Homemade cranberry sauce is the perfect sweet and tang your Thanksgiving meal needs. Plus, it’ll fancy up your Thanksgiving meal with hardly any extra work!Jump to Recipe
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Homemade cranberry sauce is one of those things that I never got into as a kid. I was 100% a canned cranberry sauce girl growing up. I still love it! But at some point I realized I wanted a version that closer resembled the actual fruit it was made from – I wanted to try my hand at homemade cranberry sauce.
For my own version, I wanted to create one with all that classic cranberry flavor. It needed the perfect balance of sweet and tart and not a ton of weird textural elements.
Here’s the secret I learned along the way: homemade cranberry sauce is so easy to make! It doesn’t take much time or attention, and you can do it the week before. My mom even makes a double batch and keeps it in the back of a very cold fridge, so she has plenty for leftovers and Christmas dinner!
My version of homemade cranberry sauce is pretty simple. You can find recipes online that jazz it up and add other flavors and textures, but I want one that’s classic. The perfect balance of sweet and tart, because that’s what our Thanksgiving table needs!
This recipe makes A LOT. Maybe 4 cups. So if you’re like me and having a 2020 Thanksgiving for two people, you can always cut it in half. I usually make this full recipe and give some away, because cranberries at the grocery store come in a 12oz bag to begin with.
Stick with the cooking time I’ve listed. The longer you cook it, the thicker it gets when it cools. So don’t worry if it looks too soupy when you finish: it naturally gels into a beautifully thick, saucy texture.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 12 oz cranberries fresh
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- ½ lemon
- ½ orange
- ½ cup raisins
- Clean cranberries and remove any stems. Peel, core and mince the apple.
- Simmer the cranberries, sugar and water over low heat for five minutes.
- Add the apple bits as well as zest and juice of both lemon and orange to the cranberries. Cook 15 more minutes – mixture will thicken up as it cools. Transfer to a bowl, add raisins, and refrigerate.
- Serve cold and enjoy!
My Thanksgiving table will probably still have the canned stuff, but homemade cranberry sauce will always be there too!
Looking for more Thanksgiving menu inspiration? I’ve rounded up all my favorites for the best meal of the year in one place to make it easy!