I am just going to come right out with it: that cranberry sauce in a can is…well…it’s kinda yucky. Homemade is infinitely better. It’s incredibly vibrant and flavorful, sweet and tangy and has more texture than the canned, which is somewhat gelatinous. Just a little bit on your fork with some turkey and stuffing is quite the taste sensation. And you can make it a day or two ahead!
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Homemade Cranberry Sauce: Two Ways in bowl with rosemary garnish


The Ingredients:

Simple, simple, simple: fresh cranberries, light brown sugar, orange juice and zest. If you want to make it a bit fancier you can add apples and a hint of freshly ground nutmeg. Cranberry sauce is one of those holiday recipes you will be really glad you took the five minutes to make from scratch! Fresh is always best in my humble opinion.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce: Two Ways

How To Zest Citrus:

To zest citrus I use a microplane (amazon affiliate link). Simply scrape the skin of an orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit until the white underneath begins to show, then move to another area. You don’t want to go too deep because the white is bitter, but the outer surface is full of heavenly smelling essential oils that add fabulous orange flavor to your sauce!

homemade cranberry sauce


This gorgeous cranberry sauce is the perfect accompaniment for Dry Brined Herb Turkey and Apple and Sausage Stuffing. I don’t know about you, but I am super excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce: Two Ways in bowl with gold spoon

You can use This Sauce on More Than Turkey!

Click to see this amazing pork roast with cranberry sauce. 


The Recipes: Homemade Cranberry Sauce~Two Ways

You will need: a microplane and hand juicer.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce: Two Ways
Prep Time
2 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
7 mins

You can keep this cranberry sauce simple using only three ingredients or add apples and nutmeg for a little variation.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: classic recipe, easy side dish recipe, holiday recipe
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
  • 3 Cups fresh cranberries
  • Juice and zest of 3 juice oranges
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 large apple, peeled and diced
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg optional
  1. Use a microplane to zest oranges, scraping just until the white is exposed then move to a new spot. Squeeze juice from oranges (should be about 1 cup of juice).
  2. Place juice, zest, sugar (apple if using) and cranberries into a pan and bring to a simmer.

  3. Stir frequently.
  4. When cranberries begin to 'pop' add nutmeg (optional).
  5. Simmer just a couple more minutes then turn off heat.
  6. Sauce will thicken even more after it cools.



Take a look at Everything But the Turkey Part 1,  Part 2, and Part 3! and of course you can use the search bar (upper right sidebar) to find whatever you need!


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