Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Though store-bought canned cranberry sauce seems to be the normal thing to have at Thanksgiving, the average brand-name stuff is mediocre at best. And, surely I can’t be the only one who thinks it has a tinny aftertaste? Even so, I think that a lot of people feel that the ease of opening a can is better than adding one more thing to sort out for a big family gathering and also, some people simply prefer the taste of the canned stuff. Personally, I prefer a nice chunky homemade version. It’s as difficult to make as ramenĀ and cost about the same as the canned stuff. The difference in the taste is like getting carob when you want chocolate. Yeah, that much difference! I also like it with stuff other than turkey. It’s good on cheesecake, bagels with cream cheese schmear (I love the word schmear), and it’s great with Swedish Meatballs, which traditionally are served with loganberry jam. You can try my recipe for the meatballs HERE, and my recipe for the sauce below.


  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP butter, cold
! The cranberries will begin to pop as they heat up, so you may want to offset a lid over your pan while cooking.


  1. Stir together all the ingredients except the butter in a medium size pot
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Turn down the heat so that it is between a boil and a simmer.
  4. Gently boil the sauce for around 5 minutes, or until desired consistency is achieved. Stir occasionally. Keep in mind that it will thicken more as it cools.
  5. When you’re happy with the thickness and texture, remove from the heat and stir in the butter until it is completely melted.
  6. Cool to room temperature before serving, or once cooled place in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.

Makes About 20 Ounces


  • Clean jam jars or mason jars make a nice storage vessel for this sauce.
  • This is too much for a pint size (16 oz) mason jar, we ate some of this batch with dinner to make it fit.
  • This recipe is easily doubled.
  • You can take the sugar down to 3/4 of a cup, if you prefer a tangier sauce.
  • I like to replace half or all the water with fresh squeezed orange juice and add 1 to 3 teaspoons of orange zest with the cranberries, depending on how orangey I want it. My husband prefers the plain “unoranged” version.