Thanksgiving is just days away and now is the time to prepare dishes or condiments that can be made ahead of time so that when Thursday comes you can focus on roasting a perfectly juicy golden brown turkey. Although the turkey is central, mashing buttery potatoes, baking mom’s perfect stuffing, and creating the other side dishes are also important in making Thanksgiving the feast of all feasts.

In the same way mashed potatoes need a nice generous pour of gravy to feel complete, or the pumpkin pie a dollop of whipped cream, no Thanksgiving is complete without a spoonful of cranberry sauce complimenting the tender slice of oven roasted turkey. It is the only time of year cranberry sauce rises in popularity as a must-have condiment, rightfully so if I do say myself. And I do.

The temptation to buy store bought cranberry sauce in a can may seem convenient, but for all the work which goes into preparing and roasting a turkey, making homemade cranberry sauce is the finale to making roasted turkey shine evidenced by oohs and awes – every home cook’s crown of culinary glory.

Today I am sharing a very easy recipe for Honey Citrus Cranberry Sauce made with just 3 ingredients. The key to making this sauce really special is to use fresh citrus fruit such as clementines, tangerines, mandarins, or oranges. The flavor of fresh citrus juice compliments the tart cranberries for a very harmonious sauce. Honey is used as a sweetener instead of the more traditional sugar for its unique flavor with floral undertones. The sauce is sweet but not too sweet, and the color is a deep vibrant red that pops on the dinner plate. It makes me happy just to see it there.

It really doesn’t take much effort or time to make homemade cranberry sauce. In fact, I would suggest having your kids make this recipe with you. Teaching children how to cook may lead to a tradition they will always remember, and you can’t buy that in a can.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Recipe: Honey Citrus Cranberry Sauce

  • Prep Time: 3 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 15 min(s)
  • Total Time: 18 min(s)
  • Servings: 2 cups

Homemade Cranberry Sauce made from fresh cranberries and fresh squeezed mandarin oranges and sweetened with honey. Using only three ingredients, this easy cranberry sauce is perfect for Thanksgivin


    • 12 ounces bag fresh cranberries
    • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange, mandarin, clementine, or tangerine juice
    • 3/4 cup honey
    • Optional: 2 teaspoons zest from the citrus fruit


    • Add the cranberries, juice, and honey to a non-stick pan and stir the ingredients so the honey is is evenly incorporated.
    • Heat the pan on medium heat.
    • Stirring occasionally, cook the cranberry mixture on a low simmer for 15 minutes until it thickens.
    • Remove the sauce from the pan and allow the sauce to cool slightly before serving.
    • Optional:  If you like your cranberry sauce with a more citrus flavor to it, add the fruit zest to the cranberry mixture 10 minutes after it has been cooking.
    • Garnish idea: Add a thin ribbon of citrus skin in a a swirl design and a citrus fruit leaf.

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