Kimberly Higgins Dietitian Food Nutrition
Homemade cranberry sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This turkey accompaniment couldn’t be easier – 3 ingredients, minimal prep and less than 20 minutes on the stove produces a beautiful, thick cranberry sauce that’s just sweet enough to be a perfect counter-point to savory turkey & gravy without being dessert-like. And unlike the variety from the can, there is no high fructose corn syrup to be found!

Orange options…

The only liquid used in this recipe is orange juice. Since you are using orange zest, go ahead and squeeze the orange (after zesting!) and use the fresh juice. A very large orange should yield about a half cup of juice. However, oranges can have varying levels of juice content (depending on variety, age and season) so if you do not get a half cup from your orange, simply supplement with purchased OJ. Or use purchased juice for the whole thing and eat the orange for your snack! Bottled or carton orange juice works just fine here.

A quick simmer and voila!

Preheating the orange juice, zest and sugar allows the sugar to fully dissolve and the mixture to reduce slightly. Before adding your cranberries, give them a rinse and remove any discolored or shriveled berries. Once the cranberries go in, the mixture requires very little in the way of supervision. Set the heat so that you maintain a steady simmer, and stir occasionally to help break up the berries and ensure the mixture is not sticking to the pan.

After 15 minutes at a low boil, the cranberries should be broken down but still chunky. The mixture will be a deep ruby red and thickened. Let it cool on the stovetop and then transfer to an airtight container to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

This cranberry sauce is best served at room temperature, so be sure to remove it from the fridge about an hour before meal time!


Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Tangy-sweet cranberry sauce with a hint of orange!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 1 lb. fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 cup sugar, honey can be substituted, if desired


  • Combine orange juice, zest and sugar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring to make sure that sugar is fully dissolved. Cook at a low boil for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add cranberries and return to the boil. Cook at a boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cranberries will burst and begun to break down slightly. After 15 minutes, turn heat off and let cool.
  • Store in an airtight container (for up to a week) until ready to serve.
Keyword Cranberry, Cranberry sauce, Thanksgiving