Homemade Cranberry Sauce

BY : PUBLISHED : December 14th, 2020 UPDATED: September 29th, 2022

Our vegan homemade cranberry sauce is so delicious, only takes 5 ingredients, and can be ready to eat in only 20 minutes!

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completed Homemade Cranberry Sauce plated in white bowl with lemon zest against white background

If you’re really into all things holiday-themed, then you probably have a healthy obsession with the classic cranberry sauce. I think we all do. It’s sweet, tart, and such a delicious companion to all those delicious festive mains and sides. This super easy Plant-Based on a Budget Homemade Cranberry Sauce is amazing and so easy to prepare. We think you’ll love it!

This Homemade Cranberry Sauce Is: 

  • Fresher than canned cranberry sauce.
  • The perfect combo of sweet and tart.
  • Plant-based and vegan.
  • Great for special holidays such as Thanksgiving & Christmas.
  • Quick & Easy to make.

Homemade is Best

Life is busy, so we completely understand the temptation of just grabbing a store-bought cranberry sauce to go with your holiday feast, but if you give this recipe a try it is very likely you’ll ignore that convenient voice in your head telling you to grab that store-bought jar. This homemade cranberry sauce recipe is so easy, you can have it cooking while dealing with the rest of your preparations and whip it up in 20 minutes or less.

Choosing homemade is sometimes a wise choice since the flavor will be so much better. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking and add any other spices you fancy. You can basically customize it any way you want. A few suggestions:

  • You can add a pinch of cinnamon to give it an even more festive touch.
  • If you don’t have orange juice you can simply use water.
  • If you’d like to leave the oranges out of the recipe altogether or want to change it up a bit, use lemon zest instead of orange zest.

Do you have any favorite add ons for cranberry sauce? How do you and your family usually have it? Let us know in the comments below!

Fresh or Frozen

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use frozen cranberries if you can’t find fresh ones (or if you simply don’t have time to run to the store). Buy a few bags and always keep them in your freezer ready to be used. When the holiday season begins you’ll be likely to make it more than once.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

  • Water: ½ cup
  • Orange Juice: ½ cup
  • Sugar: ¾ cup to 1 cup (depending of sweetness preference)
  • Cranberries: 1 (12- ounce) bag, fresh or frozen
  • Orange Zest: ½ teaspoon (optional, but very tasty!)

ingredients for Homemade Cranberry Sauce measured out against white marble surface

How to Make Vegan Homemade Cranberry Sauce?

Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions!

  • Bring the water and orange juice to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.

process of pouring water into pot process of pouring orange juice into pot process of Homemade Cranberry Sauce being made

  • Add in the sugar and stir until it is dissolved. 

process of pouring sugar into pan

  • Pour in the cranberries and stir until they begin to burst, then lower heat to a simmer, add in the orange zest (if using), and allow to cook for 10 minutes.

process of pouring whole cranberries into pan

  • Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

process of Homemade Cranberry Sauce being made in pot

  • Place it in the refrigerator for an hour to chill and continue thickening.

What Should I Serve with Homemade Cranberry Sauce?

Homemade cranberry sauce is the perfect vegan side dish for your holiday feast. Cranberry sauce is already a traditional Thanksgiving dish, which means you can set it on the table with your other classic vegan side dishes like stuffing and green bean casserole. Here are 45 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes to try out if you're looking for more ideas! This cranberry sauce is also so delicious that you can eat it year round. Consider using it at breakfast over your pancakes or waffles!

FAQs

How will I know when the cranberry sauce is done?

You know you're done when the pectin in the cranberries thickens the sauce to a thick, jam-like consistency.

How do I get the bitterness out of cranberry sauce?

This is where your preference of the amount of sugar you add comes in. The sugar helps balance the bitter taste of cranberries.

Should I serve cranberry sauce warm or cold?

It can be served hot, warm, room temperature, or cold. Up to you!
completed Homemade Cranberry Sauce plated in white bowl with lemon zest against white background

More Vegan Holiday Recipes You’ll Love:

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Homemade Cranberry Sauce plated in white bowl with lemon zest against white background

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Toni Okamoto
We understand the temptation of just grabbing a store-bought cranberry sauce but if you give this homemade recipe a try, you'll love it! Its perfectly sweet, tarty, and delicoius!
4.94 from 33 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 14 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 198 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup of orange juice
  • ¾-1 cup of sugar (depending of sweetness preference)
  • 12 ounces of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ teaspoon of orange zest (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water and orange juice to a boil. Add in the sugar and stir until it is dissolved.
  • Pour in the cranberries and stir until they begin to burst, then lower heat to a simmer, add in the orange zest (if using), and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Place it in the refrigerator for an hour to chill and continue thickening.

Notes

  • You can add a pinch of cinnamon to give it an even more festive touch.
  • If you don’t have orange juice you can simply use water.
  • If you’d like to leave the oranges out of the recipe altogether or want to change it up a bit, use lemon zest instead of orange zest.

Nutrition

Calories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 136mgFiber: 4gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 114IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

About Toni Okamoto

"They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
'Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways...
we got to start taking better care of ourselves " - Dead Prez

View all posts by Toni Okamoto

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