Brightly colored cranberry sauce in a white bowl topped with cranberries and rosemary sprigs

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

  • Author: Leslie Kiszka
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings (about 2 cups) 1x


Put down the can of cranberry sauce and slowly back away! Instead, make this easy, 5-ingredient, homemade cranberry sauce with whole cranberries and freshly squeezed orange juice and zest. The perfect addition to your holiday table!



  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (no pulp – freshly squeezed is best)
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 cup sugar (or honey)
  • 112 ounce bag of fresh cranberries (set a handful aside as garnish, optional)
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, add water, orange juice, orange zest and sugar. Stir frequently over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, a minute or two.
  2. Gently add cranberries and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. It will still have lumps of the cranberries, and that’s what you want!
  4. Remove from heat and transfer the sauce in a serving bowl. Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  5. When you’re ready to serve, just use a fork to stir and break it up a little bit, then garnish with fresh whole cranberries, orange zest, and/or rosemary sprigs. Enjoy!


  • The cranberries might pop while they’re cooking, so I recommend wearing an apron and/or clothes you don’t mind getting a little cranberry splatter on!
  • If you’d prefer the sauce to have less whole cranberry chunks, use a potato masher about halfway through the cooking time to smash them more for a somewhat smoother sauce.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: homemade cranberry sauce, whole berry cranberry sauce, cranberry sauce with orange

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