STOP Eating That Canned Stuff. RIGHT NOW!

 homemade cranberry sauce

Usually, when I mention the words cranberry sauce to someone, their face puckers and words like 'gross' or 'ew' start coming out of their mouths. And if you've only ever had canned cranberry sauce, I totally agree with that reaction. Because that squishy gelatin glob that plops out of a can at holiday dinners is gross. But friends, it doesn't have to be like this. Homemade ruby-red cranberry sauce is beautiful and AMAZING; plus, it takes about 20 minutes to make and it goes really well with a variety of dishes - used like jam on toast, on top of bruschetta alongside brie and a sprig of basil, on a turkey sandwich, or added to a swiss and havarti grilled cheese.  And cranberries aren't just tasty, they are a powerfood.  

Here's my recipe for mind-blowing cranberry sauce. Trust me on this one; make this and step away from the canned junk for good. And if you're very lucky, maybe I'll invite you over one year for Christmas-morning pancakes topped with cranberry sauce, orange zest, and homemade whipped cream. Or, you can make this sauce and invite me over instead!

 homemade cranberry sauce


  • 12oz fresh or frozen cranberries (usually available starting in October). Fresh cranberries freeze really well, so buy fresh when available, and freeze for later use.
  • 1/2 C fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 C applesauce (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 C  water
  • Zest from 1 small orange
  • 1-2 TBS Honey to taste (optional)


 homemade cranberry sauce
  1. Put cranberries, 1/3 cup of the orange juice, applesauce and water in a sauce pan and and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to medium heat, stir occasionally until the cranberries start to explode (about 10-15 minutes).
  3. Simmer 10-15 minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Add orange zest and remaining orange juice and mix well. 
  5. Cool completely and store in fridge at least 4 hours but preferably overnight before serving; the sauce will thicken as it cools.
 homemade cranberry sauce


NOTE: This is not as sweet as store versions! Taste at the end of cooking. It is naturally sweet from the fruit juice and applesauce, but you can add honey to taste at the end.