Classic Cranberry Sauce

Updated On: Dec 05, 2023

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Bright citrus and warm spices give this relish-like Classic Cranberry Sauce recipe a kick. This recipe is easy and comes together quickly. Make up to a week in advance and bring to room temp before serving.

classic cranberry sauce recipe

Cranberry Sauce has 2 teams: Team Jiggly canned stuff and Team Chunky. Personally I prefer a chutney-like sauce vs slicing off a round of jello-like cranberry something-or-another, but to each their own! I took a poll on Instagram and the consensus was team Chunky!

This recipe is simple to make with a few ingredients you probably already have in your pantry but is still elegant and a great addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table. You may even convert a few of peeps from Team Jiggly.

no sugar classic cranberry sauce with a few ingredients

Ingredients you need to make Classic Cranberry Sauce

Just a few ingredients are necessary to make this easy and elegant cranberry sauce

  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Orange Zest and Juice
  • Red Apple
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon & Cloves Spices
  • Kosher Salt

Find the printable recipe with exact measurements and instructions below.

How to make Cranberry Sauce

This recipe comes together really quickly, like 15 minutes quick! But I highly recommend you make it a day or more ahead of the feast because if you’re anything like me, this will be the first item axed from the list when you’re overwhelmed. Words like “no one even likes cranberry sauce anyway” will come to mind but you’ll miss out on that bit of tart sweetness on the plate. So make it ahead…up to a week if you wish.

  1. Add all ingredients to a saucepan .
  2. Bring the cranberry sauce ingredients to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the cranberries have started to burst and the sauce thickens.
  3. Remove and cool before storing in the refrigerator.

Tips & Tricks

  • For storing: in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. So make it ahead and don’t sweat it on Thanksgiving day.
  • How to freeze: I’d recommend a zip top bag so you can get all of the air out. Freeze for a few months.
how to make cranberry sauce without sugar

More Thanksgiving Sides

easy cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving
easy no sugar cranberry sauce

Classic Cranberry Sauce

A quick recipe for Classic Cranberry Sauce that is packed with flavor and zest.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 Servings


  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 large orange zested
  • 1 red apple peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 12 oz package fresh cranberries picked over
  • cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch of Kosher salt


  • In a medium sauce pan over high heat, add all ingredients. Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium and stir occasionally for 15 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture has began to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and let cool before serving. Can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Calories: 89kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 93mgFiber: 2gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 71IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.2mg
Tried this recipe? I’d love to see what you made!
Mention @farmgirlgourmet or tag #farmgirlgourmet !

Recipe By:

Heather is a recipe developer and content creator living in Vancouver, Washington. She started Farmgirl Gourmet in 2006, almost 20 years ago, as a way to share recipes with friends and family. Heather is also the co-founder of Spiceology , a unique spice company, which she started in 2013. She shares family friendly recipes for easy everyday meals with a gourmet twist.


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