Thanksgiving Recipe: Cranberry Sauce

Gird your loins, gentle reader, because the Super Bowl of cooking is quickly drawing upon us! I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving at my house since college, which is probably why I feel like am having an aneurysm every time November rolls around. All that last minute, high pressure cooking is enough to give even the most seasoned of cook’s heart palpitations. Luckily for you, this dutiful blogger has some Thanksgiving recipes that are not only delightful, but can be broken down and/or made ahead to help reduce stress on the big day. So put away your smelling salts and get cooking!

First Up on the List: a super easy Cranberry Sauce. I hate canned cranberry sauce with a fiery, untamed passion, but when you take the time to make it, this tart, slightly sweet condiment is a terrific pairing with turkey and all of the other savory dishes of a Thanksgiving spread. It helps that its also pretty simple to make.

Cranberry Sauce, enough for 6 people with some left over


  • 12 oz frozen cranberries with 1/2 cup reserved
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Bourbon
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • 2 strips of Orange zest (1/2” to  1” wide strips. Just use a vegetable peeler)
  • pinch of kosher salt


  • Sauce pan
  • Wooden Spoon

The Process:

1) Gently rinse the cranberries under cool water for a minute or two to clean them.

2) Place the cranberries (minus 1/2 cup), sugar, bourbon, water, and orange zest into a sauce pan. Turn the heat to medium-high to bring the mixture to a boil and to help cook out the alcohol. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes until the cranberries have begun to burst.

The sauce has thickened and is ready to serve. Fresh cranberries were placed on top for garnish and to help warm them up before serving.

3) Turn off the heat and place the reserved cranberries into the sauce. Season the sauce with a pinch or two of salt. Let cool completely. Store in the fridge until your ready to serve.

C and S Note: I typically make this in the morning of the big day, so I don’t have to deal with any last minute cooking. You can serve it cold, at room temperature, or warmed up in a sauce an or microwave. If heating up, just make sure to stir it throughout the warming up process so it doesn’t burn or get weird.

Disclaimer: This post is unsponsored. Because of course it is.

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