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Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce

Learn how to make Ocean Spray cranberry sauce for your holiday meals! The perfect balance of sweet and tart, this homemade fresh cranberry sauce recipe is ready in just 15 minutes. Serve it alongside your holiday turkey, meatloaf, stuffing casserole, or desserts.

whole berry cranberry sauce

What is Ocean spray cranberry sauce?

Ocean spray cranberry sauce is a classic holiday side dish. It tastes deliciously sweet and tart, and the easy 3-ingredient recipe is made with fresh cranberries.

I love all sorts of holiday side dishes, and I especially love this delicious Ocean Spray cranberry sauce. Once the holiday season starts, I’m buying fresh cranberries to make this easy cranberry sauce.

Although some people seem to love canned cranberry sauce, I much more prefer my homemade cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries. It’s fruity, chunky, and a little tart.

You can stir it together on the stovetop in about 15 minutes, and then let it sit in the fridge for a few days before your feast. It’s so convenient!

The best part about homemade cranberry sauce is that you can adjust the flavor and sweetness to your personal preference.

You only need 3 basic ingredients to make whole cranberry sauce – fresh cranberries, sugar, and some water. Plus, you can customize the simple recipe with all kinds of add-ins like orange juice and spices.

And while it’s a traditional holiday and Thanksgiving recipe, this easy cranberry sauce can be enjoyed all year long. It’s a delicious companion for your favorite savory dishes and desserts!

And for more Ocean spray cranberry recipes, try this cranberry bread and cranberry relish next!

ingredients for cranberry sauce

Ingredients

Ocean spray cranberry sauce ingredients are really simple. As long as you have a bag of cranberries, you’ll have the rest as well! See the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • Cranberries: You can use fresh or frozen cranberries. Give fresh cranberries a quick rinse. Frozen cranberries don’t have to be thawed before cooking.
  • Sugar: Ocean Spray’s recipe uses white granulated sugar to balance the tartness of the cranberries. For more depth of flavor, swap out white sugar for dark brown sugar.
  • Water is needed for cooking Ocean Spray cranberry sauce. Of course, you can opt for another cooking liquid, for example, orange juice or apple juice.

Kitchen equipment

Tab the links below to shop the products I used to cook my easy cranberry sauce recipe:

how to make ocean spray cranberry sauce

How to make Ocean Spray cranberry sauce

This Ocean Spray cranberry sauce recipe is incredibly simple. 1 saucepan and 15 minutes are all you need. It comes together quickly, so have all of your ingredients ready. Let’s go over the steps for how to make fresh cranberry sauce!

  1. Dissolve sugar. Pour the sugar and water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add cranberries. Dip the cranberries to the saucepan and return to a boil. Stir constantly and occasionally scrape down the sides of the pot.
  3. Simmer. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, until most berries have burst, and the sauce starts to thicken, for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Cool. Take off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Serve or refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

How do you know when Ocean Spray cranberry sauce is done?

As I mentioned, the cooking time for cranberry sauce recipe from fresh cranberries is 10 to 15 minutes.

While cooking, the cranberries will burst, and you can hear a little popping sound. Once most of the berries have popped, and the sauce looks thick and velvety, you’re done.

ocean spray fresh cranberry sauce recipe

Cooking tips

To ensure your ocean spray cranberry sauce recipe is the best it can be, follow my handy tips and tricks!

  • Adjust the sweetness: If you prefer a less sweet sauce, use only 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar.
  • Cook until the cranberries just burst and start to thicken: You know the sauce is ready when the pectin in the berries thickens the liquids to a jam-like consistency. The sauce continues to set as it cools, so you don’t want to overcook it, or you’ll end up with very thick sauce.
  • Best texture: Stop cooking once most of the cranberries have burst. Leaving some berries whole gives a wonderful rustic taste and texture.
  • Stir regularly while the sauce simmers. This ensures the berries cook evenly and will avoid any burning or scorching on the bottom of the pot.
  • Let cool: Allow the sauce some time to cool to room temperature before serving or packing and storing it in the fridge. The sauce thickens as it cools, and the flavors will taste better.
  • Smooth texture: Puree the cranberry sauce in a blender in case you prefer a smooth sauce over a chunky one.
  • Bigger batch: If you need a bigger batch, double the ingredients and use a large stockpot or Dutch oven.
fresh cranberry sauce recipe

Variations

There are several ways you can customize this Ocean Spray fresh cranberry sauce recipe. For some variations, try the following ideas:

  • Juice: I almost always swap out water for orange juice because orange cranberry sauce is the best! Apple juice, pear juice, or cranberry juice will also work really well.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt helps to balance the sweetness and adds complexity to the sauce. And no, it won’t make your sauce taste salty.
  • Maple syrup: 1 cup maple syrup is a wonderful sweetener for cranberry sauce.
  • Honey is another sweetener alternative and offers rich flavor. You need 3/4 cup, or do half honey and half brown sugar.
  • Orange zest packs a lot of bright, citrusy aroma and will enhance the taste of the sauce.
  • Spiced : Warming spices like ground cinnamon, cloves, and ginger can create deliciously spiced cranberry sauce.
  • Mustard: For a hearty cranberry sauce, stir 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard into the recipe.
  • Walnuts: A cup chopped walnuts adds crunchy, nutty flavor and is the perfect complement to the velvety, fruity sauce. Pecans would work great too.
  • Pineapple: For a tropical twist, add 1 can crushed pineapple. The bright, sweet taste of pineapple will fit perfectly into the sauce.
ocean spray cranberry sauce recipe with orange juice

Serving suggestions

Do you enjoy Ocean spray cranberry sauce warm or cold?

