Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

| November 18, 2018 | 23 Comments

Cranberry Sauce

Easy to follow, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions show you how to make Cranberry Sauce from scratch. We used fresh berries. Printable recipe included.

Cranberry Sauce recipe, enjoy.
Old Fashioned Cranberry Sauce, made from fresh cranberries.


Cranberry Sauce, slider.

I admit it. I love the cheap, canned style of Cranberry Sauce that I expect to be on the dinner table each Thanksgiving Day. Is it just me?

When Mama was no longer with us to prepare Thanksgiving meals, the family started going to my older brother’s house for the holidays. We’ve continued to do so for many years now.

I might be guilty though of carrying a can or two of Cranberry Sauce with me, just to make sure we have it, or have enough of it, to go along with the Turkey, Dressing, and Gravy that always is served for Thanksgiving Day meals. To me, it’s a required part of the meal. Smile.

So, having said that, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that I only recently tried this homemade version of Cranberry Sauce. I have no memory of Mama ever making this during my younger years.

Readers of my Newsletter know that I experienced a severe bout of Vertigo during most of the middle of 2018. It wasn’t any fun, and I’m thankful it finally decided to move on.

During that time however, I often reverted back to having frozen TV style dinners. I’d given them up for years since I’d been posting recipes here on Taste of Southern. But, health issues made it much easier to throw a frozen meal in the microwave than to try to cook something on my on.

One of those meals was a Turkey with Dressing and Gravy meal, that included a small portion of Cranberry Sauce that was made with Cranberries as opposed to my favorite canned version. It was sweet and it was tart, but I liked it.

So, I decided that it was time to cook up a batch here at home since Thanksgiving is just a few days away. It was so easy to make, and this too was both sweet and tart. And, I liked it. Smile.

This is so basic. Just fresh cranberries, sugar, and water. But, you could also use frozen berries if you can’t find fresh one’s.

You’ll find versions that call for lemon or orange zest and juice, cinnamon, and other spices, but this is a good way to start. I hope you’ll give it a try, and I hope you’ll like it.

I’m thinking I’ll prepare another batch for the Thanksgiving meal with my family so they can try it too.

Ready to give it a try? Alright then, let’s head out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Cranberry Sauce, you'll need these ingredients.
Cranberry Sauce Recipe – You’ll need these two ingredients, plus some water.


Cranberry Sauce, add water and sugar to sauce pot.
Start by placing the water and the sugar in a medium sized sauce pot.

Place this over Medium heat on your stove top. Stir to dissolve the sugar as it heats up.


Cranberry Sauce, sort out the bad berries.
While the sugar is dissolving, sort through the berries to remove any bad one’s that might be in the bag, especially any soft one’s.


Cranberry Sauce, wash and drain the cranberries.
Wash the cranberries under cold running water, then let them drain.


Cranberry Sauce, dissolve the sugar.
Stir the sugar well until it’s fully dissolved.


Cranberry Sauce, add the cranberries.
Add the cranberries to the water and sugar.


Cranberry Sauce, simmer for 30 minutes.
Bring the berries up to a low boil, stirring often.

You’ll start hearing the cranberries “pop” as they get hot. They don’t splatter, but you do need to stir them often so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.


Cranberry Sauce, simmer and let thicken.
Let the berries simmer just below Medium heat for about 30-40 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. The sauce is done when it reaches the consistency that you prefer. It will thicken a bit more once it begins to cool off the heat.


Cranberry Sauce, enjoy.

Serve it warm, or serve it cold. I prefer it cold, but hey, that’s just me. Smile.


clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon
Cranberry Sauce recipe

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Homemade Cranberry Sauce is something you need to try at least once. This is a very basic recipe that comes together quickly.



1 lb Cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 cups boiling Water
2 cups Sugar


Place water in a medium sauce pot over just below Medium heat.
Add sugar. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved as it heats up.
Wash and drain cranberries, removing any soft or bad berries.
Add the cranberries to the sauce pot.
Simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring often until the sauce begins to thicken.
Serve it warm, or serve it cold. It’s great either way.


