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…

What Do You Think?

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  1. Melissa wrote:

    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).

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
    • 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.

      Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  2. This look soo delicious!!

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  3. Victoria wrote:

    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!

    Posted 11.28.12 Reply
    • 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.

      Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  4. i’m sort of a fool for trader joes’ cranberry sauce, but this looks like a fun and quick little diddy to try

    Posted 11.26.12 Reply
    • 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.

      Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  5. arayofsun wrote:

    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!

    Posted 11.26.12 Reply
    • 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!

      Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  6. amy wrote:

    looks super yummy

    Posted 11.26.12 Reply
  7. Chloe Moon wrote:

    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! =)


    Posted 11.26.12 Reply
  8. Jenn wrote:

    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 :)

    Posted 11.26.12 Reply
    • Jenn wrote:

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

      Posted 11.26.12 Reply
    • Tab wrote:

      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.

      Posted 11.27.12 Reply
      • 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.

        Posted 11.28.12 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    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!

    Posted 11.26.12 Reply