Making cranberry sauce from scratch is quite possibly the most enjoyable - and exciting - dish you’ll create in your kitchen this holiday season.

If you’ve never been a fan of cranberry relish from a can, never fear and be free from that ban by creating fresh sauce with a plan and get cranberries popping in your pan!

(Chickpea enjoys rhyming activities from time to time!)

canned cranberriesIt’s actually quite easy and the whole family can make this together or at least observe the process and contribute when needed or add a few “oohs” and “ahhs” when the cranberries start dancing and popping in the pan. The recipe is simple: Start with beautiful bright red cranberries (preferably organic), add some form of sweetener, mix in some optional flavor boosters, put over high heat, and let the popping begin!

The result will be a cheery, colorful, and flavorful dish that will become a new tradition. You’ll never go back to a can, nor will you have to shun the can, because now you’ll know how to make the most beautiful cranberry sauce from scratch, and it only takes about 20 min. The best part is that the sauce can be served on the side for holiday dinners, with the traditional fixings, or you can have it for breakfast as a side or with your GF toast or GF muffin. Cranberries are very nutritious with high vitamin C content (1 cup fresh, chopped cranberries contains 34% of Daily Value).


  • 1 cup sugar (organic sugar source is preferred, use more or less to taste; you can also use a bit of orange juice to substitute the sugar quantity; if you like the tartness, use a little less sugar. This is definitely a matter of preference

  • 1 cup (250 mL) water

  • 4 cups (one 12-oz package) fresh cranberries (organic is preferred)

  • Optional, any of the following: zest of 1 orange; orange juice to taste; 1 cup of dried fruit like raisins or currants; nuts (1/2 cup chopped pecans); spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice


  1. Inspect and rinse cranberries.

  2. In a pan, bring the hot water and sugar (or juice) to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar.

  3. Add cranberries, stir, return to a boil.

  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until cranberries start popping and bursting. (Finally, here is when the cranberries start popping – betcha were wondering when that would occur in the process!)

  5. If you go for the optional ingredients, mix these in now. Highly recommended: orange zest and cinnamon. Stir in well and fully incorporate into sauce.

  6. Remove from heat. Cool at room temperature and chill in the refrigerator (or outdoors if your fridge is full!). The sauce will thicken as it cools.


Happy Holidays!