Homemade Cranberry Sauce


Is there anything like a delicious, made from scratch Thanksgiving meal? Many people settle for the stuff that comes out of a can or a box, and that’s just it, it’s settling. If you find yourself to be one of those people that is settling, I would highly recommend this year you give the homemade alternative to the pre-packaged and processed Thanksgiving foods a try. The two are a night and day difference. Like this for instance, one comes in the shape of a can while it’s homemade opponent has a spoonable texture and begins with fresh fruit. Not to mention this is unbelievable easy to prepare.

Cranberry sauce and turkey were made to be together. It’s another Thanksgiving must. Here’s a few random ideas if you happen to have any left over cranberry sauce after the holiday:

  • spread over toast or pancakes
  • serve warm over chocolate or vanilla ice cream
  • spread in a turkey sandwich
  • make into a dressing or vinaigrette
  • spread over a cream cheese layered bagel
  • add to a fruit smoothie
  • use it as a dip for chicken nuggets/sticks
  • serve with roasted chicken or pork chops
  • make a tangy and tart barbecue sauce with it
  • spread over cheesecake
  • add it to a chicken or turkey salad
  • layer cheese slices or cream cheese over crackers and spread with cranberry sauce
  • mix in breakfast oatmeal and top with whipped cream

Homemade Cranberry Sauce


  • 1 (12 oz) bag cranberries, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1 tsp orange zest


  1. In a medium sauce-pan set over medium-high heat, whisk together water, orange juice, granulated sugar, light-brown sugar and orange zest. Bring mixture to a boil then carefully pour in cranberries and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow mixture to simmer about 10 - 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have popped (they skin on the cranberries will burst and it will release the juices and pulp, in other words they'll pop open). Allow mixture to cool about 20 - 30 minutes. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
  2. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • sally @ sallys baking addiction: Jaclyn, not only do I love love love cranberry sauce but I LOVE your serving suggestions! esp the one layering it on top of CC and a bagel. I want one of those right now, pleeeease. November 16, 2012 at 7:20am Reply

  • Melissa: Mmmm. I love this. This is JUST how I make mine! There is something magical about that orange juice isn’t there? Gorgeous photo as always! November 16, 2012 at 9:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Melissa! Yes I love the oj in it =). I love how easy it is too. I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving and I hope you’re loving blogging! November 16, 2012 at 10:13am Reply

  • Melissa: PS – you don’t have to publish this comment, BUT have you ever thought about adding the little “search this site” tool thingy in blogger? I’d love it if you do. Like today I want to make your Navajo Tacos but it takes a while to search through your index. I’ve wanted to do this before with other things on your blog. Just a thought! I think people would use it, I know I would! November 16, 2012 at 9:57am Reply

    • Jaclyn: haha whoops, that’s sad, I thought I had one on here =). I’m actually in the middle of having someone do an entire blog redesign for me and I’m switching over to wordpress. The very first thing on the top along with the toolbar will be a search box because you are right they are very important. Thanks so much for your comments! November 16, 2012 at 10:16am Reply

    • Anonymous: Until you get a search bar up and running, a handy trick is to use Google, with a site-specific instruction. Searching “Navajo tacos site:cookingclassy.blogspot.com/” (without quotes) limits the Google search to only this website and gives you all four pages that mention Navajo tacos. November 17, 2012 at 12:07am Reply

  • Ronja @ a dash of faith: I love the idea of spreading cranberry sauce on a bagel with cream cheese! I can’t believe I haven’t thought of that, it sounds so delicious. November 17, 2012 at 2:38am Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: Nothing beats homemade! And I love how you can use cranberry sauce for so many things! November 19, 2012 at 5:36pm Reply

  • Celia Cordes: Is there a way to click on a recipe and have it format for printing? I have seen several recipes that I want to print but I have to tell my computer to print only a select page. This is probably “operator error” so any advice for printing recipes would be so helpful. Thanks….I love your blog! November 20, 2012 at 8:25am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Hi Celia – thanks for your nice compliment =)! Sorry about the printing, I know I desperately need a better print option on my blog =). I’m currently have me site redesigned and it will have a print button as well as a save button. For now the best way is just to highlight the recipe then right click and print the selection (if it gives you the option) or copy and paste it to word. Sorry it’s such a hassle. It’s annoying for me even! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and I hope you enjoy the recipes you find here! November 21, 2012 at 7:33pm Reply

  • Jessica Moree: This was fantastic– thank you! Definitely a hit at our Thanksgiving meal! November 24, 2012 at 4:25pm Reply

  • Christina: Made this for Thanksgiving, and all of us who ate it thought it was very good! My family has always had the can stuff and I’ve never had any desire to try it. When I saw your recipe here I knew I had to try it. December 3, 2012 at 7:44pm Reply

  • Suzon: Hello !

    I just found your recipe and I was wondering if you use fresh cranberries for it ? Can we use frozen one or even dried ones ? I live in France and I’m not sure to find fresh cranberries…

    Thanks for publishing such inspiring recipes !

    Suzon November 13, 2013 at 10:45am Reply

    • Jaclyn: The frozen ones should work just fine. Thanks for your nice comment :). November 13, 2013 at 12:44pm Reply

      • Suzon: You’re welcome ! :D Thanks for your fast answer :) November 14, 2013 at 6:28pm Reply

  • Amy G: I grew up in a home where my mother and my grandmother made it from scratch.. I still make my cranberries and my recipe is almost identical to yours.
    Thank you for sharing I find your pages are full of many wonderful ideas..
    I hope your thanksgiving and all holidays are blessed . November 16, 2013 at 10:17pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Amy! I hope you have wonderful holidays too! November 17, 2013 at 1:49pm Reply

  • Phil: I have a similar variation that you should try. Replace the water with an equal amount of flavored vodka and the flavor combination will blow you away! Obviously the Vodka cooks off but the flavoring remains and is amazing. November 8, 2014 at 12:06pm Reply

  • Kathryn: I use the same recipe but omit the brown sugar and use less granulated sugar. The tart cranberries and the sweetness of the sugar is perfect; allthough, I might try substituting Vodka for the water during Christmas Holidays.

    Happy Holidays! November 28, 2014 at 3:02pm Reply

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