Condiment/ Holidays/ Recipe/ Side Dish

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

Whole berry cranberry sauce

Homemade 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

You won’t believe how easy this cranberry sauce is to make.  There are only 4 simple ingredients (plus water) and all you do is boil the mixture for 5 minutes, let cool and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.  That’s it!  No really….that is it!

And the very best part, you can make this ahead of time so you aren’t doing any last minute juggling to get it all done.

There is already so much to do on Thanksgiving day and the more you can get done ahead of time, the better.  My mom makes cranberry sauce every year and she freezes it ahead of time and just pulls it out as needed.  Homemade cranberry sauce year round!

Whole berry cranberry sauce.

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, indeedy!  Perfection!  I like the tartness to the cranberry sauce.

I didn’t miss the extra sugar and neither did my kids, hubby and guests we had for dinner.

Then I made one more batch.  I used two cups of cranberries and instead of my perfected recipe of 1 cup of sugar, I used 3/4 cups of sugar.

I still thought it was perfect!  Only this time, I was the only one who ate it so I can’t really say that everyone loved it.  No one else was around so I couldn’t get them to try it!  Since I didn’t have my taste panel give me the thumbs up, I have typed up this recipe with 2 cups of cranberries and 1 cup of sugar.  If you are wanting to reduce your sugar a bit more, then give it a try!

Making cranberry sauce: cranberries, sugar, cinnamon stick, orange peel and water! Perfection!

A bite of whole berry cranberry sauce.


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 Scones Cranberry Apple Bread, Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad and Cranberry Jalapeno Bites.

5 from 3 votes
Whole berry cranberry sauce
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Whole berry cranberry sauce

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry sauce, cranberry sauce reduced sugar, whole berry cranberry sauce
Servings: 6
Calories: 149 kcal
Author: Kathy
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 strips orange peel
  1. Place everything into a pot
  2. Bring to a boil
  3. Boil for 5 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  5. Remove cinnamon stick and orange peel
  6. Cover and refrigerate

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 149
% Daily Value*
Sodium 3mg 0%
Potassium 36mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 38g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 34g
Vitamin A 0.7%
Vitamin C 12%
Calcium 1.5%
Iron 0.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Other Great Recipes to Try

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Nut Bars

Cranberry Nut Bars! Cranberries and almonds on a shortbread crust.

You might also want to try Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

Homemade dinner rolls made with oatmeal.

Don’t forget to Pin for later!

Homemade cranberry sauce made with less sugar than most recipes. This cranberry sauce is a hit at Thanksgiving and Christmas. #cranberry #cranberrysauce #holidays

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  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 8:37 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Jess @ whatjessicabakednext
    November 21, 2015 at 2:09 am

    I love cranberry sauce! This looks perfect, Kathy! I love that you’ve reduced the sugar content. Really like the addition of orange peel and cinnamon. Delicious!

  • Reply
    allie @ Through Her Looking Glass
    November 20, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    I love homemade whole berry cranberry sauce, Kathy. Yours looks delicious! Love the cinnamon stick.

    • Reply
      November 22, 2015 at 6:31 am

      The cinnamon definitely adds a little extra!

  • Reply
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
    November 20, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I love all the effort you put in here for so many options! So glad you finally found PERFECTION! Woot!

    • Reply
      November 22, 2015 at 6:32 am

      I’ll save all that extra sugar for my dessert….not my cranberries.

  • Reply
    Meghan | Fox and Briar
    November 20, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Yum, I love homemade cranberry sauce! And I love that you added a cinnamon stick to it, what a nice touch!

  • Reply
    Danielle @ So Munch Love
    November 20, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Growing up, my mom made a huge Thanksgiving dinner from scratch, but when it came to cranberry sauce, it always comes from a can. Go figure. Only in my adult life have I begun eating homemade. This recipe looks absolutely perfect!

    • Reply
      November 22, 2015 at 6:34 am

      That was the same in my house growing up. My sister still prefers the canned jellied cranberry sauce…I need to convert her!

  • Reply
    Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness
    November 19, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I love homemade cranberry sauce. Never thought of putting an orange peel in it though!!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      It adds just a little extra touch!

  • Reply
    Amy (Savory Moments)
    November 19, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    I love homemade cranberry sauce. This looks perfect.

    • Reply
      November 19, 2015 at 9:22 pm


  • Reply
    Senika @ Foodie Blog Stalker
    November 19, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I love homemade cranberry sauce! And completely agree that less sugar is better!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      There is so much sugar in so many foods already….time to cut back!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I love that your recipe uses less sugar!! Totally agree that most recipes call for a crazy amount of sugar, great call and can’t wait to try!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      I hope you love it as much as I do!

  • Reply
    Laura ~ Raise Your Garden
    November 19, 2015 at 6:08 am

    I have no clue why, but my kids favorite food is cranberry sauce. They absolutely gobble the stuff down. It’s in their top 5 foods so I guess I should learn to make! Thanks.

    • Reply
      November 19, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      You’d better get cooking! Your kids will think you are their hero, cooking one of their favorites!

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