Our favorite Cranberry Sauce Recipe! Easy cranberry sauce flavored with apple cider, diced apple and maple syrup. Lightly spiced, mildly sweet and slightly tart – this is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving table.
Let’s get a head start on Thanksgiving! The holiday is much more enjoyable if we’re not doing everything the day of. Some dishes are just as tasty when made in advance… like cranberry sauce! I’ve already made it and stuck it in the freezer, and it’s waiting to be defrosted for the big day.
Have you made homemade Cranberry Sauce before? It’s unbelievably easy. Making your own cranberry sauce allows you to control the quality of ingredients, the flavor and the sugar content.
This here is the best Cranberry Sauce recipe I have ever made. I come back to it year after year. You will LOVE the combination of tart cranberries and sweet apple cider.
Prefer relish? Try our no-cook Cranberry Orange Relish.
- Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
- Granulated Sugar
- Maple Syrup (or swap for more granulated sugar)
- Diced Apple
- Apple Cider
- Cinnamon Stick
Combine the ingredients and simmer on the stovetop for 10-15 minutes. Allow most of the cranberries to burst, with some still left whole. Taste the sauce as it’s cooking and adjust the sweetness to suit your taste. Note: The sauce will thicken as it cools, so don’t be alarmed if it seems a little thin. Cool the cranberry sauce and it is ready to serve!
This cranberry sauce is mildly sweet and a bit tart. The chopped apple and fresh apple cider impart a delicious hint of apple flavor.
Can cranberry sauce be frozen?
YES! I always make my Cranberry Sauce in advance of the holidays. It freezes beautifully, and no one will know that it isn’t freshly made.
Once completely cool, place the cranberry sauce in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to two months. I typically thaw it in the fridge over a day or two.
What to serve with cranberry sauce
- Thanksgiving Turkey
- Roast Chicken
- Spread it on a turkey or ham sandwich
- Top oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, waffles french toast or ice cream
- Put it in a smoothie
Use this recipe as a base and make it suit your tastes. You can sweeten it more, throw in some orange zest, increase the cinnamon, even stir in some chopped pecans. Whatever you like!
More Thanksgiving recipes
- SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
- MAPLE PECAN PIE BARS
- CREAM CHEESE PUMPKIN PIE
- PUMPKIN CUPCAKES
- CHOCOLATE COCONUT PECAN PIE BARS
- CRANBERRY SALAD
- MAPLE PECAN PIE
Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce
- Two 12-oz bags fresh cranberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup pure maple syrup, (or replace with ½ cup additional granulated sugar)
- 1 small sweet apple (not granny smith), peeled and finely diced
- ¾ cup apple cider, plus more, if needed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the apples are tender. Taste it, if you’d like it sweeter add more sugar or maple syrup and cook a little longer.
- Remove the cinnamon stick. Cool slightly, then refrigerate. Once chilled the sauce will thicken up. If you’d like it thinner you can stir in additional apple cider (I usually add a couple tablespoons) to thin it out and increase the cider flavor.