Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Homemade Cranberry Sauce. 3 ingredients. 1 Pot. The Easiest thanksgiving dish to Impress your family & Friends!  | themillennialmenu.com

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if you're currently panicking about what to bring to your family or friend's house for Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving, maybe), I've got you covered. This recipe for homemade cranberry sauce is one of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving and can add an underrated level of sophistication to the meal. It's also SO easy - so you'll impress everyone with your from-scratch dish but can avoid the sweat and tears of something much more complicated.

Being a good guest (or host - hey, shout out to you on that one) couldn't get any easier. Pick up 3 simple ingredients: a bag of cranberries (or two, if you want to double the recipe), an orange, and sugar. Dump them in a pot on the stove, turn it on low, give it a stir, and watch as chunky, tangy, sweet homemade cranberry sauce magically appears. You can add a little bit of water as you go depending on how thick or think you want your sauce to be. This recipe is WAY better than the canned stuff - it tastes like the real deal, much more tangy, and wholesomely delicious. 

I could eat a bowl of homemade cranberry sauce by the spoonful, but I also recommend you enjoy it with the full spread of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and whatever else you're enjoying on Thanksgiving day. The day after Thanksgiving, I make post-thanksgiving paninis with turkey, stuffing, mayo, and cranberry spread which I might love more than the Thanksgiving meal itself. Warning: you may want to make a double batch.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Makes about 1 cup cranberry sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 - 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
  • Juice of 1 orange Substitute: 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Add water as needed


1. Set aside 1 handful of cranberries for later.
2. Add the rest of the 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries to a pot.
3. Add juice of one orange or 1/2 cup orange juice.
4. Add 3/4 cup sugar.
5. Stir everything together.
6. Bring the pot to a low simmer. Stir occasionally. Cranberries should begin to burst. 
7. If sauce is too thick (more like a jam), add water by the tablespoon as needed.
8. After about 8 minutes, add the remaining handful of cranberries to the pot. 
9. Stir until the new cranberries burst, about 3-5 minutes. The first batch of cranberries will be broken down and softened by that time, meaning the texture of the cranberry reduction and the burst cranberries will be a perfect mix of chunky and smooth! Note: If you don't like chunky sauce, add all the cranberries to the pot at once.
10. Cool the sauce. Serve chilled.


Preparing for Thanksgiving

WHEN TO MAKE - You can make cranberry sauce up to 6 days ahead of time, making it super easy to bring as a dish to Thanksgiving - you can do it the weekend before! Or, if you're hosting yourself, it's one less thing you have to worry about on the big day.

STORING - Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy within one week.

LEFTOVERS & SERVING SUGGESTIONS - I could eat this stuff plain. Cranberry sauce is best enjoyed with the full Thanksgiving menu - most notably turkey and stuffing. I also love putting it on a post-thanksgiving sandwich of turkey, stuffing, mayo, and cranberry sauce the next day for lunch. You can also use it as jam, stirred into greek yogurt, warmed up and enjoyed over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or on top of your pancakes.