This easy homemade cranberry sauce recipe will be the perfect finishing touch to your Thanksgiving meal. So simple and delicious!
And with only three ingredients, you’ll be surprised how simple it is to make. You may never buy the canned stuff from the grocery store ever again after you make this simple recipe for the first time.
My mom usually makes this a few days ahead of Thanksgiving dinner, and she keeps it in the refrigerator until it is time to serve it.
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I will show you how to make it on the stovetop, and in your Instant Pot. (Amazon affiliate link)
Homemade cranberry sauce is great all holiday season, and for leftovers as well. For something different, try putting leftover cranberry sauce on leftover turkey sandwiches.
How to make homemade cranberry sauce
Here is how to make the best cranberry sauce for your holiday meal. First, gather your ingredients.
For tastiest results, always use the best quality ingredients you have access to. For this homemade cranberry sauce recipe you will need the following ingredients:
- fresh cranberries
- white sugar
That’s it! You can do some optional add ins, such as orange zest if you wish. We like it plain the best.
To make this easy homemade cranberry sauce on the stovetop, you start with a twelve ounce bag of fresh, whole cranberries.
After giving them a good rinse, you make a simple syrup by bringing one cup of water and one cup of sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Add the cranberries, and then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat until they all burst, about 10 minutes.
Cool to room temperature and refrigerate, and that sauce will thicken up on its own.
An voila! It’s ready for turkey and dressing!
How easy is that?!
How to make Instant Pot cranberry sauce
I am adding an extra set of instructions this year!🤓🙌🏻 To make Instant Pot cranberry sauce (or any other brand electric pressure cooker), add your three ingredients to the stainless inner pot, and stir. No need to dissolve anything, just dump it all in.
Put the lid on, lock it and set the pressure valve to sealing. Cook on high pressure for two minutes.
Let it naturally release for about ten to twelve minutes, and quick release the rest. Letting is naturally release a bit helps lower the chance of splatter.
Another tip along those lines: to avoid any potential cranberry splatter, place a kitchen towel over the vent release. Be sure and wash the valve well after you are done with warm soapy water. This will remove any residue.
Refrigerate, just like the stovetop version, and it will thicken. At serving time, just pop it right out of the fridge for the meal.
Storage and leftovers
How long is homemade cranberry sauce good in the fridge? It has a long storage date of 10 to 14 days. You can also freeze it! Leftover cranberry sauce will be good for 2 to 3 months in the freezer in an airtight container.
We often make a double batch at Thanksgiving and freeze half to take out later at Christmas dinner.
One of our favorite things to do with leftovers is to spoon some over some oatmeal. Yum! I bet it would be great over some store-bought or homemade ice cream as well.
More Thanksgiving recipes
Be sure and check out all my Thanksgiving recipes here. I have roast turkey, sweet potato casserole, southern cornbread dressing and all the classics.
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Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce
This easy homemade cranberry sauce will be the perfect finishing touch to your Thanksgiving meal. So simple and delicious!
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries rinsed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Bring the water and sugar to a boil, and stir to dissolve sugar.
Add the cranberries, and simmer until most of the cranberries burst, about 10 minutes.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it . (Keeps for about 2 weeks)
Instant Pot instructions
All cranberries, water and sugar to the inner stainless steel pot, and stir to combine. No need to dissolve anything.
Put the lid on, lock it and set the pressure valve to sealing.
Cook on high pressure for two minutes.
Let it naturally release for about ten to twelve minutes, and quick release the rest by rotating the pressure valve release. (Optional: place a dish towel over the steam vent when releasing to catch any potential cranberry splatter.)
Refrigerate to thicken.
Nutritional information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.
We always make this at least the night before (or a few days in advance) to make sure it has time to cool and thicken. One less think to think about on Thanksgiving Day!
You can use a potato masher or even a wooden spoon to break down the whole cranberries a little more, if you prefer.
Note: This recipe originally appeared on A Pinch of Healthy November 15, 2017.