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
    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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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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