This simple, basic cranberry sauce is my favourite part of a holiday dinner! The leftovers are great with cold turkey on salads or sandwiches.
Seriously, this is so easy to make! It takes only three ingredients! As an added bonus, you get to control the sugar. I usually make mine with raw cane sugar. That produces sauce most like the stuff in the can without using refined white sugar.
Easy Canned Cranberry Sauce Recipe
A turkey dinner just isn’t complete without cranberries. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve been known to bring a can of cranberries with me, even if I keep it tucked away in the bags of food I was supposed to bring, just in case no one else remembered cranberries!
Some people like canned jellied cranberry sauce. Some of them are especially happy to see the rings imprinted in their jelly from the bottom of the can! I have always chosen whole cranberry sauce when I am purchasing the can. I guess I just prefer my food as whole and unprocessed as possible.
Once I learned how to make cranberry sauce from scratch, I never saw the need to go back to buying it from a can. Well, maybe I would if I was traveling too far to bring my own. Otherwise, I just bring some water to a boil, stir in the sugar, and then the cranberries. Let them simmer and sit for a few minutes, and we have cranberry sauce!
This is a great dish to make a day or two ahead. I usually serve mine cold or at room temperature, although you might like to warm yours up.
Health Benefits of Cranberries
Cranberries are considered to be a superfood due to their high antioxidant content. Studies link them to a lower risk of urinary tract infection, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and slower progression of certain types of cancer.
What about the Sweetener?
Actually, I find it hard to swallow putting a whole cup of sugar into a dish. That’s why I developed the recipe for Easy Cranberry Sauce with Mango. However, when you’re also making turkey, gravy, pie, and all the fixings, and just want quick and easy cranberries, this is your recipe!
I’ve chosen raw cane sugar as a less-processed alternative to white sugar. You could also use coconut palm sugar if you want to. Whatever you choose to sweeten it with, your cranberry sauce will likely have some sugar in it. I’m not comfortable with highly processed sweeteners. I’d rather go with less processed ones and use them sparingly.
Moderation is key here. Let’s enjoy this alongside our turkey, but have just a little of it. Since this recipe has a cup of sugar in it, I’m not recommending you eat it by the bowlful!
What Do You Eat Cranberry Sauce With?
Cranberry sauce is traditionally eaten alongside roasted turkey, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas in Canada and the United States.
I usually make some when I’m roasting a chicken, too, because I like it so much.
Cranberry sauce is also great with leftover poultry on sandwiches or salads.
How to Make Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Bring water to a boil. Stir in the sugar which will dissolve quickly. When the water has returned to a boil, add the cranberries.
Bring the cranberries back to a boil. Then, turn down the heat a little and let them simmer, stirring occasionally, until the skins start to pop and the sauce begins to thicken.
Can you freeze cranberry sauce?
Yes, if you should happen to have any sauce left over, it will freeze well. Seal it in an airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months. When you’re almost ready to use it, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
- 3 cups (12 oz) cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 1 cup water
- Bring water and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Stir the cranberries into the boiling water. As the water returns to a boil, turn the heat down to medium. Allow the cranberries to simmer until the skins start to pop and the sauce begins to thicken, about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off the heat. There's no need to remove the sauce from the stovetop unless you need the space. Either serve it warm or refrigerate your sauce once it has cooled to room temperature.