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

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

5 from 1 vote
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!
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings (about 2 cups)


  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup orange juice, no pulp - freshly squeezed is best
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 cup sugar, or honey (can use less based on taste preferences)
  • 1-12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries, set a handful aside as garnish, optional
  • Rosemary sprigs, optional


  • 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.
  • Gently add cranberries and bring to a boil.
  • 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!
  • Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutess then transfer the sauce in a heatproof bowl. Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  • 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.


Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 33IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
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