Sweet and simple cranberry sauce to make your holiday dinner complete

A delicious cranberry recipe inspired by Best Friends For Frosting

Finalizing your Thanksgiving menu? Don’t you dare put canned cranberry sauce on your list! Our easy cranberry sauce, inspired by Best Friends For Frosting, will win your palate and give your holiday guests just one more reason to celebrate!

Cranberry sauce is as Thanksgiving as the turkey. Unfortunately, much of the cranberry sauce served on the grateful American holiday is plopped out of a can, ridges and all. Which is a mystery to us! Why go through all the effort in roasting the perfect turkey and prepping gorgeous complementary side-dishes only to do the cranberry sauce a canned disservice?

ALSO TRY: Apple cranberry sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce is remarkably easy to make and tastes exceptionally better than cranberry sauce from a can. We know it’s also easy to walk past the seasonal bags of cranberries in the produce section and head straight to the canned fruit aisle. However, we’ve learned that making cranberry sauce at home takes less than 15 minutes. Did we mention it’s delicious? Best yet, instead of serving cloyingly sweet one-dimensional cranberry sauce (ahem, from a can), we can add luscious depth to our homemade version with orange juice and fresh rosemary.

You may have gone for canned cranberry sauce in the past because it’s one less thing to worry about on the big day, but homemade cranberry sauce is make-ahead amazing! Cranberry sauce can be made up to two weeks before Thanksgiving or any other occasion. Once it cools, keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Cranberry sauce can be served cold, at room temperature, or warmed up.

Leftover notes: We make extra cranberry sauce just so we can have leftovers for day after snacking our creative baking. Try warm cranberry sauce on French toast or muffins for breakfast, swirl it in coffee cake batter before baking, slather cranberry sauce in turkey sandwiches for lunch, use it as a glaze for chicken or pork or turn it into a fruit topping for vanilla ice cream or pound cake. Get creative and find your own tasty ways to enjoy leftover cranberry sauce.

Grab your ingredients and give this easy cranberry sauce recipe a try. You’ll never buy canned again. Guaranteed!

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Place ingredients in saucepan

Place sugar and orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat and stir together. Cook, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.

Place ingredients in saucepan

Add fresh cranberries

Stir rosemary into the liquid, and combine.

Add fresh cranberries

Wait for the pop

Continue to cook the cranberries, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries start to literally pop. This an essential step in making a successful cranberry sauce. When they pop, the cranberries release pectin as they break down. The pectin helps thicken the sauce, giving it the traditional jellied consistency.

Wait for the pop


Transfer your homemade cranberry sauce to a bowl and allow to cool. As it cools, the sauce will continue to thicken.


Gorgeous color! Fresh and bright

Fresh and bright

So easy to do!

So easy to do!

Easy cranberry sauce

Yield 1-1/2 cups

Recipe inspired by Best Friends For Frosting


  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice.
  2. Stir in the cranberries and rosemary. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries start to pop, about 10 minutes.  
  3. Remove from heat and transfer sauce to a bowl.

Note:  The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

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