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Homemade Cranberry Sauce With Ginger and Orange Zest

Pucker up!

A homemade cranberry sauce recipe that tastes absolutely phenomenal: sweet, tart, and flavorful with ginger, spices, and orange zest. Get this essential Thanksgiving recipe.

bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with spoon

Why I Love This Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

I am convinced that anyone who does not like cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving really just hasn’t had this recipe yet. This homemade cranberry sauce recipe — ruby red, sweet but tart, and fragrant with orange, cinnamon, and fresh ginger — brightens even the heaviest Thanksgiving plate. Best of all, this classic turkey day side dish is incredibly easy to make.

You’ll also like: Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits and Mulled Cranberry Apple Cider

ingredients in pot orange, ginger, brown sugar, cinnamon, cranberries

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce: Recipe Notes

This recipe is essentially a quick “dump and stir.” Put all the ingredients in a pot, stir, and cook. At first, the cranberries will foam and pop. This will eventually give way to a nice, thick, beautiful cranberry sauce.

Make sure not to over-reduce this bubbly mixture. The cranberry sauce will continue to thicken once cooled. The main way to test that it has cooked enough is to tip a spoon in the cranberry sauce, then run a knife through the center. The cranberry sauce left on the spoon should hold its shape, leaving a trail where the knife cut through.

This is a fairly tart cranberry sauce, to complement the heavy, savory side dishes and turkey. Taste the cranberry sauce after it finishes cooking. If you prefer a little more sweetness, add a tablespoon or two more of sugar.

wooden spoon with cranberry sauce

One of the other gifts of this classic Thanksgiving recipe — besides its deliciousness — is that it can be made up to a week in advance. Just pull the cranberry sauce from the fridge an hour or two before dinner, and serve at a cool room temperature. Garnish with a ribbon or two of fresh orange zest.

Did you enjoy this chunky, easy cranberry sauce recipe? Share below!

bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with plate of Thanksgiving turkey and salad

bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with plate of Thanksgiving turkey and salad

The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

The chunky, bright cranberry sauce your Thanksgiving deserves.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keywords:: cranberry, cranberry sauce, fall recipes, side dish, thanksgiving, vegan, vegetarian, winter
Servings: 8 to 12 people (1 shallow quart)


  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 medium orange, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
  • 3/4 cup water
  • pinch kosher salt


  • Put all the ingredients (cranberries, orange juice, zest, sugars, cinnamon, ginger, water, and salt) into a medium pot. Stir, and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and let simmer, partly covered, for about 15 minutes. Stir often. The cranberry sauce is done when it is syrupy and jammy.
  • Let cool to room temperature before serving. Garnish with a few grates or peels of fresh orange zest.
    TIP: This can be made up to 7 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Bring to cool room temperature before serving.


  • 5 stars
    This is the best I have ever made! I used 2 small clementine because I didn’t have a medium orange in the house. Anyhow, household members who normally prefer the store bought jellied cranberry sauce really liked this recipe! My 17 year old son put all of the ingredients together with me.

    • Unpeeled

      Fantastic! So glad you enjoyed it. My favorite part is how easy it is 🙂

  • Ángela

    Hi, Lisa! Congrats on your blog. It is very interesting, full of great tips and delicious recipes. I would love to try this recipe for a family dinner but it is hard to find fresh cranberries in Spain out of Xmas season, Do you think that I could I use frozen cranberries or frozen will not work here?

    • Unpeeled

      Hi, Angela! Thanks so much! I appreciate it. Frozen would work absolutely fine. No recipe adjustments needed or anything. I hope you love it as I do.

      • Ángela

        Thank you very much for your reply, I’ll try it and keep you posted.

  • 5 stars
    Great. I added a squirt of lemon juice as well.

  • Raquel26

    5 stars
    Absolutely wonderful tasting and easy to make. Tart, sweet, and had such a nice flavor to it from the cinnamon and orange zest, etc.

    • Unpeeled

      Thanks, Raquel! This is one of my favorite recipes, so I’m glad you like it, too.

  • 5 stars
    A+++ Fantastic. The best cranberry sauce I have ever had.

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