Simple Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Nov 23, 2020 | Food, Side Dishes & More

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I absolutely love cranberries – they are tart, packed with flavor, and easy to cook with! What’s not to like? This cranberry sauce recipe only takes about 10 minutes of active time to make and with only 4 ingredients, there is no reason to grab a can of cranberry sauce this holiday season. What makes this recipe even better? It can be made a day ahead (I even recommend it since it helps allow the flavors to really meld together) so it’s one less thing to think about on Thanksgiving!

Trust me, you’ll never buy cranberry sauce again for your Thanksgiving dinner! This cranberry sauce recipe produces a tart, slightly sweet sauce that is on the thicker side. It also gives you an interesting punch of flavor from the Grand Marnier for a satisfying adult twist! If you like your cranberry sauce a little sweeter, simply add 1/3 cup sugar or if you like it thinner add more orange juice to the mixture. Both these items can be done towards the end so you can suit it to your family’s tastes. I’ve calculated that a serving is 1/2 cup for this recipe, so scale up or down based on how much you would like, this recipe in total makes about 2 cups of finished cranberry sauce.

Cranberry Sauce

Simple Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 191kcal


  • 1 lg orange
  • 12 oz cranberries
  • cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier


  • Zest orange with a fine cheese grater (a zester can be used but it leaves unpleasant long strings of zest) until you have about ½ tsp of zest. Then juice the orange until you have ½ cup orange juice. Put orange juice, sugar, and Grand Marnier in sauce pan over medium-low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved.
  • Add cranberries and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, until all the cranberries have popped and softened. Stir frequently to ensure even cooking and to prevent the sauce from boiling over. Using the back of your spatula or wooden spoon, mash the cranberries to break them up. You can decide how much you want to mash based on how you like the consistency of your cranberry sauce. If you are doing a large batch of this sauce, I would recommend using a potato masher for quicker mashing.
  • Remove from burner and let cool down. You can either serve or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Want to make it easier to juice your orange?  After you zest it microwave it for 10-20 seconds!
You can also just use orange juice for this recipe instead of an orange with the zest if you are in a rush.  I would recommend only using 1/2 cup sugar and adding more at the end if it’s not sweet enough as the bottled orange juice tends to be higher in sugar.  Be aware though skipping the zest will give you a little less orange flavor in the end result.
If you aren’t interested in using Grand Marnier in your cranberry sauce or you simply don’t have it on hand, simply swap out for either more oj or water.


Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me


Hello everyone! My name is Angie Mallery, and I’m the proud founder of Wicked Handy. This blog is my playground for sharing everything that makes life more joyful and practical—from crafting and cooking to gardening and DIY projects. I’m thrilled you’re here and hope you find inspiration and enjoyment in what I love to do. Thank you for visiting!

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