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Maple Cranberry Sauce

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This delicious Maple Cranberry Sauce recipe is quick and easy to make in about 15 minutes, it’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and easy to customize with any of your favorite add-ins.

Maple Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Anyone else trying to cut down on refined sugar for Thanksgiving this year?

Give this simple maple cranberry sauce recipe a try!

It’s naturally sweetened with real maple syrup (or you’re welcome to sub in honey, coconut sugar, or any other favorite natural sweeteners). It super quick and easy to make in just 15 minutes. And it’s also a great recipe to make ahead of time and reheat on Thanksgiving, if you’d like to prep it days (or weeks) in advance.

I like to keep my cranberry sauce pretty simple and typically just add in the zest and juice of a fresh orange to complement those tart cranberry flavors. But I’ve included ideas below for lots of other fun ingredients that you can add in. So please feel free to get creative and customize your own cranberry sauce recipe however you might like!

Maple Cranberry Sauce | 1-Minute Video

Fresh Cranberries in Strainer

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Ingredients:

To make this maple cranberry sauce recipe, you will need:

  • Fresh (or frozen) cranberries: Rinsed and picked over (just discard any cranberries that look discolored or wilty).
  • Maple syrup: Or honey, cane sugar, or any other natural sweeteners that you prefer.
  • Orange: We will use both the zest and juice of a fresh orange.
  • Water: For the base of the cranberry sauce.
  • Optional add-ins: See notes below for other fun ingredients you can add in too.

Cranberry Sauce in Saucepan

How To Make Cranberry Sauce:

To make this homemade cranberry sauce recipe, simply:

  1. Combine your ingredients in a saucepan. Cranberries, maple syrup, orange zest, orange juice and water.
  2. Simmer. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, or until all of the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened and reached your desired consistency. (The sauce will also thicken considerably more as it cools.)
  3. Serve warm or chill. Then you can serve the sauce at whatever temperature you’d like! I really love serving cranberry sauce nice and warm, but we always ate it chilled growing up, so either will work.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce in Bowl

Possible Variations:

There are so many fun ways that you can customize a batch of cranberry sauce! For example, I love to:

  • Add some spices. Feel free to add in a generous pinch (anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) of either ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, or any other warming spices that you might love.
  • Add a splash of bourbon. Or brandy, or port wine, or Cointreau, or whatever else might sound delicious.
  • Add extra fruit: Mix your cranberries with other fresh (or frozen) berries, apples, plums, grapes, or pomegranate arils for a different twist.

Maple Cranberry Sauce in Canning Jar

How To Store Cranberry Sauce:

To store cranberry sauce, transfer it to a sealed container and either:

  • Refrigerate it: for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze it: for up to 3 months.
  • Can it: for up to 1 year, using safe water-bath preserving techniques.

Vegan Cranberry Sauce Recipe In Bowl

More Cranberry Recipes:

Love cranberries? Be sure to check out these other favorite cranberry recipes listed below. And of course, if you are looking for more T-Day recipes, be sure to check out our full list of Thanksgiving recipes here too.

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Maple Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Maple Cranberry Sauce

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  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This delicious Maple Cranberry Sauce recipe is quick and easy to make in about 10 minutes.  See notes above for possible variations and ingredients that you can also add in.


  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and picked over
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup, or more to taste
  • 1/3 cup water
  • juice and zest of one fresh orange (about 1/4 cup juice)


  1. Combine ingredients. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir to combine.
  2. Simmer. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reached your desired consistency.  (Keep in mind that it will also thicken a bit more as it cools.)
  3. Season. Taste and add extra maple syrup, if needed.
  4. Serve. You can either serve this cranberry sauce warm or let it cool in the refrigerator until chilled and then serve it cold.


Storage instructions: To store this cranberry sauce, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer it to a sealed storage container.  Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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10 comments on “Maple Cranberry Sauce”

  1. Love this – people need recipes that don’t involve that cranberry goop in a jar!

  2. This sounds delish. Love real maple syrup & cranberries. Sounds like a great combo!!!

  3. This was great! I added a cinnamon stick and a dash of nutmeg, and stirred the orange juice and zest in at the end instead of letting it simmer with the cranberries. So good – maple syrup is a great way to sweeten this!

  4. Tangerines are better than oranges IMO. Small tart thin skinned are best. A bit more zest never hurts here. Costco’s organic maple syrup is money.

  5. hi your thoughts on subbing lemon instead of using orange? i’m also doing apple juice instead of water. thanks ;)

    • Love the apple juice idea! The lemon will definitely add a bit of extra tartness, so I would start with just a tablespoon of two of the lemon juice and then you can add more later if you’d like.

  6. Yay! What an amazing recipe, I’m so glad I found a cranberry recipe that uses maple syrup. It’s a brilliant idea, and keep the recipes going, we love them!

  7. This is my go-to cranberry sauce, I make at least a double batch every year! Perfectly sweet and tangy. I love to have leftovers swirled into Greek yogurt. Thanks!!

  8. Can this be canned? Or would the ph be outside of the safe zone?

  9. Super easy and a great make-ahead dish! Zest from oranges works best but for bold brightness consider a grapefruit or lemon. I still used orange juice for the base. This recipe is so basic that it’s like a blank canvas. Stick to it or jazz it up – your preference. We like chopped walnuts in our cranberry sauce. Add shelled and chopped walnuts after you take the sauce from the heat. A gentle fold of ingredients is all that’s needed.