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Homemade Cranberry Sauce without a Recipe

Here's the basic method for preparing your own cranberry sauce. It's super-easy and cooks up in minutes, so you'll be ahead of the game. It will be the best!

Course Preserves
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberry sauce
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Author Lynne Curry


  • 1 bag fresh whole cranberries
  • 1-2 cups granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup or use a combination
  • pinch salt
  • grated fresh ginger, orange zest, lemon zest, vanilla, bourbon or other flavorings, optional


  1. Combine the cranberries with sugar or other sweetener in a heavy-duty saucepan with a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-low-heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries juice. When the cranberries collapse and the mixture turns thick and jammy, remove from the heat. Taste for add more for a nice balance of tart and sweet.

  2. Add additional flavorings if you’d like and taste again. Leave the cranberries whole or mash or puree for a chunky or smooth texture.

  3. Cool to room temperature. Transfer to a storage container and chill in the refrigerator for one month.