Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Recipe Comments Save

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my

disclosure policy.

Making homemade cranberry sauce is easy with this microwaveable recipe. Start with fresh cranberries, sugar, and brandy. Yes, I said brandy. This recipe is fast, easy, and a real crowd-pleaser.

Don’t let this classic Thanksgiving recipe get away from you. I get so many requests for this recipe. BONUS, I use any leftovers to make my Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake.

cranberry sauce recipe made with brandy, served in a white bowl with a gold spoon

There’s just something special about that dollop of sweet and tangy red cranberry sauce and a bite of savory turkey.

Some people love the nostalgia of a cylindrical mold of cranberry gel that you can slice, and others couldn’t fathom a cranberry sauce made with anything but fresh cranberries like this Mulled Cranberry Sauce Recipe made with wine, spices, and oranges.

I like my cranberry sauce easy to make, and it doesn’t get any easier than this microwaveable recipe. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, and she usually has the honor of bringing it to Thanksgiving dinner every year.

When I have leftovers, I make my Sour Cream Coffee Cake for brunch when we go Christmas tree hunting.If you don’t have enough leftover cranberry sauce, make another batch in no time because this recipe is so easy.

cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries

What you’ll love about this recipe

  • Sweet and tangy: This cranberry sauce is sweet and tangy with an extra kick of flavor from the brandy.
  • Super easy: You make this recipe in the microwave. Everyone knows I make everything from scratch, so microwaving something kind of feels like cheating. But it’s such a good cheat for this recipe.

Recipe Notes

I like the chunkiness of a fresh cranberry sauce. My mouth is watering as I think about the perfect sweet tanginess of this homemade cranberry sauce.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe Ingredients

This recipe only has three ingredients. Yup, it’s that easy.

  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Sugar
  • Brandy
ingredients needed for fresh cranberry sauce

Recipe Instructions

  • Step 1: Add the cranberries and the sugar to a glass bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Step 2: Microwave on High for 10 minutes.
  • Step 3: Remove from the microwave and take off the plastic wrap very carefully to avoid steam. Add ¼ cup of brandy, stir, and yep you’re done!
cranberry sauce in a jar. perfect for canning.

If you are in the mood for a fancier, truly gourmet cranberry sauce recipe: Here is my Mulled Cranberry Sauce.

The mulled cranberry sauce uses fresh cranberries, wine, spices, and a nice bottle of wine with orange and all the spices. Make it ahead and let it simmer on the stove while you’re cooking the rest of your Thanksgiving dinner.

This spiced cranberry sauce smells AMAZING while it’s cooking.

the BEST cranberry sauce easy to make

FAQs and Expert Tips

What can you add to cranberry sauce?

You can add orange zest, nuts, and spices to cranberry sauce, and I also like to add crushed pineapple once in a while.

How do you make cranberry sauce thicker?

Cranberry sauce thickens as it simmers on the stove. The sugar extracts the water out of the cranberries. Simmering allows the water to evaporate and the sauce to thicken.

Keep in mind that it will get even thicker as it cools.

How do you get the bitterness out of cranberry sauce?

Adding sugar and orange juice will counteract the bitterness of cranberries.

More Holiday Cranberry Recipes

More Thanksgiving Recipes

easy cranberry sauce recipe made in the microwave

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This fresh cranberry sauce is super easy to make. Make it ahead so you have one less thing to make on Thanksgiving day. Plus everyone will ask you for the recipe.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Condiment, Easy, Holiday
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 121 kcal


  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, 1 package of Ocean Spray cranberries
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brandy, or grand marnier


  • Rinse the cranberries in a colander, drain and spread to dry on a lint towel. 
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine berries with sugar and mix to coat. 
  • Cover the sugar and cranberries with plastic wrap. Make sure it sealed well.
  • Microwave on high for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove from the microwave.
  • Carefully remove the plastic wrap. Be careful, the sugar is molten hot right now.
  • Add brandy immediately. Stir to blend.
  • Let Cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Laura’s Tips + Notes

For more orange flavor this cranberry sauce recipe can also be made with Grand Marnier. Grand Marnier is an Orange flavored liquer. 


Sign In to add your own private notes


Serving: 2 tablespoonsCalories: 121kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
Keyword condiment, holiday, side dish, Thanksgiving
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Share your photos!!! Snap a 📸 and tag @foodologygeek and don’t forget to hashtag #foodologygeek!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Review this recipe!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.