This delicious cranberry sauce recipe is super easy to make and an absolute winner for both sweet and savory dishes. That also makes it perfect for the festive season. You can make a batch and use for dessert and for the mains! It also works absolutely brilliant with a turkey on thanksgiving!

Cranberry sauce

The ultimate cranberry sauce

Every year when the cranberry season arrives I make a little happy jump. I so love cranberries and I love my cranberry sauce even more. It’s not that I only use cranberries in this sauce, I use it in just about anything I can think off. I pop it into cakes, I make a juice out of it in my slow juicer and I pour the cranberry sauce on everything. It works brilliantly in desserts such as this mascarpone raspberry trifle or the pavlova here, but it is also equally delicious on a good roast.

The list of ingredients is super short, but the flavor is the best. What I use in the cranberry sauce?

  • cranberries
  • sugar
  • star anise
  • cinnamon
  • oranje juice

I’ve received quite a few questions concerning the cranberry sauce in the last few years, so I figured I make sure I answer as many as I can here. You can also watch the short video for an idea on how to make this recipe.

Cranberry sauce

Can I replace the sugar in this recipe?

One of the most asked questions is if the sugar can be replaced in this recipe. The short answer is yes. If you want to use coconut sugar or honey that is fine to use. One thing to note is that each sugar type works slightly different so make sure to test it. Especially with honey the flavor will be different.

Can I replace the fresh cranberries and use dried cranberries?

No that is not something I would recommend. I actually tried to do this but the consistency is much more firm and a lot sweeter. Fresh is absolutely best in this case. I’ve hear people comment that you can use dried if you rehydrate them first, but fresh is simply better in my opinion.

Do I need to add water to the recipe?

No the oranje juice is enough liquid. You could replace the orange juice with water if you want, but that will have an effect on the flavor of the end result.

Cranberry sauce

Do I need to pass the cranberry sauce through a sieve?

No you do not. It’s a personal preference. I did that in the beginning but have found that I like it better if I just blend everything together without using a sieve. You can if you want to. It also depends on the type of blender you use. Mine is a high speed blender so you will not find any bits of skin left. If yours is not so strong it might make more sense to pass it through a sieve.

How long can I keep the cranberry sauce?

You can keep the cranberry sauce after making for about a week in the fridge. Probably longer but a week is the safe option. If I make more sauce and I do tend to make a lot in the season, I cool it and freeze it in portions. One thing to note that it will thicken in the fridge so stir it through before using or heat it if you want to serve it with a warm dish.

Can I use frozen cranberries to make the sauce?

Yes you certainly can! Like I said I tend to overdo it on the cranberries. And that includes buying. So I am always left with a surplus of cranberries. I freeze the leftovers and use those to make new sauce. Works brilliantly. You don’t even have to defrost them first.

Cranberry sauce

The ultimate cranberry saus

5 from 2 votes

This delicious cranberry sauce recipe is super easy to make and will have you covered for both sweet and savory dishes!
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 5 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes

8 people


  • 250 g cranberries
  • 3 pieces star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1,5 cup fresh orange juice

  • Put all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the sugar is all dissolved turn down the heat.
  • Leave to boil softly until all craberries have popped open. Take of the fire and remove the cinnamon and star anise. Put in a blender and puree until smooth. Be careful when turning on the blender as it is hot which means it will spatter too. You can also use a stick blender.

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.3mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

Did you make this recipe?Mention @insimoneskitchen_ or tag #insimoneskitchen!

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist