Watch the Food Lab Video Series The World's Easiest Cranberry Sauce

Here are a few ideas for variations:

  • Orange. Go ahead and replace the water in the recipe with 1/2 a cup of orange juice. Finish them off with a couple teaspoons of grated zest.
  • Ginger. Add a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger to the pot, the finish the sauce by stirring in some diced crystallized ginger.
  • Spices. Cinnamon works well, as does grated nutmeg, allspice, or loves. A bit of vanilla or spiced rum added towards the end of cooking will also spice things up a bit.
  • Dried fruits. A handful of raising or currants can add texture and flavor variety to your sauce. Add them right at the beginning to allow them to soften.
  • Nuts. Toasted almonds, pecans, pistachios, or walnuts roughly chopped and mixed into your sauce at the end are a classic pairing.

The World's Easiest Cranberry Sauce

About This Recipe

Yield:8 to 12
Active time:12 minutes
Total time:12 minutes
This recipe appears in: The Food Lab: The World's Easiest Cranberry Sauce


  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. 1

    Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until berries start to pop. Press berries against side of pan with wooden spoon and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until berries are completely broken down and achieve a jam-like consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool about 30 minutes. Stir in water in 1 tablespoon increments to adjust to desired consistency.

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