Homemade Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | November 24th, 2020 | Recipes, Spreads & Sauces

There’s no need to buy the stuff in the can when homemade is as simple as this.

whole berry cranberry sauce

Homemade Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

Michele Pesula Kuegler

The easiest side dish for a holiday dinner

Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins

Servings 8



  • 1 cup water or cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 ounce package fresh cranberries



  • Combine juice or water and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  • Stir continuously until sugar is dissolved.
  • Add cranberries; stir occasionally, until it returns to boiling.
  • Reduce heat to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally until cranberries begin to burst, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat to cool.
  • Transfer to a covered container, and refrigerate until fully chilled.


Orange zest, cinnamon, or nutmeg makes a fine addition of flavor for those who prefer.

How convenient that when I wrote this post initially I referenced the day before Thanksgiving. Because here we are, as I republish this article, it’s the day before Thanksgiving. The good news is that if you haven’t made your cranberry sauce yet, you’re in good shape. Although the recipe says an hour and ten minutes, only ten of those minutes are active. The rest of the time the sauce is chilling in the fridge. However, if you haven’t bought your cranberries yet, I wish you all sorts of luck at the grocery store today!

Also, if you have leftover cranberry sauce, you may want to try making these Cheesy Cranberry Sauce Puffs.

To learn more about this recipe, originally published in November 2016, keep reading.

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and you may be in the rush of dinner planning. Baking desserts, prepping side dishes, defrosting the turkey are filling your afternoon. Why on earth would I suggest you add one more item to your to-do list when the list is long already?

Cranberry sauce is the one dish that I wholeheartedly advocate be homemade. First, when you make your own cranberry sauce you can control the amount of sugar in the dish. I find that so many canned sauces are painfully sweet. Second, this dish can be made in under ten minutes, literally. Third, you can add other flavors, if you like. Fourth, it’s almost fool-proof. If it weren’t for the fact that it involves boiling hot liquids, you probably could ask your three year old to make it.

So, now that I’ve made my case for homemade cranberry sauce, do you have fresh cranberries on hand? If not, don’t go to the store. It will be crazy there. What I’d suggest is that you bookmark this recipe and make it over the weekend to go with your leftover turkey or try it for your next Sunday dinner. (Cranberry sauce pairs well with pork and chicken; it doesn’t need to be paired with turkey exclusively.)

Ready to begin? Here we go!

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