Cranberry Sauce

Growing up, I couldn’t stand cranberry sauce… something about it being too tart and bitter, I think. But I remember thinking how pretty it looked in my Momma’s crystal dishes on the table at Thanksgiving dinner.

Wide Image

Years ago, I decided to try my hand at making this Thanksgiving staple from scratch so that I could have a bit more control over the sweetness and possibly convince my kids to give it a shot. I scoured the Internet for recipes and tried several of them, never quite landing on one that hit the mark. Until November of 2016.

This recipe checks all the boxes for our family: tart, sweet, not runny but not too jello-ey, either. (Clearly, the Talley fam has high expectations.) It can be made several days ahead of time, making Thanksgiving day a bit less stressful.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe adapted from Alton Brown (site)


  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice (not cocktail)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 12-oz. package fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg


  1. Wash the cranberries and discard any soft or wrinkled ones.
  2. Combine the juices and honey in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cranberries and cook for about 15 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the berries burst and the mixture thickens, remove from the heat. (Do not cook for longer than 15 minutes or your end result will be too runny.)
  4. Add orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg, stirring to combine. Allow to cool for five minutes.
  5. Spoon the sauce into a mold or container that seals. (I use a mason jar.) Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for at least six hours before serving.

Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 20 minutes | Yield: 6-8 servings

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