Cranberry Sauce

I am deep in food-planning mode for Thanksgiving. I love to find new creative recipes, and also keep some annual traditions. One of these is cranberry sauce! Not the stuff in the can – since I learned how to make it myself I have never gone back to the canned stuff. Even if cranberry sauce is the only thing you cook I highly recommend giving it a try. It is easier than you think.

If you have guests who insist on canned, you can use a clean empty can as your jelly mold, then un-mold and slice it just like normal… with much better flavor.

The cranberries can be either fresh or frozen – no need to thaw them out before adding to the pot. Did you know that bags of cranberries can be put directly into the freezer with no additional prep work needed? They will last for a year and are delicious in smoothies. Stock up during the holidays for cranberry goodness all year long.

Photo is coming soon!

Cranberry Sauce

Cinnamon-spiced cranberry sauce ready for your holiday table – either with all the cranberry bits or completely gelled and smooth.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dairy-Free, Thanksgiving, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter


  • 3-5 quart pot
  • Fine mesh sieve
  • Stirring spoon
  • Candy thermometer (optional but highly recommended)
  • Splatter shield (optional but highly recommended)
  • Small jelly mold (optional for serving)


  • 12 oz Cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp Orange zest fresh or dried
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon


  • Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring occasionally. As the cranberries heat up, they will split their skins and "pop" which can be a bit messy. Keep the pot covered with a splatter screen if you have one.
  • If you want more of a cranberry chutney and do not need it to gel, continue to cook the sauce at a boil, stirring occasionally, until about half or 2/3 of the cranberries have popped.
  • To get the sauce to gel, keep at a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reaches 212-214 degrees. Almost all of the cranberries will pop.
  • Remove from heat. For a smooth sauce (no skins/seeds), strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl or decorative mold. Use a spoon to convince the sauce to strain through (this takes a bit of time and effort). For a chunky sauce, skip the sieve and put the hot sauce directly into the bowl or mold.
  • Allow the cranberry sauce to cool completely before un-molding or serving. Discard the skins/seeds that were strained out.