Cranberry Sauce

This cranberry sauce recipe uses fresh cranberries, sugar, and orange juice to make a Thanksgiving classic.

Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

Skip the store-bought stuff this year and serve homemade cranberry sauce. It’s actually way easier than you think. You can make this top-rated recipe, which has more than 2,000 rave reviews from Allrecipes community members, with just three ingredients. Learn how to make, store, freeze, and serve the best cranberry sauce ever.

Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

Believe it or not, this homemade cranberry sauce comes together quickly and easily with just three easy-to-find ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh Cranberries: Opt for fresh cranberries that are firm, plump, and blemish-free. Lighter colored cranberries are best for sauce, as they contain more pectin and result in a thicker consistency.
  • Sugar: White sugar does more than add sweetness to classic cranberry sauce: It also absorbs liquid and, when heated, thickens the sauce.
  • Orange Juice: All cranberry sauce starts with a liquid base. If you don’t like orange juice, you can substitute pomegranate juice or even red wine.

How to Make Cranberry Sauce

It couldn’t be easier to make this 3-ingredient cranberry sauce. You’ll find the full recipe below, but here’s a brief overview of what you can expect:

Heat orange juice in a saucepan. Stir in sugar and cook until it dissolves. Add cranberries and continue cooking, stirring often, until they start to pop. Remove the sauce from heat and transfer it to a bowl – the cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

Can You Make Cranberry Sauce Ahead of Time?

Cranberry sauce is a fantastic make-ahead side dish. Since it needs to chill to create the perfect consistency before serving, it might actually benefit you to make it at least one day before you plan to serve it.

How to Store Cranberry Sauce

Let homemade cranberry sauce cool completely before storing it. Cover the serving bowl with storage wrap or move it to an airtight storage container. Store the cranberry sauce in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

Yes! You can absolutely freeze cranberry sauce – and it’s a great way to get a jump on your holiday cooking. To freeze cranberry sauce, allow it to cool completely. Ladle the sauce into zip-top freezer bags labeled with the date. Squeeze out the excess air, seal, lay flat in the freezer, and freeze for up to a year.

Transfer the frozen cranberry sauce to the fridge the night before you plan to serve it. It should thaw overnight. You can reheat it on the stove or in the microwave if you like your cranberry sauce warm.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

“This cranberry sauce was fantastic,” says Allison. “When cooked the cranberry sauce had a beautiful bright color. It was a perfect addition to the dinner table, and it was very quick and simple to make. Everyone in my family loved it.”

“Delicious,” raves spidermonkey555. “I will never buy canned sauce again. This was sooooo easy and sooooo tasty. Get ready for compliments when you make this simple dish. I used frozen cranberries that had been thawed. I also poured mine into a blender and pulsed it 3 times and then chilled it in the fridge.”

“SO GOOD and SO EASY,” according to NEmom. “I could have eaten this stuff with a spoon. I will never buy cranberry sauce again. Thickened up beautifully in the fridge overnight.”

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice


  1. Gather all ingredients.

  2. Dissolve sugar in the orange juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Stir in the cranberries and cook until they start to pop, about 10 minutes.

    Overhead shot of fresh cranberry sauce cooking in a pot

  4. Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. It will thicken as it cools.

    Overhead shot of a bowl of cranberry sauce

  5. Enjoy!

    a close up view of a bowl of cranberry sauce topped with fresh orange garnish

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

95 Calories
0g Fat
24g Carbs
0g Protein

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