Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe

This traditional cranberry sauce recipe is so easy to make and is perfect to store in the fridge until you need it or even freeze for later. There is nothing better than making your own easy cranberry sauce in my opinion, you can make a lot without spending much money and I think it tastes so much better too. Make-ahead cranberry sauce is also great to make in advance of Thanksgiving or Christmas.

An easy cranberry sauce recipe is a staple, especially at this time of year. Iuse my homemade cranberry sauce on everything I can (including my boxing day leftovers sandwich.) This recipe is really easy to whip up and perfect for Christmas dinner.

Why you’ll love this traditional cranberry sauce recipe for turkey

  • You can keep this fresh cranberry sauce recipe very simple and only use three ingredients – cranberries, sugar and water or you can expand it from there.
  • It’s so quick to make and you don’t need to make a lot at a time.
  • You can store it in the fridge, pantry or freeze it for later.
  • Homemade cranberry sauce is just the best. It tastes so much fresher and full of flavour.
  • Freezing cranberry sauce is a great way to get ahead with the huge amount of cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Easy Cranberry Sauce Top Questions

What are the ingredients in cranberry sauce?
How do you get the bitterness out of cranberry sauce?
Is cranberry sauce bad for your heart?
How long does homemade cranberry sauce last?
Can you freeze cranberry sauce?
How long does cranberry sauce last in the fridge?

top view of a jar of homemade cranberry sauce

Ingredients

What is so fabulous about making my cranberry sauce recipe is that you only need 3 ingredients!

  • fresh cranberries (or frozen and defrosted)
  • granualted sugar
  • water

Scroll down to the fresh cranberry sauce recipe card for the full recipe.

How to make Easy Cranberry Sauce – step by step

red fresh cranberries in a saucepan
fresh cranberries in a saucepan with sugar and water
  • Add the fresh cranberries to a saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan on the hob and cook on a medium-low heat.
  • Measure out the light brown soft sugar and water. Add it to the cranberries and mix together.
bubbling cranberries in a saucepan
fresh Cranberry Sauce Recipe for freezing
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
  • Keep stirring the fresh cranberry sauce mix on the hob until the cranberries have softened and fallen apart slightly. I prefer it slightly lumpy but you can reduce it down further if you want.
  • Take a spoon and remove a little of the sauce, allow it to cool before tasting it. It might need a little more sugar so add some to taste.
  • Place the cranberry sauce in prepared and sterilised jam jars or in a bowl ready to serve.
  • I you are planning on freezing cranberry sauce then allow it cool and place it into ziplock bags or in a freezer safe container. Don’t place the hot cranberry sauce into the fridge or freezer.

Serving Suggestions

This easy cranberry sauce recipe UK is best served with roast dinners at Christmas. Cranberry sauce works very well with turkey, goose, beef and even chicken.

Add some to a leftover turkey sandwich. A leftover roast dinner toastie with a spoonful of cranberry sauce is next-level delicious.

Top Tips for a cranberry sauce

You can make this easy cranberry sauce just before you need it if you have time in the kitchen or you can make it ahead of time.

Whether you are making this traditional cranberry sauce recipe in advance or last-minute it will still work and taste wonderful.

fresh cranberry sauce for turkey recipe uk in a jam jar.

Equipment

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Storing / Making ahead-of-time options

Fresh cranberry sauce is a great part of the Christmas meal to prepare a week if not longer before you need it.

If you make this traditional cranberry sauce recipe you can put it into sterilised prepared jam jars and store it in the pantry for over a year. Once open put it in the fridge and use it within 10 days.

Freezing cranberry sauce once it has been made and has cooled down is a great get ahead tip. Place the sauce into freezer-safe bags and freeze until needed.

Best cranberry sauce recipe Substitutions and variations

NUTMEG

Adding nutmeg to your Christmas cranberry sauce is a stroke of genius and adds such a wonderful flavour. Freshly grated is best but already groundworks perfectly too. I think I just love the smell of the freshly grated nutmeg a lot. Be careful though as it’s easy to grate your fingers too.

CINNAMON

It’s the most Christmassy spice in my opinion and a little sprinkling of cinnamon in this easy cranberry sauce recipe UK is a lovely addition. It can be added with the nutmeg.

ORANGE

Cranberry and orange are a wonderful mix of festive flavours. The citrus and juicy orange add a freshness to the traditional cranberry sauce. A wonderful reason to make it at home is so you can adjust these flavours to exactly what you want.

LIME

More unusual but adding lime instead of orange to traditional cranberry sauce can work too. It makes it feel more exotic while also retaining that warmth and flavour with the cranberries.

