back I found a basic cranberry sauce recipe and started experimenting with it. I wanted it to be easy, yet tasty. There were all sorts of recommendations online about good pairings with fresh cranberry, but they were either odd ingredients, not to my family’s taste (and we all know Hubby enjoys some “interesting” foods, so you can imagine how crazy some of those combos were), or too difficult to make.
After much experimenting, I came up with this simple cranberry recipe a few years ago, and have been making it ever since. Who would believe that only a handful of ingredients could make for the best ever cranberry sauce recipe!?
This is a fabulous side dish to pair with turkey (obviously) , but we also enjoyed it very much with pork, and with chicken. It is truly wonderful. It is one of my favorite recipes, and I hope it becomes a favorite recipe for you and your family.
Tips and variations for making the best cranberry sauce recipe:
● You can make this the day before your dinner and it is great.
● I have experimented a bit with what happens to the cranberries after they burst, but before adding the reserved whole cranberries. You can use a blender to pulse blend after the cranberries have burst, but before adding the whole cranberries, vanilla, and ground cinnamon… and that works great.
● I have made this where I did not hold back any cranberries, let all the cranberries pop, and that too was marvelous. The difference is the whole, reserved cranberries add a different texture, as well as making for a prettier-looking cranberry recipe.
● You can make a double batch of this recipe. Just remember to use a large saucepan to accommodate the greater bulk of the recipe.
● If you freeze cranberry leftovers do it in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. To use, leave it in the fridge for a couple of days to thaw. Never had any problem with taste or texture.
● Instead of orange juice, you may want to substitute Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau. The taste will change a bit, but that is what cranberry sauce variations do.
● If you enjoy cinnamon, you can add a little cinnamon to this recipe.
● Add a little leftover cranberry sauce to your leftover turkey sandwiches! It tastes terrific!
If you like cranberry recipes, try these wonderful cranberry recipes at your next holiday feast:
● Cranberry Sauce Cheesecake Recipe – the cranberry sauce used is this recipe!
● Orange and Cranberry Steamed Carrots Recipe
● Vintage Cranberry Walnut Jello Recipe
The Best Cranberry Sauce Ingredients:
● 2¼ cups Fresh Cranberries (1-12 ounce bag)
● 1 cup Sugar
● 2 TBSP Fresh Orange Juice
● 1 seedless Orange Zest and Pulp
● 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
● ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
The Best Cranberry Sauce Mise en Place:
The Best Cranberry Sauce Directions:
● Remove ½ cup of fresh cranberries from the 12-ounce bag of cranberries, and set that ½ cup of fresh cranberry aside.
● Combine remaining fresh cranberries (that have not been reserved for later), 1 cup of white sugar, 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice, the zest, and the pulp of one seedless orange into a medium-sized pot on the stove.
● Cook over low heat at a simmer stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft, and have just burst, approximately 20 minutes.
● Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon; mix.
● Add the reserved cranberries, stir.
● Remove cranberry sauce from heat and cool to room temperature.
● Set in refrigerator to firm completely.
- 2¼ cups Fresh Cranberries (1-12 ounce bag)
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 TBSP Fresh Orange Juice
- 1 seedless Orange
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
- Remove ½ cup of fresh cranberries from the 12-ounce bag, and set that ½ cup of fresh cranberry aside.
- Combine remaining fresh cranberries (that have not been reserved for later), white sugar, fresh orange juice, the zest, and pulp of one seedless orange into a medium-sized pot on the stove.
- Cook over low heat at a simmer stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft and have just burst, approximately 20 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract and ground cinnamon; mix.
- Add the reserved cranberries, stir.
- Remove cranberry sauce from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Set in refrigerator to firm completely.
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Serving Size:1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 0g
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