This traditional cranberry sauce recipe uses whole cranberries, flavored with sugar and lemon zest. Chop some or all of the cranberries for a smoother sauce or leave them all whole – they will pop after 10 minutes of cooking. I don’t like cranberry sauce overly sweet, so taste after the cooking time and add more sugar if it’s too tart for your taste.


  • 1 (12-oz) pkg whole cranberries
  • 1 cup water (or orange juice for more flavor and sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon


  1. Optional: chop some or all the cranberries in a food processor or blender (be careful to pulse and only chop it roughly. Don’t blend it into a mushy pulp). I chopped about half of the cranberries and left the rest whole
  2. Add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat, simmering for about 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it cools.