Cranberry Sauce for Two

The best, easiest Cranberry Sauce recipe you’ll ever make flavored with fresh orange juice and just a little sugar. This classic version makes enough for two people and is ready in under 10 minutes.

A bowl of cranberry sauce with a spoon next to it.

Tart, sweet, and spiced, my Grandma’s “famous” homemade cranberry sauce brightens up the plate and cleanses your palate in-between bites of mashed potatoes and gravy. And it cooks fast! No long simmering required.

At my house, no holiday dinner is complete without it.

Recipe ingredients:

Ingredients for Cranberry Sauce in bowls and labeled.

Ingredient notes:

  • Sugar: Tart cranberries need some sweetness to make them delicious. But you can substitute some honey, pineapple juice, or a sugar substitute in place of some or all of the sugar.
  • Orange zest and juice: Zest the orange first, then juice it for the sauce.
  • Fresh cranberries: Sold by the bag in the produce section of the grocery store, these crimson beauties freeze like a dream. Freeze what you don’t need to make slow-cooker cranberry apple cider later. Oh, and if your cranberries are already frozen, no need to thaw. Just cook them straight from the icebox.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, mix together the sugar, water, orange juice, orange zest,  and salt and bring to a boil.
  2. As soon as the mixture boils, add the cranberries and simmer. The berries will pop and the sauce will thicken up a bit. The sauce will thicken as it cools, so don’t worry if it seems too thin.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Yield: This recipe makes a small amount with only 6 ounces of cranberries. If you need more, you can scale up the recipe to fit your group.
  • Storage: Let the sauce cool out at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.
  • Leftovers: Leftover turkey sandwiches taste amazing with a schmear of cranberry sauce.
  • Make Ahead: This recipe loves to be made ahead up to 4 days before you need it. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Freezer: Sauce can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Sugar: Tart cranberries need some sweetness to make them delicious. But you can substitute some honey, pineapple juice, or a sugar substitute in place of some or all of the sugar.
  • Cranberry sauce with apples: Add an equal portion of apples for a delicious twist on cranberry sauce.

More Thanksgiving for Two recipes:

A bowl of cranberry sauce with a spoon next to it.

Cranberry Sauce for Two

The best, easiest Cranberry Sauce recipe you'll ever make flavored with fresh orange juice and just a little sugar. This classic version makes enough for two people and is ready in under 10 minutes.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 193kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar (see note 1)
  • 1/4 teaspoons orange zest from 1 orange (see note 2)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • pinch Salt
  • 6 ounces fresh cranberries rinsed and sorted (see note 3)

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, orange zest. orange juice, water, and salt to boil. 
  • Stir in cranberries. Simmer until slightly thickened and the berries begin to pop, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate.

Notes

  1. Sugar: Tart cranberries need some sweetness to make them delicious. But you can substitute some honey, pineapple juice, or a sugar substitute in place of some or all of the sugar.
  2. Orange zest and juice: Zest the orange first, then juice it for the sauce.
  3. Fresh cranberries: Sold by the bag in the produce section of the grocery store, these crimson beauties freeze like a dream. Freeze what you don't need to make slow-cooker cranberry apple cider later. Oh, and if your cranberries are already frozen, no need to thaw. Just cook them straight from the icebox.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes a small amount with only 6 ounces of cranberries. If you need more, you can scale up the recipe to fit your group.
  5. Storage: Let the sauce cool out at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.
  6. Leftovers: Leftover turkey sandwiches taste amazing with a schmear of cranberry sauce.
  7. Make Ahead: This recipe loves to be made ahead up to 4 days before you need it. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  8. Freezer: Sauce can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  9. Sugar: Tart cranberries need some sweetness to make them delicious. But you can substitute some honey, pineapple juice, or a sugar substitute in place of some or all of the sugar.
  10. Cranberry sauce with apples: Add an equal portion of apples for a delicious twist on cranberry sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 113IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Debbie

    This is the recipe I used this weekend for me and my Mom since we didn’t have the big get together we normally do. It was delightful!5 stars

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