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Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce Recipe

This Ocean Spray cranberry sauce recipe will make your Thanksgiving celebration extra memorable. Everything tastes better when it’s homemade!

With the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, this cranberry sauce is absolutely the best.

It might not be the main attraction at a lunch or dinner table, but it’ll definitely brighten up any meal.

Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce Recipe
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You’ll always want this cranberry sauce around from here on out.

Not only is it an excellent accompaniment to Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ham, but other meat entrees, too. 

You can even use it on salads and cakes, as well! When you try this recipe, be sure you at least double it.

And don’t worry about the level of difficulty, as it’s embarrassingly easy to make. With this super recipe, you’ll make sauce like a boss.

The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Why settle for canned jellied cranberry sauce when you can easily make one from scratch?

Sure, there are some brands out there that offer decent canned cranberry sauces, but homemade is just 10 times more delicious. 

Plus, it’s such a cinch to make. This is a simple 3-ingredient recipe you can do in your sleep!

You’re also free to add more things and adjust the measurements to make it your own.

I’m giving you a recipe for a traditional cranberry sauce, but I also included variations you should definitely try.

Fresh Cranberry in a Wicker Basket

How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

It couldn’t be easier!

1. Dissolve the sugar in water in a saucepan over medium heat, then bring the mixture to a boil.

2. Stir in the cranberries and let the mixture simmer. Stir the mixture now and then to keep the bottom from scorching. In just about 10 minutes, the mixture will transform into a beautifully thick, jelly-like sauce. Yum!

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Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce Scooped by a Spoon From a Glass Jar

Tips for the Best Cranberry Sauce

  • You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe. If you use the latter, there’s no need to thaw.
  • Traditional cranberry sauce is made of just water, sugar, and cranberries. But cranberries and orange make a perfect combination! Adding zest and juice from one orange will make the sauce’s flavors pop even more. Tip: zest the orange first before you juice it. It’s just easier that way.
  • For an even more extra citrus flavor, add a tablespoon of orange marmalade to the cooked sauce. 
  • Besides orange, you can also use lemon and grapefruit zest to give the sauce a citrus twist.
  • I use granulated sugar in my recipe, but brown sugar works as well. You can even use honey or maple syrup! These alternate sweeteners have varying levels of sweetness, though, so be sure to taste as you go and adjust as needed.
  • For a more concentrated flavor, use cranberry juice cocktail instead of water.
  • For added texture, throw in 1/2 cup of dried cranberries to the mix. 
  • Add chopped apples and pecans for a nice element of crunch.
  • Give the sauce some warmth with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice. A drizzle of maple syrup, does wonders, too!
  • Because cranberries are high in pectin, you won’t need any other thickening agents to give it a jelly-like consistency. Just cook the berries down with sugar and water and watch the pectin do its magic. 
  • If your sauce isn’t thickening up the way you want it, just let it simmer longer, about 10 minutes more. Also, keep in mind that the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • Besides turkey and ham, this sauce also tastes amazing with tacos, sandwiches, burritos, and even cheesecakes.
  • Too busy during the holiday season? Make this cranberry sauce up to a week before serving! Just keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
  • Store any leftover cranberry sauce in an air-tight container and refrigerate it for weeks.
  • For a longer shelf-life, place cranberry sauce in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.
Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce Served in a White Bowl

More Thanksgiving Recipes

Pumpkin Pie

Sweet Potato Casserole

Paula Deen’s Green Bean Casserole

Paula Deen’s Corn Casserole

Cracker Barrel Baby Carrots

Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce Recipe



Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 (12-ounce) package Ocean Spray fresh or frozen cranberries


  • Whisk together the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat until dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the cranberries and return to boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove it from the heat. Allow the sauce to cool completely to room temperature. Refrigerate it until ready to serve.
Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce Recipe”

  1. So glad you’ve shared this recipe on your blog. I make this every year from the Ocean Spray website, but it’s the night before Thanksgiving and their site seems to be crashing! Thank you 🙂


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