Simple Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Cooking for a Crowd, Holiday Recipes, Recipes


Growing up, my mother’s cranberry sauce was one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving dinner.

She would use a can of whole cranberries, a can of crushed pineapple and combine them with chopped walnuts.

Still delicious. One of those recipes that you really don’t ever need to change.

Yet, as you progress through your twenties you find yourself wanting to step away from some of the culinary traditions that have been with your family since 1987 because, well, it’s just time for a change.

For most of us who are considered the “Gen Y” segment of the population, we grew up in an age where the media told our parents that they should open cans, bags and boxes to feed their families because it was easy; it was convenient.

Cooking took time away from everything else you wanted to be doing therefore, it was evil.

Now, we hear the exact opposite. Despite processed food companies’ loud protests, people are actually starting to shop the perimeter of the supermarket and learn how to cook their own food.

For some people, it’s easy. They like to experiment and they just have a knack for it.

For others, it doesn’t come as natural to stray from what mom cooked and try new things, new traditions.

The latest new recipe that I made borrows inspiration from my mother’s cranberry sauce but gets its citrus, fruity flavor from orange zest and its crunch from pecans instead of walnuts.


Simple Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 servings
  • Fresh Cranberry Sauce
  • Makes about 2½ cups cranberry sauce
  • What you need:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • Zest from one orange
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
  1. Rinse and pick over cranberries. In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until sugar has dissolved. Add cranberries and return to a boil for about 8-10 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop.
  2. Stir occasionally to keep cranberry mixture from boiling over. Add orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg. When cranberries are soft and the majority have popped, remove from heat and add orange zest. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

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  • Reply
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    […] isn’t the only way to enjoy fresh cranberries, it’s certainly one of the most common. Fresh cranberry relish made with oranges and pecans is healthy and festive – and you can make it a few days before you plan to serve it to save […]

  • Reply
    elle @ kitchen75
    November 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    My mother still opens a can (with that gross sound…”thwack!”) and everyone in our house still eats slices of cranberry with their turkey….But maybe I’ll make a batch of this and bring it along to dinner with me…see who else is ready for a change…

  • Reply
    November 23, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I grew up having homemade cranberry sauce as well and I actually hated it. I think the texture is awful. Homemade, though? Revolutionized my life. This sounds delicious.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2010 at 4:52 am

    OK again with the mother! I see you have mother issues! But, she also added half a box of red jello into the cranberry sauce. I will admit tho, there is nothing as good cranberry sauce made from fresh cranberries and that looks delicious.

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