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20-Minute Homemade Cranberry Sauce

20-Minute Homemade Cranberry Sauce (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

  • Author: Felicia Lim
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 16oz jar 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Make this rich and flavorful homemade cranberry sauce from scratch with only 4 ingredients in just 20 minutes! Cranberry sauce is a must-have at your Thanksgiving meal or Christmas dinner, and its vibrant color and tart and sweet taste makes it irresistible! Also gluten-free and vegan!


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries, cut into halves


  1. Mix and Dissolve: In a large pot, place sugar and water and bring mixture to a boil until sugar is totally dissolved.
  2. Simmer: When mixture starts boiling, place cranberries and lemon juice in and return to a boil, then bring the heat down to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for around 15 minutes until it has achieved a thick jam-like consistency.
  3. Transfer: Let the sauce cool down to room temperature before transferring it to a sterilized glass jar.


Sugar: I used white sugar in this recipe, but if you are diabetic or insulin-resistant, I highly recommend using Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener (a 1:1 sugar substitute that has zero glycemic index).

Water: I always try to use filtered water (or mineral water) when cooking if possible.

Lemon Juice: I like using fresh lemon juice, but you can also use fresh orange juice in equal quantities.

Cranberries: I prefer using fresh cranberries when possible, but you can also use equal amounts of frozen cranberries if that’s what you have on hand. If you can’t find frozen or fresh cranberries, simply use 3/4 cup of unsweetened dried cranberries (soaked in water for at least 30 minutes) in place of the fresh cranberries specified.

Storing/Freezing: If not eating the cranberry sauce immediately, store it in an airtight glass jar and keep in the fridge for between 10 to 14 days. To freeze, place the sauce in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. 

Thickening the Sauce: If you like your cranberry sauce very thick, let it simmer for a few minutes more over the stove so that more of the liquid cooks off. If it’s still not thick enough, you can add one teaspoon of cornstarch and mix the sauce well until it thickens sufficiently.

Adapted from: Simply Recipes

  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: homemade cranberry sauce

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