My favourite cranberry sauce recipe with just the right amount of tanginess can be made with fresh or frozen cranberries.
Only four ingredients needed and 10 minutes to make – it’s an easy-to-make homemade addition to the Christmas dinner table.
And you know what? I rather like it on toast for breakfast too!

Cranberry sauce in a white bowl, topped with orange zest. Festive table decorations scattered around the bowl.
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I’ve made a few versions of cranberry sauce at home, and this version with orange and port is hands down the best!
Just tangy enough, with a slight hit of zesty orange and a subtle richness from the port. Don’t worry though – the cranberry sauce doesn’t taste boozy.

I keep a stash of frozen cranberries in my freezer (useful for adding to my Christmas punch and making my mulled cranberry jelly) so I can whip it up to go with any roast dinner.

📋 What do we need?

Ingredients for cranberry sauce on a wooden table.
  • Cranberries – you can use fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Port – any port will be fine
  • Sugar – use golden caster, regular caster or superfine sugar.

🔪 How to make this Cranberry Sauce

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Place cranberries, sugar, port, orange juice and orange zest in a pan and stir together.
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 6-8 minutes – until the cranberries begin to burst.
  3. Turn off the heat.
6 image collage showing how to make cranberry sauce

👩‍🍳PRO TIP If you like a smoother sauce you can mash the sauce with a potato masher or the back of a fork.

Serve as part of that Roast Turkey or Roast Chicken dinner

Roast turkey christmas dinner with vegetables and gravy on a wooden table.

🍽️ What to serve it with

Top with a few strands of orange zest before serving for an extra festive look.

👩‍🍳PRO TIP You can zest the orange a few hours beforehand and wrap in a piece of damp kitchen towel to stop it drying out.

Cranberry sauce topped with orange zest in a white bowl. Festive decorations scattered around.

📺 Watch how to make it

YouTube video

🍲 More fantastic Sauces and Dips

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5 from 2 votes

Cranberry Sauce with Port

This cranberry sauce, made with fresh or frozen cranberries, has just the right amount of tanginess. Only 4 ingredients and 10 mins to make!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 10
Course: Sauces, side dish
Cuisine: American


  • 300 g (3 cups) cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 125 g (3/4 cup) golden caster sugar (or use regular caster or superfine sugar)
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) port
  • zest and juice of 1 large orange
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  • Place all of the ingredients into a small saucepan.
    300 g (3 cups) cranberries, 125 g (3/4 cup) golden caster sugar, 80 ml (1/3 cup) port, zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer for 6-8 minutes until the cranberries soften and start to burst, and the liquid thickens slightly (it will thicken more as it cools).
  • If you like a smoother sauce, use a potato masher to crush the cranberries.
  • Allow the sauce to cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to a week.
  • Take it out of the fridge for an hour before serving to take the chill off it.


YouTube video


Once cooled, this cranberry sauce has a thick, jam-like consistency. If you want it a little thinner, you can either stir in a splash of water to it once cooked (but while it’s still warm), or you can reheat in the pan to loosen it and serve it warm.
Make Ahead:
Once made, cool, cover with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 10 days. Remove from the fridge an hour before serving, or serve warm by reheating in a pan (it will loosen slightly when warm.
You can also freeze in a sealed container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then remove from the fridge an hour before serving, or serve warm by reheating in a pan.
Reducing the sugar:
We like our cranberry sauce quite sweet, but you can reduce the amount of sugar by half if you prefer a really tart cranberry sauce.
Alcohol free version:
If you don’t want to include alcohol in your cranberry sauce simply leave out the port and add in an extra 3 tbsp (45ml) of orange juice and 2 tbsp (30ml) of water.
Nutritional Information is per serving. 
I’ve assumed 10 servings for this recipe – which is a good heaped tablespoon each.


Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 47IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Sarah Mitchell says:

    5 stars
    Delicious, quick and easy. I made it with port but I only used 50ml, was a little boozy tasting but I’d definitely make it again.

  2. Christine says:

    5 stars
    Got some cranberries coming in my shopping order today, I was going to make my own sauce this year, This recipe came through my e mail at the perfect time, thank you so much. It looks so delicious and easy😋