Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This post was last updated on November 12, 2014 to include new images and a recipe video.

Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Okay…so November is upon us.

That means two things: (1) Time to start breaking out the boots and scarves and (2) Thanksgiving!  Yipee!!

Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce - The Ingredients

Thanksgiving has got to be one of my absolute favorite holidays.  I love the food, the friends, and the family gathering at Thanksgiving.

Um…did I mention the food part?  Cuz that’s so good.  I mean, how can you beat a holiday that you spend all day with family while you cook, eat, watch football, and then eat some more?  Right?

Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce - Fresh CranberriesBest Homemade Cranberry Sauce - Fresh Cranberries

I think it’s such a shame that people save just one day a year to have such great food, like stuffing, pumpkin pie, and these delicious cranberries.

Oh my goodness, people, please try this best homemade cranberry sauce recipe.  If you’ve never made cranberry sauce and you usually buy the canned stuff, you really won’t know what hit you.

Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce - Fresh Cranberries

My mom always bought the canned stuff when I was growing up, so I didn’t even know something else existed.  I always enjoyed the smooth cranberry sauce that had the actual cranberries removed.

Then, on a whim in 2010, I decided to try to make my own homemade cranberry sauce.  Talk about never going back!

Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce - Cooking The Cranberry SauceBest Homemade Cranberry Sauce - Cooking The Cranberry Sauce

The flavor combination of the fresh cranberries, orange juice, honey and bursts of freshly grated orange zest make this cranberry sauce to die for.  Try these out and you’ll see what I mean.  They are my favorite part of my Thanksgiving meal (and that’s saying a lot because I love all parts of Thanksgiving!).

Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Plus, you know me with the simple, right?.  Homemade cranberry sauce really couldn’t be any easier.  You literally add together the ingredients (there’s only 4), heat ’em up, and then cool ’em down.

Best Homemade Cranberry SauceBest Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I mean, c’mon.  It’s not even fair.

So, so yummy.

Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

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If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating it. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #asweetpeachef on Instagram! I LOVE seeing what you come up with. Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
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A homemade cranberry sauce so good and so easy you'll never buy the canned stuff again!
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 4
  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated orange zest
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat.
  2. As the cranberries cook, they will start to pop. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes until you no longer hear the cranberries popping and it appears the sauce is thickening.
  3. Allow to cool and then refrigerate, if desired. As the sauce cools, it will thicken more and more.
  4. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add more honey to taste, as this recipe makes a slightly tart cranberry sauce.


  1. Jessica says

    I know this post is quite old, but I came across it recently while trying to find a good recipe for cranberry sauce that uses honey instead of sugar. I tried it out with some fresh, local cranberries and it is delicious. I could barely stop eating it! :) I did manage to save some for the next morning and stirred it into my oatmeal… amazing! I am making Thanksgiving for my Mom this year (the roles have reversed) and I am looking forward to making this recipe again for that occasion. Thanks so much for sharing this. I am very glad that I found this blog.

  2. Ivy says

    This is just how I make cranberry sauce… in America. This year I’m in Italy, but making a full thanksgiving dinner for 3 Italian families. Cranberries don’t exist in Italy… With much effort dried cranberries can be found, which simply will not do. Do you have any suggestions for a fruity non-cranberry alternative to cranberry sauce?

    • says

      Hmmm…I’d bet any berry would work to get roughly the same kind of side. For sweeter berries, I’d recommend using some lemon juice to make them a bit more tart. I’d start with 1-2 tsp. and then add more to taste from there. I hope this helps. Good luck!

  3. Christine says

    Hi Lacey! Everything on your website looks absolutely delish! I’m going to try the cranberry sauce, the stuffing, and the mashed sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving this year. Your cheesecake pumpkin pie looks really yummy, but both my girls have allergies to milk and eggs. Do you know of any good recipes that don’t use those ingredients? I can’t wait to try these recipes! I’ll be coming back to visit for sure :)

    • says

      Oh, Christine, I’m so happy to hear you will be trying out my recipes for Thanksgiving this year! I certainly wish I had some good suggestions for a non-dairy, non-egg substitute for the cheesecake, but I don’t. I do have a pumpkin frozen yogurt recipe that you could use non-dairy yogurt with. I’d love to know how your dinner turns out. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. Kathy says

    This is EXACTLY how I’ve made cranberry sauce for the last couple of years, must have seen the same magazine :-) It is actually one of the things I look forward to each Thanksgiving and continue making it through Christmas. Fantastic as a spread on crusty bread at your next party, or instead of mayo on your ham or turkey sandwich. Love, love, love!!!

  5. Katherine says

    I can’t wait to try this and your sourdough dressing. I’ve convinced my extended family that we can “stretch” ourselves and omit StoveTop from our menu this year. I mean how sad is that. Just one question tho, do you use a particular brand/type of honey for this?

    • says

      Hi Katherine! That’s awesome! I use just locally produced honey. I’ve made it with about 5 or 6 different honey companies and varieties over the years and it always comes out good, no matter what. :)

  6. says

    It’s not Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce. Period. End of debate. It’s one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving dinner. Can’t wait to try your version. And good luck with the move!

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