Quick and Easy Cranberry sauce

Easy Holiday classic

Stepping up our Cranberry sauce this season.

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Cranberry sauce is always such a let down during the holidays. Its always there but no one really likes it. Except for that one uncle you see twice a year. Here’s a easy recipe that will get you a better sauce. We’re ditching the cran can and cooking the cranberries this year.

If you don’t like all the talking you can skip to the printable recipe card bellow

cranberry sauce prep

Quick and easy cranberry sauce

cranberry sauce prep

Cooking cranberries are pretty straightforward. It’s just like making any other fruit compote. Fruit, liquid, and heat. This cranberry sauce easily takes less than 20 minutes to cook. Making this a few days ahead of time is great. Letting it sit in the fridge gives all those flavors time to meld together. Making the sauce the day of isn’t too bad either. It’s Quick and easy enough to add to your holiday workflow. Just make sure you have enough time t let it cool down. Or serve it warm if you want to spice it up.

Cranberry sauce Ideas

cranberry sauce prep

Making cranberry sauces at home is great because 1. it tastes better, and 2. you can throw whatever you want in it. There are so many routes you can go here. The holiday season is all about spices. Star anise 

  • cardamom 
  • clove 
  • ginger
  • allspice 
  • Rosemary 
  • tarragon 

These are all great spices and herbs to use. I like sweeter spices here to help balance acidic cranberries. That way we use less suagr, preventing a sugar bomb cranberry sauce. Sweetness can be found in other ingredients besides sugar too. Apple cider brings a bit of sweetness to it. A hallmark of the autumn weather. It isn’t too sweet with subtle complexity. Apple cider brings a little more oomph to the cranberry sauce. If you dint have any apple cider on hand, water works just fine. it results in a more straightforward cranberry flavor. Orange juice will pair nicely here too. 

Holiday season staple

Cranberry sauce is a classic of the season. I’m not a huge thanksgiving person, but the season brings such good flavors and vibes. I’m sure most people are going to have some cranberry on the table so why not step it up? The canned stuff is convenient, but 20 extra minutes is worth it. Your friends and family will remember the cranberry. I know we all have that one uncle that swears by the canned stuff. We just have to work to convert them to a better cranberry.

If you don’t get to this recipe before friends/ thanksgiving it’s all good. Nothing’s stopping ya from having a few jars of cranberry sauce for the fall and winter. It’s a simple recipe. Maybe it’ll change how you view cooking cranberries. Or just fruit compotes in general. As always thanks for stopping by the blog. Happy holidays.

Cranberry sauce

Cooked Cranberries with Autumn herbs and apple cider
Servings 5
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes


  • 12 oz bag (340g) Cranberries
  • 1 ½ C (393g) Apple cider
  • ½ (2g) Sage sprig
  • 2 (5g) Thyme sprig
  • 1 (7g) Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Bay leaf
  • 1 Orange peal
  • 2 Tbsp (56g) Brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp (3g) Molasses
  • ⅛ tsp Salt


  • Pre heat a large pan on medium heat.
  • Add the cranberries and constantly stir until fragrant.
  • Add the apple cider to the pot. Bring to a soft boil then add the reaming ingredients. Stir to make sure everything is combined
  • Reduce for 15 minutes or until desired consistency
  • Chill for later use or serve warm
Author: Anfernee Milton
Course: sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry, cranberry compote, cranberry sauce, thanks giving
cranberry sauce prep
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