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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry, Holiday recipes, sauce, Thanksgiving, vegan


  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon nutmeg freshly ground preferred
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Mariner or orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar packed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons orange zest approximately ½ and orange
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup optional, for additional sweetness
  • ½ granny smith apple diced medium


  • In a large pot on the stove, dissolve sugar in water and bring to a boil
  • Add cranberries and return the liquid to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to low.
  • Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the diced apple. Mix thoroughly to incorporate. Be careful while mixing! You will hear popping as the cranberries burst and they sometimes will release liquid (which is now hot!). Be careful of splashback!
  • Cook the mixture over low heat for thirty minutes.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and in the same pot, stir in the diced apple.
  • If not serving the same day, refrigerate immediately.


This recipe can be served hot, cold, or room temperature. It really is wonderful however you prefer!