No holiday meal is complete without a Traditional Cranberry Sauce recipe. It’s a staple on Thanksgiving tables throughout the United States.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If you’ve never made cranberry sauce before it’s one of the easiest things you’ll ever make. 3 ingredients, that’s all, and about 15 minutes to make.
This cranberry sauce can be made in advance, actually, it should be, because it has to chill. The minimum chilling time is a few hours but I’ve made it a day or two in advance of the holiday with success.
It’s a vegan and vegetarian cranberry sauce which makes it perfect for guests with alternative diets.
Make-ahead dishes take so much stress out of the holiday meal and a homemade cranberry sauce from scratch is so much better than the canned variety.
You will know when your cranberry sauce is getting close to done when you hear and see the tart berries popping. It won’t be a loud pop but pay attention to the mixture. You don’t want to burn it.
What can I add-in to Traditional Cranberry Sauce?
I love a straight-up traditional cranberry sauce but over the years I have experimented with some other flavors. They include:
- Orange – Cranberry works well with orange and adding a bit of orange zest or juice brightens the sauce.
- Lime – Lime and cranberry are another delicious citrus combination. Add some zest and a squeeze of juice.
- Cinnamon – The warmth of the spice brings a comforting touch to the recipe. Start with a teaspoon, taste, and go from there. Too much is overpowering.
- Raisins or currants – They add a bit of sweetness to combat the tart cranberries.
- Pecans or walnuts – Add texture to the sauce with nuts. This was my Mom’s favorite add-in.
If you’re planning to add any of the additional flavors mentioned here, do so while the mixture is still warm. Except for the nuts, add those after you take the sauce from the stove.
Tips and Suggestions
By adding the zest, cinnamon, raisins, or currants just as the berries begin to pop, you infuse the mixture with the additional flavor. Start easy with the zest and spice and taste as you add. Too much will overpower the cranberry flavor.
Don’t add in everything mentioned above, only add in what will work together. Pecans and cinnamon would be a lovely dual addition as would citrus and raisins, and even pecans.
Another idea for this traditional cranberry sauce is to combine the mixture in one saucepan and then divide it in half before you begin cooking it. Keep one traditional and the other can have additional flavor. It’s a good option for those who prefer a traditional sauce but give guests a choice.
If you like cranberry this panko-crusted chicken with maple cranberry sauce uses dried cranberries and is a delicious fall meal. This cranberry vanilla liqueur makes a wonderful holiday hostess gift and uses fresh cranberries.
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Traditional Cranberry Sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to boil before adding cranberries, return to boil.1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
- Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.