PORT

Instead of using water, you can add the port to make the best cranberry sauce recipe a little richer and more alcoholic too.

fresh cranberries spilling out of a jam jar on a white tray

Easy cranberry sauce recipe to freeze

The best part about this best cranberry sauce recipe is that it freezes beautifully. Make the recipe as per below. Once it is cold place it in freezer-safe bags and put it in the freezer until you need it. Then defrost and enjoy.

FAQS

What are the ingredients in cranberry sauce?

The main ingredients for cranberry sauce are fresh cranberries (frozen whole cranberries can work too but defrost first), sugar and water. From this basic trio of ingredients, you can add citrus, spices or other flavours too. It’s a lovely traditional cranberry sauce recipe to adapt and make to your own favourite flavours.

How do you get the bitterness out of cranberry sauce?

You get the bitterness out of cranberry sauce by adding granulated sugar. I think the best cranberry sauce is sweet with a hint of bitterness. It works so well as a cranberry sauce recipe for turkey. In this cranberry sauce recipe uk you can make delicious sauce which is perfect for sweet and savoury dishes.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe in a glass jam jar ready for Christmas on a red background

Is cranberry sauce bad for your heart?

Cranberry sauce is not bad for your heart, it’s low in fat and full of vitamins, and antioxidants and contains beneficial fibre. However, the sugar used to sweeten the cranberry sauce should be considered depending on different diets.

How long does homemade cranberry sauce last?

Home-made cranberry sauce lasts about 10 days in the fridge once open. If you put it into a jam jar you can store it in the pantry for a lot longer. If you have the freezer-safe bags then put the homemade cranberry sauce into freezer-safe bags and freeze. Defrost and enjoy later.

Can you freeze cranberry sauce?

Yes you can freeze sauce and it’s really easy to do. Place the cranberry sauce in a zip lock bag or freezer safe container and place in the freezer. Allow the cranberry sauce to thaw and defrost fully before eating.

I place the fresh cranberry sauce in zip lock bags as you can freeze them in flat sheets which take up less space and make the cranberry sauce quicker to defrost.

Freezing cranberry sauce is a great way to get ahead with making the thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

How long does cranberry sauce last in the fridge?

Fresh cranberry sauce can last for a few weeks in the fridge once the steralised jar it’s in has been opened.

In a jar the cranberry sauce can last for years. Smell and look to see if it’s still okay. Any signs of mould shows it is past it’s best.

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Recipe

Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe – best cranberry sauce recipe UK

Sisley White
This traditional cranberry sauce recipe is so easy to make and is perfect to store in the fridge until you need it or even freeze for later. There is nothing better than making your own easy cranberry sauce in my opinion, you can make a lot without spending much money and I think it tastes so much better too. Make-ahead cranberry sauce is also great to make in advance of Thanksgiving or Christmas.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine American, British, International
Servings 6 small portions
Calories 118 kcal

Equipment

  • Kitchen Scales
  • saucepan
  • measuring jug

Ingredients
 
 

  • 300 g fresh cranberries (or frozen and defrosted)
  • 150 g light brown soft sugar (or caster sugar or granulated sugar)
  • 150 ml Water

Instructions
 

  • Add the 300g of fresh cranberries to a saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan on the hob and cook on a medium-low heat. If too hot the fresh cranberries may pop so it might be worth adding a lid to the saucepan.
  • Measure out the 150g light brown soft sugar and 150ml water. Add it to the cranberries and mix together.
  • Keep stirring the cranberry mix on the hob until the cranberries have softened and fallen apart slightly. I prefer it slightly lumpy but you can reduce it down further if you want.
  • Take a spoon and remove a little of the sauce, allow it to cool before tasting it. It might need a little more sugar so add some to taste.
  • Place the cranberry sauce in prepared and sterilised jam jars or in a bowl ready to serve.

Notes

  • Make ahead of time and store in a jar in a cool place. Or even pop it in the freezer until you need it.
  • Best served with a roast dinner but also great as leftovers in a roast dinner sandwich.

Nutrition

Calories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 9mgPotassium: 73mgFiber: 2gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg

Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

Keyword cranberry sauce, cranberry sauce recipe uk, fresh cranberry sauce, frozen cranberry sauce, homemade cranberry sauce
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2 thoughts on “Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    I nearly always make my own cranberry sauce. Only I didn’t this year as we weren’t at home. But it’s so worth the effort, especially as actually there’s not much effort involved at all. Wish I’d had some of yours this year as we had none at all.

    Reply

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