Easy Cranberry Sauce that only takes 15 minutes to make! Made with fresh cranberries, orange juice, and sugar – plus a secret ingredient! This simple 4 ingredients cranberry sauce recipe is the best!

Your holiday table won’t be complete without this simple homemade cranberry sauce recipe. It’s so easy and delicious! You’re going to love the taste!

cranberry sauce in a white bowl

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Are you ready to learn how to make cranberry sauce? This simple side dish just might steal the show!

I think we can all agree that eating cranberry sauce straight from a can just isn’t as appealing as cranberry sauce made from scratch. Just think of all the flavors that you’re missing out on when you open a lid and eat versus whipping up this recipe instead?

This is one of our favorite holiday recipes because it literally goes perfectly with EVERYTHING. Top it on your mashed potatoes, pair it up with your fluffy biscuits and rolls, or scoop it up with a hearty bite of turkey as well.

You’re going to love this simple and easy recipe for your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. This is my favorite recipe for cranberry sauce.

The ease of this cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries will literally blow your mind. The three main ingredients that you need are fresh cranberries, orange juice, and sugar. How simple is that?! Plus I add in a secret ingredient at the end…a dash of real Maple Syrup!

ingredients needed to make easy cranberry sauce


  • Fresh Cranberries – 1 bag – This is key for making this homemade cranberry sauce! Fresh is the best.
  • Orange Juice – I like to use a freshly squeezed orange but you could also use store-bought.
  • Sugar – Just a little bit of sweetness goes a long way. Some people use granulated sugar or brown sugar as their sugars of choice.
  • Maple Syrup (the secret ingredient) – Trust me, this takes the flavor of this fresh cranberry sauce over the top. I would assume that honey would work, too but maple syrup is so good!

Did I mention that this cranberry sauce recipe is crazy simple?! For a fun spin, I also sometimes like to add in a little bit of orange zest, too.

how to make cranberry sauce on the stove over medium-heatHOW TO MAKE THE BEST CRANBERRY SAUCE


Combine sugar and orange juice in a medium-size saucepan and cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer.


Continue cooking, for about 10 minutes, or until all or most of the cranberries have popped. Stir the berries frequently. Once the cranberries burst, that’s your cue.


Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in maple syrup.


Allow to cool for 30 minutes and then add to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat.


If you don’t want to add in the maple syrup, leave it out! This recipe for homemade cranberry sauce is still delicious without out! You can also use less orange juice if you want a less orange flavor.


Is cranberry sauce served hot or cold?

You’re going to want to serve this at room temperature or slightly chilled from taking it out of the fridge as well. This isn’t meant to be a hot side dish or condiment. During the holiday season, this is quite a popular dish!

What do you eat cranberry sauce with?

I like to eat it with just about anything! Turkey, turkey sandwiches, leftover turkey, green beans, and I’ll even add some to my Ham + Cheese Sliders, as well! Some of my favorite side dishes to pair it with are Cheesy Mushroom and Onion Green Bean CasseroleCheesy Potatoes, and Classic Sweet Potato Casserole.

cranberry sauce with orange juice and orange zest

Does homemade cranberry sauce need to be refrigerated?

It does. Once you’re done making it, you’re going to want to store it in the fridge to enjoy later. As long as you keep it stored properly, it should stay good in your fridge for up to 10 days or so.

I love eating leftover cranberry sauce with all my other holiday leftovers.

Why is cranberry sauce not a jam?

Even though I tend to use it as a jam and have it on my toast and other bread items, it’s technically not a jam. This mainly has to do with the fact that cranberry sauce is liquid in texture while a jam tends to be more solid.

If you’re good at canning and creating recipes, there is probably a way that you can turn this homemade cranberry sauce recipe into a jam but I just haven’t had the chance to sit down and try and figure it out!

If you like this DIY cranberry sauce, you’re going to love these simple side dishes:

cranberry sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Easy 15-Minute Cranberry Sauce! This fool-proof recipe is easy to make and only uses 4 whole ingredients. Real cranberries, orange juice, sugar, and maple syrup give this fresh side dish its amazing flavor that is perfect for your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal!
4.63 from 8 votes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 12 ounces Fresh Cranberries – 1 bag
  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 Tbs. Maple Syrup
  • orange peel optional – I like to throw in a little orange peel for flavor brightness


  • Combine sugar and orange juice in a medium-size saucepan and cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
  • Continue cooking, for about 10 minutes, or until all or most of the cranberries have popped. Stirring frequently.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in maple syrup.
  • Allow to cool for 30 minutes and then add to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat.


Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on Today.com, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.


  1. Karen Daigle says:

    Can I substitute satsuma juice for the orange juice

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time this year! Very easy and simple directions to follow. Tastes great with the ham even three days later (I totally forgot to set it out on Thanksgiving day). Do you know if I could freeze this at all?

    1. Shyanne - ATM Team says:

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Sienna! You should be able to freeze it for up to 3 months. The taste and texture may change slightly, but it will still be yummy.

  3. Lisa Busby Akers says:

    Delicious and also beautiful! Looking forward to Thanksgiving Dinner!

    1. Shyanne - ATM Team says:

      We hope you enjoy!

  4. Shirley Fink says:

    Can you can this receipe

    1. Shyanne - ATM Team says:

      We haven’t tried it, but it should work!

  5. Carrie Ksau says:

    I’m on Guam, and we’re having shipping issues.. We don’t have fresh or even canned cranberries…can I use craisins instead??? Help!!

  6. Donna Butler says:

    Was also wondering about the water listed in the ingredients and since it doesn’t mention cranberry’s in the instructions hopefully it’s a misprint still going to try because it sounds good and easy thanks

    1. Kasey Schwartz says:

      Well, that is a misprint! I used to add OJ and water. But like OJ best! I corrected the recipe!

  7. This recipe sounds tasty. I plan on fixing it Saturday. I was wondering about the water though. It lists it in instructions but not in recipe ingredients. Thanks so much.

4.63 from 8 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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