This quick homemade cranberry sauce is the perfect condiment to enjoy all holiday season! Cranberries, spices, orange juice, and maple syrup is all you need for the most delicious sauce.
No Thanksgiving or Christmas is complete without a traditional cranberry sauce. The holidays can be busy and stressful, so we wanted to make a quick homemade cranberry sauce easy to whip up.
To make your lives easier, this is a perfect make-ahead cranberry sauce. Double or triple this recipe, place in mason jars, and follow canning instructions.
Now you will be enjoying a quintessential seasonal topper all holiday season. Cranberry sauce makes the perfect gift for co-workers, family, and friends!
Want to stock your pantry with Whole30 and Paleo ingredients? Check out my Healthy Pantry Essentials for some ideas!
What Makes This Quick Homemade Cranberry Sauce So Good?
- Cranberry sauce is good for you - Fiber-rich, immune booster, and packed full of antioxidants.
- Versatile - Great condiment for turkey, ham, chicken, and pork around the holidays
- Maple Syrup - To make this sauce more nutritious, we swapped out the sugar for maple syrup. Amazing flavor, with hints of caramel and vanilla!
- Cranberries - This sweet-tart goodness is a staple during the holiday season. If you can't find fresh cranberries, buy frozen.
- Maple Syrup - Harvested from the sap of maple trees and reduced to reach a thick consistency. Buy pure maple syrup for the best flavor.
- Ginger - Fresh ginger or crystallized ginger works great for this recipe
- Orange - We use the zest and juice
- Cinnamon Sticks - Because we like to spice it up for the holidays
- Star Anise - Similar to cinnamon and cloves and pairs well with fall-inspired recipes
- Apple Juice - Nothing screams Thanksgiving more than apples and cranberries
How To Make Quick Homemade Cranberry Sauce
1. In a medium-sized saucepan toast cinnamon and star anise for 2 minutes.
2. Pour in maple syrup.
3. Bring maple syrup to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to infuse the spices.
4. Toss in cranberries and chopped ginger and cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently.
5. Zest and juice 1 orange.
6. Add orange zest.
7. Pour in orange juice and apple juice. Cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir every few minutes to help the cranberries break down.
8. We are finished! Remove the cinnamon and star anise. Let sauce cool down and transfer to a serving dish or keep in the refrigerator.
- Whole30 - instead of maple syrup, use date syrup
- Keto - swerve is non-glycemic and perfect for keto or low-carb diets
- Spices - In this recipe, we use cinnamon and star anise. Play around with your favorite fall and winter spices. Juniper berries, allspice, cardamom, and cloves are excellent choices.
- Sliced Apples - add one peeled, cored, and sliced apple to the sauce
- Dried Fruit - adding dried fruit like apricots or figs contribute a nice flavor and texture
- Nuts - chopped pistachios blend perfectly with sweet and tart fruit like cranberries
Prepared cranberry sauce will keep for 10-14 in the refrigerator. Another option is to place it in a sealed ziplock bag and keep it in the freezer.
- Boil water in a large 8-12 quart pot.
- Boil mason jars and lids for 10 minutes to sanitize
- Spoon the HOT cranberry sauce into mason jars, and fill to the top
- Secure with lids, and place jars gently back into the large pot of water. (The jars must be completely covered with water)
- Boil for 15 minutes
- Remove the jars from the hot water and place them on the counter. You will hear a popping sound indicating your jars are sealed.
- Now you are ready to give away as gifts or store away for the holidays!
- Use a good quality maple syrup. When buying your syrup, either buy grade A or B. Grade A is the highest rating because it's the sweetest. Grade B has a darker color and is less sweet.
- Make a big batch. You will be enjoying this quick homemade cranberry sauce from the beginning of fall through the new year. Block out one evening and make a large batch of cranberry sauce, and CAN it all! Not only will you have this delicious condiment all holiday season, but it's also the perfect stocking stuffer or gift basket addition.
- Don't overcook the sauce. Too much pectin is released, making your sauce way too thick. The skin of the cranberries becomes hard to eat.
- Spice it up! Sure all you need to make cranberry sauce is sugar, water, and cranberries, but that is boring. Orange zest, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamon can make your Thanksgiving topper delicious!
Excellent condiment for turkey, ham, pork, and chicken. Top oven-roasted squash or top your meatloaf with cranberry sauce.
You can serve cold or at room temperature. If you are using it as a glaze, serve it hot.
Let the sauce cook and reduce more. Cranberries release a natural thickener called pectin with is fiber. If your sauce still won't thicken add pectin, gelatin, or a cornstarch slurry.
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Quick Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise pods
- ⅔ cup maple sryup Grade A or B
- 12 ounces cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1 orange zest and juiced
- ½ cup apple juice
- 1 tablespoon ginger diced
- In a medim-size saucepan toast the star anise and cinnamon for 2 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Pour in maple syrup and bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add in cranberries and ginger and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour in apple juice, orange juice, and zest. Cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat stirring to help the cranberries break down.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise. Transfer to a serving dish or refrigerate.