Easy Classic Cranberry Sauce - done in 15 minutes with 3 minutes of active effort.

This is a very simple, classic cranberry sauce recipe. It’s sweet (but not overly sweet) and tart with a little touch of lemon that I think makes all the difference. It takes all of 3 minutes of active preparation time and 20 minutes on the stove – very low maintenance!

Easy Classic Cranberry Sauce - done in 15 minutes with 3 minutes of active effort.

I tried store bought cranberry sauce once many years ago and it turned me right off it. It just tasted like….jam. I may as well have slathered my turkey with strawberry jam!

When I started hosting Thanksgiving dinner (even though I’m in Australia – any excuse for a food event!), I decided to give cranberry sauce another go….and well, well, well, what do you know? Homemade cranberry sauce is sensational! It’s nothing like store bought. It tastes (shock horror) like cranberries! And I really love that I can control the sweetness of the sauce to my taste. I’m a savoury gal, so I’m not a fan of overly sweet cranberry sauces.

This cranberry sauce is sweet and tart and I add a touch of lemon zest which I think makes all the difference. It lifts the flavour and gives it a tiny touch of freshness that will make your family and friends ask what the secret ingredient is!

Get my easy 2015 Thanksgiving / Christmas Menu here. 8 dishes, 2 hours of active effort with the option to largely make ahead – and a GENIUS recipe for easy, juicy roast turkey!

Easy Classic Cranberry Sauce - done in 15 minutes with 3 minutes of active effort.

Easy Classic Cranberry Sauce
Prep time
2 mins

Cook time
20 mins

Total time
22 mins


A classic, easy cranberry sauce recipe for your turkey centrepiece. Store bought tastes nothing like this homemade version. The touch of lemon zest is what makes that little extra difference. Adjust the sweetness to your taste. This to me has a nice balance of sweet / tart, without being overly sweet like jam.
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats
Recipe type: Sauce, Condiments
Serves: 2 cups

  • 16oz/500g bag frozen cranberries (or fresh)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ⅛ tsp lemon zest
  • Salt

  1. Tip the cranberries in a saucepan set over medium low heat. Remove ½ cup of cranberries and set aside.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Cook for 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Increase heat to medium high. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cranberries have burst.
  4. Reduce heat to low, stir through remaining cranberries. Adjust sweetness to your taste with more sugar and add a pinch of salt.
  5. Allow to cool and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. best served at room temperature.



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