My Favorite Cranberry Sauce


Who needs a cranberry sauce recipe?

I’m know my beloved readers, you are excellent cooks and not the kind to open a can of cranberry sauce to put on the Thanksgiving table [.. right?]. I know you can whip-up a batch of fresh cranberry sauce with your eyes closed and make it taste delicious. I know.. there’s nothing to it.

So why do you post a recipe for cranberry sauce then?

Well, this is my favorite cranberry sauce. The one i make every year. The best cranberry sauce i ever had.

What’s so special about it?

I like to add fun things to it like ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, star anise and orange zest to take it to another level. And believe me, it’s brings some ‘zing’ to the traditional turkey.

What’s in the little yellow packages?

Star anise.. duh! Cuz this blog doesn’t offer dental care.

Now do you trust me, or not?

  • Cranberry Sauce

    • Serves 4
  • cranberry-sauce-2
    • For the cranberry sauce:
    • 3 cups fresh cranberries
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup water
    • Two 1/4-inch-thick slices peeled ginger
    • 2 star anise
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
    • 1/2 cinnamon stick
    • 1 strip of orange zest
    • Pinch of salt
    • For the cranberry sauce:
    • Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring, until the cranberries start to lose their shape and most of the liquid has evaporated. Best if made ahead.
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  • Amy Blogs Chow

    I believe you!

  • food with style

    this is how i make mine too, except for the vanilla, time to step it up!

    have a wonderful thanksgiving and thanks SO much for sharing your gorgeous pics~

  • Colloquial Cook

    I trust you more when you do the question/answer thing. It’s like I’m back in 5th grade.
    “Moi M’sieur, moi M’sieur”
    “Oui petit fenouil?”
    “Pourquoi que vous dites nulle part qu’y a un sachet jaune avec de la ficelle dans la recette M’sieur?”
    “Au coin petit fenouil”

  • T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

    Very nice. I was always the king of cranberry sauce, and I’m partial towards recipes that include a little bourbon or Grand Marnier. However, this year, I’m on pie duty.

  • Stacey Snacks

    My recipe is exactly the same, sans the star anise.
    It’s always gobbled up!
    Enjoy the feast!

  • nina

    I trust you zenman…the sauce makes a pretty picture that much I can tell you!!!

  • alice @ eataduckimust

    this looks awesome. if only my family would eat it. i’ve made a good cranberry sauce 2 years in a row and i’m the only one who eats it. so sad!

  • mel h….

    wow, amazing! never thought of putting ginger and star anise with cranberry…

    i was going to do orange peels and cloves, but that’s all.

    you’re awesome, zenman… :)

  • Tokyo Terrace

    I love homemade cranberry sauce! Your recipe looks fab. Have you tried adding ginger? We did that this year and it was delightful. Extra delicious, even :) Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Tokyo Terrace

    And I just saw that ginger IS one of your ingredients. Color me slightly embarrassed :)

  • uncle dee

    it sounds fun to make and taste indeed. thanks for the recipe, i’m keeping it

  • pigpigscorner

    I’m bookmarking this! I’ll try to make some if I can find some cranberries. Can I use dried ones?

  • dawn

    no no canned anything on any holiday or any normal day! well maybe canned tuna is ok. I’m scared of canned food sitting on a shelf you know?
    wonderful recipe zenman, hope you had a good holiday. 😉

  • Sarah Welch

    I made some cranberry sauce inspired by this recipe yesterday, and it was amazing. I used some cubed crystallized ginger (running short on time), used brown sugar, and replaced the water with apple cider. It was amazing! I cooked two bags of fresh cranberries and only had 6 for dinner–there are only a couple spoonfuls left!

  • Manggy

    Can you believe it? My first thanksgiving and there was no cranberry sauce! You should’ve been around with this lovely bowlful (and more of course, hehe :)

  • Lizzie

    I used the juice from a zested orange, a little less sugar, and two finely chopped jalapenos for a little extra zing. Wow, soooo good!!!

  • The Purple Foodie

    I can imagine how amazingly heady the cranberry sauce would smell with all those spices. So many vanilla pods!? 😀