Easy Cranberry Sauce

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce with plate

I have always loved cranberry sauce. But, my preferred cranberry sauce comes in round slices with ridges. Oh yes, yes, it does. My whole family prefers the jellied cranberry sauce that comes in a can.

I didn’t think that we could ever change that. In fact one year, we did an experiment with Gramma’s Homemade and my canned. You can see who won.

But, this year, knowing I had a ton of cranberries in the freezer, I decided to give homemade cranberry sauce another try. I remembered that most people I’ve known who’ve made the sauce and not liked it, commented that it didn’t get thick. I decided to use less liquid in order to end up with a thicker product. I also subbed in orange juice for some of the liquid to add another layer of flavor. My final twist? I used brown sugar instead of white. I personally love the hint of molasses that brown sugar provides.

The result was a cranberry sauce that even my canned-only crowd loved! Yeah! I’m thrilled. I still have bags in the freezer that I bought on clearance for super cheap last Christmas — at $0.49 a bag! YUM!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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  1. teresa says

    sounds yummy – super idea to use orange juice and brown sugar.

    laughing at the thought of ADDING a few steps: chilling in a can (clean, of course) then running a knife along edge, release and slice.

  2. LizA says

    And what to do with the leftover? Take those frozen pie shell/sheets (the ones you probably bought after Christmas last year like I did) and cut rounds. Fill with a tablesoon or so of cranberry sauce, fold in half and use a folk to seal. Whip an egg and brush that over the tops, dust with cinnamon sugar, poke a couple times to let the steam escape, and bake.

    • Sounds yummy!

    • Sandi says

      I don’t have any frozen pie shells but I could surely purchase one. Do you just bake until brown?

  3. Rachel B says

    I go for cranberry coffee cake with all the frozen bags of frozen cranberries.

  4. Sandi says

    This is similar to the recipe I’ve used for the past few years. I would suggest you add a cinnamon stick or even some ground cinnamon while it is cooking. Adds great flavor. Last year, I cut back the sugar by 1/3 cup and added some grated apple. I also added some orange zest. Tossed it all into the crock pot. When it was cooked, the flavor was good but the apple visual wasn’t great. I used the immersion blender to smooth it out a little bit. That ended up being my favorite dish on the whole menu. I found that odd, since I’ve never been a big cranberry sauce fan until I started using this recipe. I will most definitely make it this way again forever more amen.

  5. Vicky says

    Jessica, do you think this would freeze well? I have company coming and want to make as many things as I can ahead of time. Thanks for your thoughts!

  6. Carla says

    Although we prefer it with apple juice instead of orange (what is it with me and citrus–I did try it that way first), I’m glad I saw this as we have enjoyed making our own for the last couple of months. Was at Kroger this morning and what did I find? $ 0.59 bags—considering price increases I decided to run with it and bought a LOT of bags. The Fam was a bit concerned. Making a double batch to have handy over the New Years break & some for the freezer. Now to remove the turkey (I toss one in the freezer during the Thanksgiving sales) from the freezer so I have room for the rest of the cranberries. I want to try that coffee cake of yours with some of these too.

  7. Krista says

    I made your cranberry sauce and asked my mom to try it before I froze it for Thanksgiving. I’d already put most in my freezer bag but gave her a bit on a spoon. She took a taste reluctantly, noting she doesn’t usually enjoy cranberry sauce, and then proceeded to scrape what was left out of the bowl. She said “I guess I like this sauce.” 🙂

  8. Ruth Ledyard says

    My recipe is my mothers and we all love it. It has apples, orange sections, pecans, cranberries ( these are chopeed in a food processer) and then she used knox geletin , just enough to make it not runny . You are so right, it is not Thanksgiving without it. I already have regular cornbread dressing, gluten free cornbread dressing, turkey gravy, squash casserole, mashed potato casserole, sweet potato casserole, pecan pie, gluten free crustless pecan pie, and 2 german chocolate cakes in the freezer, (one a surprise for a friend). If I didn’t do it ahead since I am getting older, I wouldn’t have the stamina to hold out. This puts the fun back in Thanksgiving. Best to you and your family.

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