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This classic cranberry sauce is sweet, tart, and delicious - and this is the simplest, quickest method in which to make it. It's super-simple!

There’s cranberry sauce — and then there’s Cranberry Sauce.

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For many of us, the memory of the firm, jellied cranberry sauce that delightfully schlopped out of the can on Thanksgiving sets the stage for what is considered “real” cranberry sauce. But what a far cry from “real” it is….

It wasn’t until I was an adult and discovered I loved to cook (and began collecting cookbooks — several of which rocked my world and changed the way I cooked), that I realized cranberry sauce could take on so many forms and be delicious in so many different, delectable ways. (You can see six of my favorite cranberry sauce recipes here.)

But classic cranberry sauce is the most beloved staple to which I return again and again, both at Thanksgiving and throughout the year. It's a super-simple recipe, so it's an easy way to make any meal more elegant and more delicious.


Classic Cranberry Sauce

This classic cranberry sauce is sweet, tart, and delicious.
Cook Time15 minutes
Chill Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Condiments & Pantry Staples, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2.5 cups
Author: Kresha Faber


  • 3 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
  • ¾ cup unrefined cane sugar or honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • Place all ingredients in a large saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until cranberries burst, 9-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Set aside at room temperature until cooled, then chill in refrigerator, if desired. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
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