Condiment/ Holidays/ Recipe/ Side Dish

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

November 8, 2019

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce made with fresh cranberries.

Whole berry cranberry sauce

You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce – at least that’s true in my house.  Whole berry cranberry sauce is my favorite and it’s easy to make.  I always think anything you can make from scratch is so much better and healthier than what you can buy, already prepared in the store.

Whole berry cranberry sauce in a china bowl with fresh cranberries behind the bowl.

What ingredients do I need to make whole berry cranberry sauce?

  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Fresh Orange Peel
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • Water

How do I make the sauce? 

You won’t believe how easy this cranberry sauce is to make:

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot
  2. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  4. Remove cinnamon stick and orange peel
  5. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate


Fresh cranberries and whole cinnamon sticks on a white board.

Most recipes call for equal amounts of fresh cranberries and sugar.  I’ve played around with this recipe a bit to see if I could reduce the sugar.  The first go round, I reduced the sugar by half!  Can you say perfection?  Yes, indeed!  Perfection!  

I didn’t miss the extra sugar and neither did my kids, hubby and guests we had for dinner. Everyone loved this cranberry sauce!

Can I make this cranberry sauce ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this sauce ahead of time. You can make this classic cranberry dish 3 days ahead of time. 

Can I freeze cranberry sauce?

Yes, my mom makes this every year and freezes it up to two weeks. To use, remove from freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator. 

Whole cranberries in a pot along with orange peel and a cinnamon stick.

How does the sauce thicken?

Cranberries have natural pectin in them. As the cranberries cook, the pectin is released. The pectin thickens the sauce. 

Other great holiday recipes

When planning for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner you might also want to include Green Bean Almondine, Sweet Potato Gratin and Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

Cranberry sauce on a fork.


If you end up with any leftover cranberry sauce, it is perfect in this Baked Cranberry Brie.

A few additional recipes with cranberries include this Cranberry Swirl Bread, Cranberry Pecan BarsCranberry Swirl Cookies, Cranberry Muffins, Cranberry Scones Cranberry Apple Bread, Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad and Cranberry Jalapeno Bites.

Don’t forget to PIN for later!A small bowl filled with cranberry sauce.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Check out all my holiday recipes!

This recipe was originally published in November of 2015. The pictures and content have been updated. 

A bowl filled with cranberry sauce.

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

Whole berry cranberry sauce
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 150 kcal


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 strips orange peel


  • Place everything into a pot
  • Bring to a boil
  • Boil for 5 minutes
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool
  • Remove cinnamon stick and orange peel
  • Cover and refrigerate



Calories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 37mgFiber: 2gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 37IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cranberry sauce, cranberry sauce reduced sugar, whole berry cranberry sauce
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


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  • Reply
    November 17, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    A few weeks ago I went to a nearby cranberry festival and went home with a heavy bag of fresh cranberries for $5. Fortunately I picked it up right when I was planning to go home! I didn’t weigh it but around 10 pounds is my guess. Bag had handles on it! This year I decided to make cranberry sauce in the instant pot. Give it a try. I also did a combo cranberry/apple sauce in the Instant Pot. Couldn’t stop eating it! Oh – I ended up pulling out a few freezer bags for the majority of those cranberries, so I have plenty more sauce coming up soon!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    November 12, 2019 at 5:07 am

    5 stars
    Man, you weren’t lying when you said this is an easy recipe! In all of my Thanksgiving travels, I don’t think I’ve ever made cranberry sauce from scratch. I’ve doctored the canned stuff on occasion, but now I’m totally going to make a batch from scratch. This is almost easier than using the can opener to open the canned stuff. Haha!

  • Reply
    November 9, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    5 stars
    Beautiful and delicious! I love your photos of the cinnamon sticks with the berries. Just lovely! 🙂 ~Valentina

    • Reply
      November 10, 2019 at 7:08 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    November 8, 2019 at 6:00 am

    5 stars
    While I do have a soft spot for canned cranberry sauce, homemade is always the best and this one looks like a winner! Love cranberry and orange together. So perfect for the holidays!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 8:37 am

    5 stars
    This looks delicious! Can I make it the day before or is it better fresh? Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      November 25, 2016 at 5:25 am

      You can make this cranberry sauce ahead of time. I often make them 1-2 days ahead and they are perfect the day I serve them! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    October 30, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Cranberries are my all time favorite. Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without them. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 4:34 am

      I love cranberries in so many different types of recipes.

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