The operative word here is EASY! When making Thanksgiving dinner, the word is EASY is very important. Usually it’s STRESS but this recipe helps reduce some of that!
Cranberry sauce is an easy addition and a must have staple for your Thanksgiving table. It is so simple to make!
All you need is fresh (or frozen) cranberries, granulated sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange juice and orange zest.
These 4 ingredients is all it takes to make a delicious homemade cranberry sauce with the perfect balance of sweet and tart to complement your Thanksgiving turkey.
If there was a contest for the simplest recipe ever this one would surely be in the running.
This recipe is so easy you can make it ahead of time!
Let’s Get Saucy!
In a medium sauce pot over medium low heat, add the cranberries, granulated sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange juice and zest. Stir until all combined.
Note: you can also totally make this cranberry sauce in a crockpot for the “set it and forget it” mode and less mess. Combine all ingredients in the crock pot, covered and set on high heat for 4 hours until all the cranberries have burst and the sauce has thickened. Another tip is to use a crockpot plastic liner for even less mess.
On the stovetop, stir with a heat resistant spatula, or wooden spoon, occasionally to prevent the bottom of the pot from burning.
Continue to cook for 20-30 minutes or until the cranberries have burst and the sauce has thickened.
Once the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat. Cool completely before serving for a nice thick sauce, serve room temperature. Or store in the refrigerator until serving.
Before serving remove the cinnamon sticks and garnish with fresh orange zest.
This cranberry sauce is great to make ahead of time (it freezes well) but it’s simple enough to make on Thanksgiving morning too.
If you opt for Thanksgiving morning just be sure you allow enough time for the sauce to cool – it needs to at least come to room temperature to thicken to the right saucy consistency.
Keep any leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.
My favorite way to use leftover cranberry sauce is using it as a filling in these Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Bars. The easiest way to make this recipe with the cranberry sauce is to substitute the cranberry sauce for the dried cranberries and combine with the applesauce according to the recipe.
Like this recipe? Here are more fall ideas!
Celebrate this Thanksgiving with your loved ones and don’t stress about it!
Easy Cranberry Sauce
- 2 (12 ounce) packages cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 medium oranges juice and zest
- In a medium sauce pot over medium low heat, combine cranberries, sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange juice and zest. Stir together.
- Simmer until cranberries burst and sauce thickens. (Be careful the cranberries bursting will be hot).
- Stir every once in a while to prevent from the bottom burning. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Turn off and remove from heat. Cool slightly before serving or cool and refrigerate. Remove the cinnamon sticks before serving.
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