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Easy Whole Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Come on, put down the can. Never made your own? Now you have the easiest cranberry sauce recipe ever. You’re welcome.

Easy Whole Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce in the air triggers my Thanksgiving tingles. That kick arse holiday is less than a week away, and I’m so jazzed. You know, golden turkey, soft mashed potatoes, killer rice pilaf, spiced pumpkin custard pie. Oh yeah, I’m ready.

One thing I make way ahead of time is cranberry sauce. I’m not talkin’ about the jelled kind (not judging!), but the whole berry kind. It’s so super simple to make. I say this a lot, because it’s true. Would I steer you wrong?

If you’re getting started on your preparations, and making your list, get ye to the store and pick up some whole berries. Make this sauce. It’s an easy way to look like a super hero.

Easy Whole Cranberry Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 12 oz. whole fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ½-1 cup apple cider (or juice)
  • 1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest (or 1-3 tablespoons orange or lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Put everything, except the vanilla, in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Take off the heat, and stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Transfer to a food storage container, and let cool to room temperature.
  5. Once cool, pop the lid on, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. (Will keep 7-10 days, longer if frozen.)
This is adapted from Everyday Food Mag's "Basic Cranberry Sauce" and Pioneer Woman's "Homemade Cranberry Sauce".

A little wigged out by Thanksgiving? It’s easier than you think. Promise.

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