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This delicious Maple Cranberry Sauce recipe is quick and easy to make in about 15 minutes, it’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and easy to customize with any of your favorite add-ins.
Anyone else trying to cut down on refined sugar for Thanksgiving this year?
Give this simple maple cranberry sauce recipe a try! ♡
It’s naturally sweetened with real maple syrup (or you’re welcome to sub in honey, coconut sugar, or any other favorite natural sweeteners). It super quick and easy to make in just 15 minutes. And it’s also a great recipe to make ahead of time and reheat on Thanksgiving, if you’d like to prep it days (or weeks) in advance.
I like to keep my cranberry sauce pretty simple and typically just add in the zest and juice of a fresh orange to complement those tart cranberry flavors. But I’ve included ideas below for lots of other fun ingredients that you can add in. So please feel free to get creative and customize your own cranberry sauce recipe however you might like!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce Ingredients:
To make this maple cranberry sauce recipe, you will need:
- Fresh (or frozen) cranberries: Rinsed and picked over (just discard any cranberries that look discolored or wilty).
- Maple syrup: Or honey, cane sugar, or any other natural sweeteners that you prefer.
- Orange: We will use both the zest and juice of a fresh orange.
- Water: For the base of the cranberry sauce.
- Optional add-ins: See notes below for other fun ingredients you can add in too.
How To Make Cranberry Sauce:
To make this homemade cranberry sauce recipe, simply:
- Combine your ingredients in a saucepan. Cranberries, maple syrup, orange zest, orange juice and water.
- Simmer. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, or until all of the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened and reached your desired consistency. (The sauce will also thicken considerably more as it cools.)
- Serve warm or chill. Then you can serve the sauce at whatever temperature you’d like! I really love serving cranberry sauce nice and warm, but we always ate it chilled growing up, so either will work.
There are so many fun ways that you can customize a batch of cranberry sauce! For example, I love to:
- Add some spices. Feel free to add in a generous pinch (anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) of either ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, or any other warming spices that you might love.
- Add a splash of bourbon. Or brandy, or port wine, or Cointreau, or whatever else might sound delicious.
- Add extra fruit: Mix your cranberries with other fresh (or frozen) berries, apples, plums, grapes, or pomegranate arils for a different twist.
How To Store Cranberry Sauce:
To store cranberry sauce, transfer it to a sealed container and either:
- Refrigerate it: for up to 3 days.
- Freeze it: for up to 3 months.
- Can it: for up to 1 year, using safe water-bath preserving techniques.
More Cranberry Recipes:
Love cranberries? Be sure to check out these other favorite cranberry recipes listed below. And of course, if you are looking for more T-Day recipes, be sure to check out our full list of Thanksgiving recipes here too.
This delicious Maple Cranberry Sauce recipe is quick and easy to make in about 10 minutes. See notes above for possible variations and ingredients that you can also add in.
- Combine ingredients. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir to combine.
- Simmer. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reached your desired consistency. (Keep in mind that it will also thicken a bit more as it cools.)
- Season. Taste and add extra maple syrup, if needed.
- Serve. You can either serve this cranberry sauce warm or let it cool in the refrigerator until chilled and then serve it cold.
Storage instructions: To store this cranberry sauce, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer it to a sealed storage container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.