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Horizontal top-down image of red-trimmed bowl filled with a deep maroon chunky and thick spread on a yellow towel next to a zester, orange slices, fruit, and a green plant.

The Best Cranberry Sauce from Scratch

  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: About 3 1/2 cups (14 servings) 1x


This is the cranberry sauce your Thanksgiving deserves. It’s made with fresh berries and swimming with sweet orange and woody vanilla. 


  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries, or frozen and defrosted (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup honey
  • Zest of 1 large navel orange (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Juice of 1 large navel orange (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch coarse salt


  1. In a large saucepot over medium-high heat, add the cranberries, honey, orange zest and juice, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
  2. Simmer the cranberries, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom, for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, continuing to stir occasionally, until the berries begin to split and break down, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the sauce to come to room temperature. Pour into a serving dish and refrigerate until chilled and fully set, for about 2 hours. The sauce will thicken as it sits.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Condiment

Keywords: cranberry, cranberry sauce, orange