Cranberry Sauce made from scratch is so easy with simple ingredients and only 15 minutes to make!  You’ll love the cranberry, orange, cinnamon flavor!

cranberry sauce in a bowl

Cranberry Sauce is a true Thanksgiving staple and I firmly believe if you think you don’t like this stuff, it’s because you’ve never had it homemade.  Skip the canned/jellied sliced sauce.  This is the best and so, so, easy!  If you’re here looking for more Thanksgiving, don’t miss out on our Perfect Roast Turkey recipe and Turkey Gravy to go along with it!

Can Cranberry Sauce Be Frozen?

YES!  This is one of those dishes I would highly recommend making ahead, because it freezes perfectly.  Prepare the sauce as directed and allow it to cool completely.  Then, you can store in any airtight container or freezer bag for up to 2 months.  Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before using.  Then, simply reheat in the microwave, or over low heat in a saucepan until warmed through.  In the refrigerator, this will last for up to 3 days.

Making Cranberry Sauce:

The perfect cranberry sauce is tart, slightly sweet, and flavorful!  You only need fresh cranberries, sugar, orange juice (fresh or bottled is fine), water, cinnamon, and salt.

  • Start by adding 2 cups of your cranberries to a medium saucepan, and set the rest aside.
  • Add all of your remaining ingredients and simmer everything over medium heat for about 10 minutes until thickened.
  • Now, add in the rest of your cranberries and simmer for another 4-5 minutes until the rest of the cranberries are still whole, but have softened.

photo how to make cranberry sauce

Is Cranberry Sauce Supposed to Be Hot or Cold?

You’ll want to allow some time for the sauce to cool down after making.  You can pop it in the fridge for a bit to speed up the process.  This sauce should be served either cold, or at room temperature for the best flavor.

How Many Cups is a 12 Ounce Bag of Cranberries?

This will be right around 3 cups total per bag of fresh cranberries.  In our house, this sauce is basically a garnish for the turkey. However, if you love it and want a whole lot, then feel free to make a double or even triple batch!  You can make extra without any other recipe substitutions.

bowl of cranberry sauce



5 from 3 votes

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce made from scratch is so easy with simple ingredients and only 15 minutes to make!  You'll love the cranberry, orange, cinnamon flavor!
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Servings 12



  • Wash the cranberries under cool running water and remove any stems.
  • Add 2 Cups of the cranberries, the sugar, orange juice, water, cinnamon, and salt to a medium saucepan.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
  • Add the remaining cranberries to the pan, cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, allow the cranberry sauce to cool slightly before serving.



NOTE TO FREEZE:  Prepare as directed and allow to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.  Heat in the microwave or on the stovetop on low heat in a small pan until warmed through.


Serving: 2TBSP, Calories: 85kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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  1. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness this cranberry sauce looks amazing!! I have never made mine with orange and cinnamon. Can’t wait to give it a try!