This recipe for sweet and tart whole berry cranberry sauce will put the zing into your holiday table!

Fresh cranberries are cooked with sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest for the perfect accompaniment to Thanksgiving turkey or any savory meat dish. Best of all, this easy cranberry sauce is ready in minutes! Tart and zesty cranberry sauce is a must-have at the holidays, brightening every table with its welcome fresh contrast to the rich gravy and buttery side dishes.

plated Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

  • A pretty dish of glistening, ruby red cranberry sauce is a must-have on any holiday table. This 4-ingredient recipe is packed with tart, citrusy flavor and texture that especially enhances a turkey and gravy dinner.
  • This easy, whole berry cranberry sauce cooks up in a flash on the stovetop. With its fresh complex flavors, this recipe is so much better than anything from a can.
  • Cranberry sauce is great for cheese and cracker platters, or as a muffin spread too! Try it on these cranberry orange muffins or these homemade blueberry muffins.

cranberries , sugar , cinnamon and orange with labels to make Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

Just 4 Ingredients!

CRANBERRIES: Fresh cranberries that are firm and free of blemishes are best for this recipe, but frozen berries are also an option. Ocean Spray brand is readily available, especially during the holiday season. Dried can be used, but need to be cooked in water first to soften. In a pinch substitute whole berry cranberry sauce from a can- just leave out the sugar.

SUGAR: White sugar dissolves easily and works well to deliver the sweet-tart flavor that cranberry sauce is famous for. Brown sugar could also be used, for a touch of molasses flavor. Or, use your favorite sugar-free sweetener to serve dietary needs.

CINNAMON: This easy cranberry sauce recipe calls for a cinnamon stick. You can substitute a pinch of cinnamon instead.

ORANGE ZEST: Use a fresh orange with a firm peel. A zester produces ideal strips, but a grater can also be used.

process of adding ingredients to pan to make Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

How to Make Cranberry Sauce

Once you see how easy it is to make homemade cranberry sauce, you’ll never buy it from a can again!

  1. Simmer ⅔ of the cranberries with other ingredients for a few minutes, until the berries pop (as per recipe below).
  2. Add the rest of the berries and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Cool and serve.

Ideas for Leftovers

Cranberry sauce is delicious when served ice cold. It will retain its quality for 10 – 14 days in the refrigerator, or up to two months in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator, and use as a spread on leftover turkey and cheese sandwiches, or as a spread in turkey cranberry pinwheeels for a delicious appetizer!

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Delish Cranberry Recipes!

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Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

The holiday table wouldn't be the same without a bowl of this whole berry cranberry sauce.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Servings 8
Author Holly



  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest optional


  • Combine ⅔ of the cranberries (8 ounces) with the remaining ingredients in a saucepan.
  • Simmer 5 minutes or until the cranberries have popped.
  • Stir in the remaining cranberries and simmer 2-3 minutes more or just until they begin to pop.
  • Remove cinnamon stick and discard. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely


  • Refrigerate for 10 – 14 days or up to two months in the freezer.
  • Thaw in the refrigerator.
  • Use as a spread on leftover turkey sandwiches, or as a topping for ice cream.
5 from 1 vote↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 28IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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