It’s totally up to you! Ocean spray cranberry sauce can be served slightly warm, at room temperature, or cold. It’s just a matter of personal preferences, but I like it best at room temperature.

I recommend pulling it out of the fridge at least an hour before serving

What do you serve with cranberry sauce?

This easy cranberry sauce recipe is perfect for turkey and other meaty dishes, as a topping for salads and baked cheese, or as a sandwich filling.

Aside from holiday recipes, I also love to spoon it over yogurt, pancakes, waffles, and Thanksgiving desserts – pretty much like you would use jam. There are also many recipes using cranberry sauce as an ingredient.

how to make fresh cranberry sauce

Storage instructions

How to store Ocean spray cranberry sauce

Ocean Spray cranberry sauce can be served immediately after it has cooled a bit.

If you need to store your fresh cranberry sauce, transfer the recipe into an airtight food container and keep it refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Freeze Ocean spray cranberry sauce

To freeze, place the simple cranberry sauce recipe in a freezer-safe container or jar and freeze. It will last for several months.

When you’re ready to serve the easy cranberry orange sauce, defrost the sauce in the fridge or warm it in the microwave.

ocean spray cranberry sauce

Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Yield: 2 1/4 cups (8 servings)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Learn how to make Ocean Spray cranberry sauce for your holiday meals! The perfect balance of sweet and tart, this homemade fresh cranberry sauce recipe is ready in just 15 minutes. Serve it alongside your holiday turkey, meatloaf, stuffing casserole, or desserts.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup / 240 ml / 8 fl oz water
  • 1 cup / 200 g / 7 oz sugar
  • 1 bag (12 oz / 340 g) fresh cranberries (can sub for frozen cranberries)

Instructions

  1. Dissolve sugar. Pour the sugar and water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add cranberries. Dip the cranberries to the saucepan and return to a boil. Stir constantly and occasionally scrape down the sides of the pot.
  3. Simmer. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, until most berries have burst, and the sauce starts to thicken, for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Cool. Take off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Serve or refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
  5. Serve. Ocean spray cranberry sauce can be served slightly warm, at room temperature, or cold. It’s perfect for turkey and other meaty dishes, as a topping for salads and baked cheese, or as a sandwich filling.
  6. Store. Transfer the recipe into an airtight food container and keep it refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Notes

Cooking Tips

  • Less sweet: If you prefer a less sweet sauce, use only 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar.
  • Best texture: Stop cooking once most of the cranberries have burst. Leaving some berries whole gives a wonderful rustic taste and texture.
  • Bigger batch: If you need a bigger batch, double the ingredients and use a large stockpot or Dutch oven.

Ingredient swaps

Spruce up the basic recipe by replacing white sugar with brown sugar and/or substituting water for orange juice, apple juice, pear juice, or cranberry juice.

Add-ins

  • Maple syrup: 1 cup maple syrup is a wonderful sweetener for cranberry sauce.
  • Honey is another sweetener alternative and offers rich flavor. You need 3/4 cup, or do half honey and half brown sugar.
  • Orange zest packs a lot of bright, citrusy aroma and will enhance the taste of the sauce.
  • Spiced: Warming spices like ground cinnamon, cloves, and ginger can create deliciously spiced cranberry sauce.
  • Mustard: For a hearty cranberry sauce, stir 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard into the recipe.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 0g

Uses for cranberry sauce

Recipes using leftover cranberry sauce

Need some recipes for leftover cranberry sauce? There are many ways to use homemade cranberry sauce, here are a few ideas:

  • Yogurt: Swirl Ocean Spray whole cranberry sauce into yogurt.
  • Breakfast spread: Use in place of jam on toast, croissants, and Swedish Crepes.
  • Dessert sauce: Spoon it over desserts like pumpkin pie, ice cream, or chocolate cake.
  • Filling: Hollow out muffins and fill them with a tablespoon of easy cranberry sauce.
  • Meat glaze: Glaze meat and poultry with leftover cranberry sauce.
  • BBQ sauce: Give ready-made BBQ sauce a fall twist by seasoning it with cranberry sauce.
homemade cranberry sauce

Reasons to love Ocean Spray cranberry sauce

  • Taste: This whole berry cranberry sauce is sweet but not too sweet, thanks to the perfect ratio of cranberries and sugar.
  • Texture: You’ll love the chunks of juicy berries surrounded by sweet, soft jelly.
  • Ease: A simple one-pot recipe that comes together in less than 20 minutes with just 3 ingredients – it couldn’t be simpler!
  • Make-ahead: You can prepare it at least 3 days in advance for a less-stressful holiday meal.
how to make cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries

More recipes with cranberries

If you like this homemade Ocean Spray cranberry sauce recipe, you’ll also like our other cranberry recipes. They are easy and delicious and will be a hit with your family!

Rebecca Dillon

Saturday 16th of November 2019

I've never been a fan of cranberry sauce. (It was always straight out of a can growing up.) But this sounds delicious!

Cyna | Country Hill Cottage

Sunday 17th of November 2019

Thank you, Rebecca! Homemade is much better than the canned version.

A Life Adjacent

Saturday 16th of November 2019

Oh yum! We love fresh cranberry sauce! We must try this over the holidays!

Cyna | Country Hill Cottage

Saturday 16th of November 2019

It's so good! We always make this recipe more than once.

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