This homemade cranberry sauce is full of warm, fragrant spices with a hint of refreshing orange zest. One bite, and you’ll vow to never buy canned cranberry sauce again! The best part is, it comes together in under 30 minutes!
The classic Thanksgiving table tends to look pretty similar across America: a giant roasted turkey surrounded by mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and, of course, cranberry sauce. Cranberries — along with concord grapes and blueberries — are widely known as the only commercially grown fruits native to the United States. So if you’re going to pick a fruit to represent the American harvest, this is it.
Then the debate becomes canned cranberry sauce or fresh cranberry sauce? I will confess, for years, more than I care to admit, I bought canned cranberry sauce. I didn’t like it, so my husband was the only one that ate it. But then through a conversation that a friend and I were having, I realized how easy fresh cranberry sauce was to make, and for obvious reasons, tastes a whole lot better!! So began the process of developing my own, delicious cranberry sauce! I thought I just didn’t like cranberries since all I had tried was canned cranberry sauce – can you blame me? But once I tried fresh, homemade cranberry sauce, I was officially hooked! I now fully understand why cranberry sauce makes its way onto the table every Thanksgiving and often reappears at Christmas!
For this recipe:
This recipe really is easy! A few simple ingredients, 30 minutes of your time, and you’ll have an amazing cranberry sauce to impress everyone sitting around your table for the holidays!
All you need:
- Orange juice
- Sugar (white or brown)
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Orange Zest
Start by bringing the orange juice, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cloves to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. **It is easiest to put the cloves in a spice bag or cheesecloth, so they can be easily removed. It is almost impossible to find and fish out the cloves at the end. Believe me, I’ve tried!
Once the mixture is boiling, add the cranberries and orange zest. Simmer over medium-low heat for 20 – 25 minutes, or until most of the cranberries have popped and are soft. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Let the cranberry sauce cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
That’s it! Super-easy, but so delicious!!
I love these little spice bags! They make it easy to remove the cloves:
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¾ cup sugar (white or brown) **See notes
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cloves, most easily retrieved if put into a spice bag or cheesecloth
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- Bring orange juice, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cloves to a boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. **It is easiest to put the cloves in a spice bag or cheesecloth so they can be easily removed.
- Once the mixture is boiling, add the cranberries and orange zest. Simmer over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until most of the cranberries have popped and are soft. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves.
- Let the cranberry sauce cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.