My bag of Cranberries weighed only 12 ounces. I adjusted the amount of sugar and water down to 1 1/2 cups each to adjust for that. The printable recipe calls for using a full pound of Cranberries.

Keywords: fresh cranberries, cranberry sauce made from scratch, old fashioned cranberry sauce. easy, southern recipes

Your Comments:

Have you ever made Cranberry Sauce? Think you might try this? Or, do you prefer the canned stuff?

Share your memories of this great Southern side dish with us. It will only take a minute or two for you to leave your comments in the section below.

Just remember, all comments are moderated.  That just means that I personally read each and everyone before they are approved for viewing on our family friendly website. Thank you in advance for sharing.

Sign Up For Our Free Newsletter:

While you’re here, be sure to sign up for our totally FREE NEWSLETTER.  I’ll send you an Email every once in awhile to remind you when I post a new recipe, or when anything else of importance is going on around Taste of Southern.  It’s totally free, and super easy to sign up.  And, should you ever decide that you are no longer interested, it’s even quicker to unsubscribe.  How cool is that?  I’ll be looking forward to seeing you add your name to our list.  The signup box is below and you’ll also find one in the top right hand corner of each page. I hope you’ll do it today.

Be Blessed!!!


You might also like: How To Roast A Turkey

Or, how about this?  How To Spatchcock A Turkey

Perhaps this one: Eastern North Carolina Barbecue Turkey



Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Sauces-Gravy, Side Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (23)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Roxanne says:

    Homemade cranberry sauce is the best. The last time I had canned sauce was way back when I was teaching in China.

    I’ve only cooked it for ten minutes though, and usually use 1 cup of water and 3/4 cup of sugar to a bag of cranberries. Leftovers work great on a turkey sandwich – as long as it isn’t a hot turkey sandwich : )

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Roxanne, I was kind of surprised by how well I liked the homemade Cranberry sauce too. I’ve always enjoyed the canned variety in the past, but really did like this. And, what’s not to love about a leftover turkey sandwich? Thank you for sharing your comments with us. China is a long way away from what I hear. Smile. I do appreciate your visit and I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Dorothy Berry says:

    Hi Steve, First, so glad the vertigo seems to have parted company with you at last – God is good. This recipe has set me thinking, so simple, but I rarely eat turkey; I’m now on my own and neither of us particularly enjoyed it, finding it rather tasteless. We don’t have a Thanksgiving equivalent and at Christmas when we lived at the coast opted for a seafood feast and inland it was roast leg of lamb! So I’m wondering what else the cranberry sauce would suit? Any suggestions? I grew up in East Anglia (eastern England)and we never had turkey but our accompaniments for other meats were hot mustard or horseradish for beef, freshly homemade mint sauce for lamb, apple sauce for pork or goose and apricot or orange for duck. Chicken which was usually our festive meal got nothing special! I’m sure a lot of readers would be interested to know what goes with what. Oh, and we never got a taste of the sauce on the odd occasion we were given venison because it contained port! My late husband who was from Wales could not agree with anything except the mustard or horseradish for beef because “In Wales we only put jam on bread!”

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Dorothy, Greetings to England, all the way from North Carolina. (Of course, I’m not sure you still live there. Smile.) I’m sorry you don’t like turkey. There are so many ways to add flavor to it these days, perhaps you should try again. You might try “injecting” one with some of the flavors that are available on the market. But, the cranberry sauce would go great with either chicken or pork in my opinion. Especially a roasted pork loin. Lots of variations. Perhaps some of our readers will supply some others. Thank you for taking the time to write, and YES, I’m glad the Vertigo has moved on. God is good indeed. Smile. I’m really happy that you subscribe to the Newsletter. Thank you for all of our support. I always appreciate your visits and hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. THYRA says:

    I will surely try this one. I have a go to that uses orange juice concentrate sugar and maybe water I can’t remember exactly. But the great thing is to cook in a crockpot. You get that awesome aroma all morning

