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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.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Cranberry Sauce for Two Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Ingredients for Cranberry Sauce in bowls and labeled.

Ingredient notes

  • Orange zest and juice: Zest the orange first, then juice it for the sauce.
  • Cranberries: Fresh cranberries freeze really well, so stock up when you see them. If your cranberries are already frozen, no need to thaw. Just cook them straight from the freezer and add 2 minutes to the simmering time.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a saucepan, mix together the sugar, water, orange juice, orange zest,  and salt and bring to a boil.
Orange juice, water, zest, and sugar in a saucepan to make cranberry sauce.
  1. As soon as the mixture boils, add the cranberries and simmer until the berries begin to pop and break down, about 10 minutes. Cool, cover, and chill.
Cranberries in a saucepan to make cranberry sauce.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe uses only 6 ounces cranberries to make 1 cup of sauce, enough for 2 (1/2-cup) servings or 4 (1/4-cup) servings.
  • Make ahead: Cool the cranberry sauce completely, then keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: Cooled sauce can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Cranberry sauce with apples: Add ½ cup peeled, diced apples (from 1 apple) for a delicious twist on cranberry sauce.
A plate of roasted trukey, stuffing, vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cranberries.

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More Thanksgiving recipes for two

Cranberry sauce in a white bowl.

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
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 11 mins
Servings 2 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 241

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest from 1 orange (see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 ounces fresh cranberries rinsed and picked over (see note 2)

Instructions 

  • In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, water, orange zest, orange juice, and salt to boil. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  • Stir in cranberries. Simmer until slightly thickened and the berries begin to pop, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature or chill.

Notes

  1. Orange zest and juice: Zest the orange first, then juice it for the sauce.
  2. Cranberries: Fresh cranberries freeze really well, so stock up when you see them. If your cranberries are already frozen, no need to thaw. Just cook them straight from the freezer and add 2 minutes to the simmering time.
  3. Yield: This recipe uses only 6 ounces cranberries to make 1 cup of sauce, enough for 2 (1/2-cup) servings or 4 (1/4-cup) servings.
  4. Make ahead: Cool the cranberry sauce completely, then keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  5. Freezer: Cooled sauce can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  6. Cranberry sauce with apples: Add ½ cup peeled, diced apples (from 1 apple) for a delicious twist on cranberry sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 149mgPotassium: 108mgFiber: 4gSugar: 55gVitamin A: 86IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. 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