This cranberry sauce starts a parade of recipes that I absolutely fell in love with last Thanksgiving. However, since as soon as the Thanksgiving table is cleared my head turns to Christmas so quickly it nearly spins (hello, Black Friday outlet shopping!), I immediately go into Christmas cookie mode, not so much Thanksgiving dinner-recap mode. Now that we’re back in Thanksgiving prep mode, I am thrilled to share these with you!

Now, let’s talk cranberry sauce. Growing up, the only cranberry “sauce” (I use that term loosely) I ever knew was the stuff that came out of a can. The gelled stuff that held the shape of said can until you smashed it up. This “sauce” never tempted me. Pass me the gravy, please. So last Thanksgiving when I was helping my mom put together the menu for Thanksgiving, I decided that the cranberry sauce needed to undergo a major overhaul. I found this recipe, and it was absolutely phenomenal, plus it couldn’t have been easier to make.

I love the fresh simplicity of this sauce – fresh cranberries, sugar, water, apple, orange and lemon. These bright, fresh flavors cook down together and make a fantastic accompaniment to the turkey. This only takes 20 minutes on the stove and (this is the best part!) you can make it up to a week before Thanksgiving and keep it in the refrigerator. I’m a huge fan of anything that can be done ahead of time since there’s always a time crunch on Thanksgiving day.

Did you discover any fabulous recipes last year that you’re planning to use again this year?

One year ago: Pumpkin Pie
Two years ago: Lebkuchen (German Christmas Cookies)[/donotprint]

Cranberry sauce in a glass serving bowl.

Cranberry Sauce

A traditional cranberry sauce recipe perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas
4.67 (3 ratings)


  • 12 ounces (340.2 g) fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried
  • cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon


  • Cook the cranberries, sugar and 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the skins on the cranberries pop open.
  • Add the apple, zests and juices and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool and serve chilled.
Calories: 408kcal, Carbohydrates: 106g, Sodium: 3mg, Potassium: 133mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 95g, Vitamin A: 100IU, Vitamin C: 24.5mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!