  4. Sandra Lowry says:

    I don’t love cranberry sauce but it is not Thanksgiving without having some with my turkey and dressing. I use the canned but this recipe sounds like a good one to try.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Sandra, Hopefully you’ll try our homemade Cranberry Sauce, it might change your mind. Smile. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving. I appreciate your visits and your comments and hope you’ll continue to visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Doris says:

    I have a bag of frozen cranberries in the freezer,you talked me into it (SMILE)I am going to make this.THANKS for newsletters and the recipes.i look forward to them.Happy THANKSGIVING to you and yours.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Doris, I do hope you made up a batch of the Cranberry Sauce for today. Hope you enjoyed a big meal as well. Smile. Thank you for your visits and your support. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve


    This is exactly what I do! Sometimes I add a little orange zest, but it’s just fine as is.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Corina, I’m going to have to try it with the orange zest, hopefully soon. Thank you for sharing your comments with us today. I appreciate your visits and do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Walt says:

    What a great, simple recipe. This will be on our table this Thanksgiving with just a little tweak, we add a little orange zest. Happy Thanksgiving Steve! Glad you are feeling better!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Walt, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving meal today, and that you had some Cranberry Sauce on the table today. Smile. I haven’t had mine yet, but hope to be with my brother and family for our get together about 5:30pm this evening. Getting excited about it. Smile. Thank you for being a subscriber to the Newsletter and for your visits and support of Taste of Southern. It means a lot to me. Happy Thanksgiving. Be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. Josie says:

    How simple is that. And you can adjust the sugar up or down.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Josie, It’s almost as simple as my Pear Salad recipe. But, it is good and as you say, you can adjust the sugar up or down based on your preferences. I do appreciate you stopping by today. I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  9. Don Snyder says:

    I have been doing my own Cranberry Sauce for years. The directions are on the bag and I cook it until some of the berries are left semi whole. For an extra… I add tangerine segments.
    Try it you will like it.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Don, I’ve heard of using orange or lemon zest, but hadn’t thought about Tangerines. I love Tangerines. Smile. Especially when I can find the old Dancy variety like I had in my youth. I’ve found one store that still carries them at Christmas time. Maybe that’s what I’ll make with them for Christmas. Thank you for the suggestion. I appreciate your visits and do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  10. Barbara says:

    Try adding an orange and apple chopped up and blend with the chopped cranberrys. Then add a cup sugar and a box of raspberry or cranberry jello into the chopped fruit. Make sweeter if you want. Refrigerate overnight or a couple of days. It keeps well in refrig and can be frozen for future use within a couple of months.
    Our church puts on an annual Harvest Supper and we use this recipe every time.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Barbara, That’s an interesting version of the Cranberry Sauce, thanks for sharing it. I bet it goes well at the Harvest Supper. I do appreciate you taking the time to share your comments and for your visit today. I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  11. Karen Miller says:

    Good morning, Steve,
    I used to make my cranberry sauce that way, but now I make cranberry orange relish which is delicious. I grind up frozen cranberries, zest from an orange, the the orange with the pith removed. Add 1/2 cup sugar (more or less) and refrigerate at least a couple hours. Works good on a leftover turkey sandwich the next day.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Karen, You have turkey leftovers? Smile. The relish sounds good, thank you for sharing that with me. Hopefully I can try it soon. I do appreciate your visit today, and I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve PS: I like my leftover turkey sandwiches with just Duke’s Mayonnaise and some Sweet Pickles. Good stuff. Smile.

  12. Marlene Ashburn says:

    Have made this “recipe”! Actually my Uncle made this one and then pressed it thru a sieve until it was like jam. I really love the cranberry jelly in the can. Lol. Did you ever have turkey dinner in a diner and have the cranberry jelly in the little paper cup on the plate?
    Thanks for the memories. Blessed Thanksgiving to you.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Marlene, I can’t recall having the cranberry jelly in a paper cup, but I bet it was good. I’m waiting to have Thanksgiving Dinner at my brothers house around 5:30pm this evening. I’m gonna take a can of Cranberry Sauce just to be sure we have enough. Smile. I’m glad we could bring back some memories for you. Happy Thanksgiving. I appreciate your visits and hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

Leave a Reply to Roxanne Cancel reply

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