please pass the cranberry sauce.

After this Thanksgiving, I’m adding canned cranberry sauce to the list of Things I Shall Not Buy Because They’re Too Durned Easy to Make From Scratch. {Also on the list: whipped cream.}

fresh cranberries

When I volunteered to bring the cranberry sauce to family dinner, I planned on making a version of my grandmother’s Cranberry Congealed Salad (it’s a southern thing; check out Paula Deen’s¬†recipe if you have no idea what a congealed salad is). During my pre-Turkey-Day grocery trip, I saw fresh cranberries on BOGO so I grabbed a couple of bags with no clue what I’d do with them. About halfway through prepping for the original plan, I realized I hadn’t given myself enough time to let the gelatin set. With a quick Google search, I found this super simple recipe for homemade cranberry sauce and switched gears. Impulse-purchased fresh produce to the rescue!

homemade cranberry sauce homemade cranberry sauce

All it takes is a 12-oz bag of fresh or frozen cranberries, a cup of sugar, a cup of water, and about 12 minutes.


As the cranberries cook, they burst like “tiny ticking time bombs,” as C exclaimed as a rogue berry popped him while he stood over the stove. Watch out, they spit. {Aladdin reference, anyone?}

homemade cranberry sauce

This was way yummier than anything I’ve had from a can, and is now officially one of my go-to quick and easy side dishes for the holidays.

What did you guys whip up for Thanksgiving dinner? I love a good recipe swap…

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  1. 11.28.12
    Melissa said:

    I use the same recipe except I use pomegranate juice instead of water. It makes me feel fancy to say that I made cranberry-pomegranate sauce. Also, holla for publix bogo. I, too, got 2 bags. (Publix is one of the best things about moving to Fl).

    • 11.28.12

      A little extra fancy is always a good thing ;-)

      Ahhhh, Publix is the greatest thing since sliced bread! Totally worth moving to Florida for. I love them so.

  2. 11.28.12

    This look soo delicious!!

  3. 11.28.12
    Victoria said:

    I too made homemade cranberry sauce for the first time this year! It was delicious! I don’t like whole berry sauce, though. I’m more of a cranberry jelly kind of girl, so took the additional step of smooshing the cranberries through a strainer. It took some extra time, but I think it was worth it. I’m going to incorporate some of the ideas from others’ comments next time! Yum!

    • 11.28.12

      If you’re into cranberry jelly, you may like the cranberry congealed salad I linked to! It’s like cranberry sauce in jell-o. So yum.

  4. 11.26.12

    i’m sort of a fool for trader joes’ cranberry sauce, but this looks like a fun and quick little diddy to try

    • 11.28.12

      Oh, if only I had a Trader Joe’s… My friend just moved to LA and taunts me with all the goodness she finds there.

  5. 11.26.12
    arayofsun said:

    Too funny! I made the SAME recipe! Except I only made a little bit (no one else in my family likes cranberry sauce – weirdos) so I did not measure and just tried to eyeball it. The sauce came out a little bit more tart than I would have liked so I added a splash of orange juice and we were good to go! Glad to hear you enjoyed it as much as I did!

    • 11.28.12

      Okay, my family didn’t dig into it as much as I thought they would, either. What is wrong with these people?! Oh well, more for us ;-) Trying this OJ trick on my next batch!

  6. 11.26.12
    amy said:

    looks super yummy

  7. 11.26.12

    I’ve used the can for so many years maybe next year it’ll be time to make it from scratch because that looks so good!!

    Happy belated Thanksgiving! =)


  8. 11.26.12
    Jenn said:

    Isn’t it super easy and yummy! I use one bag cranberries, one entire whole orange chopped up and one cup sugar, then I bring it to a low boil and then turn down to simmer until your happy with the consistency. I like a chutney style. I use it on so many dishes all year round cold or warm! Happy holidays :)

    • 11.26.12
      Jenn said:

      Oops I forgot to mention one cinnamon stick in there too ;)

    • 11.27.12
      Tab said:

      I use the same recipe except I don’t heat it just stick it all in the food processor. Makes a refreshing tangy relish sandwich spread for leftovers. Not going to lie I just eat with a spoon.

      • 11.28.12

        That. sounds. delicious.

        Around Thanksgiving every year, our grocery store makes a specialty sub with a similar cranberry relish, turkey, and gruyere cheese and it is to-die.

  9. 11.26.12
    Anonymous said:

    I make cranberry sauce almost exactly the same way! I cheat and microwave for 8 minutes – use plastic wrap over the bowl or you’ll have ticking time bombs everywhere! I add a chopped up orange and a little brandy – DELISH!