Best Ever Make Ahead (or Last Minute) Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving totally snuck up on me. I could have sworn I had at least another week!

Nope, it’s in 4 days and I am hosting! So, in preparation, I have started getting things prepped and ready where I can. That means chopping veggies for stuffing, prepping dessert, and making this incredible(ly easy) cranberry sauce.

I know some people are totally anti cranberry sauce. I bet they are people who have only encountered the gelatinous stuff from a can. You know, the stuff that holds the can shape even after it’s out of the can?

However, I am one of the other kinds of people who absolutely LOVE cranberry sauce. I even liked the canned stuff, before I made it myself. I didn’t realize how easy it was to make from scratch. Plus, it tastes about a thousand times better!

A recipe was posted a couple of years ago here, but have since tweaked and (what I think is) perfected it since then. I just made this recipe for this year’s dinner, and it is ready to go in the fridge. But, this recipe is so easy and takes all of maybe 15 minuets to make, so even if you forget, you can whip it up in no time at the last minute!

Just a suggestion, if you are a cranberry sauce fan, make a double batch. That way you definitely have leftovers.

Best Ever Make Ahead (or Last Minute) Cranberry Sauce


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (with or without pulp, up to you)
  • 1/2 cup water ( take out 3 tbsp and set aside in a small bowl)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp all spice
  • 1/8 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch


  • In a small bowl combine the 3 tbsp water you set aside, and the cornstarch and mix until dissolved. Set aside
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the orange juice, water and both sugars over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Add allspice, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  • Add cranberries and stir. Keep on medium heat, stirring gently, until the cranberries start to pop.
  • Reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and add the cornstarch and water mixture, stirring while you add. The sauce will begin to thicken as it cools.
  • Serve warm or cold.


You are welcome to use a little less sugar if you prefer a much more tart sauce. While the sauce is cooling, you can crush the cranberries with the back of your spoon if you don't want it so chunky. This sauce is just as good cold as it is warm. You can serve it either way!

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