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Cranberry Sauce For One

Easy to make Cranberry Sauce recipe for one. This simple, classic Thanksgiving side dish is made with only 4 ingredients! It's fresh tasting, absolutely delicious, and can be ready in less than 15 minutes!

a small bowl of cranberry sauce next to a red napkin.

Today we're focusing on one of my favorite holiday side dishes, cranberry sauce.

Cranberry sauce and Thanksgiving turkey go hand-in-hand. If you're a fan of the canned version (and many people are), I'd urge you to give this cranberry sauce recipe a try. It's so easy to make and canned just can't compare to the fresh taste of homemade.

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Thanksgiving For One

I started our Thanksgiving For One series because there are so many people who find themselves dining alone on Thanksgiving. Many people enjoy Thanksgiving by themselves because of job situations, school responsibilities and/or travel expenses.

Some of us simply are thankful to be alone - in an age where we are all so busy and hassled, what could be better than spending the day doing exactly what YOU want to do.

So, if you're thinking about your Thanksgiving menu and cranberry sauce is on your list, don't be tempted for a minute to use the canned version. I'm going to show you how to make fresh cranberry sauce and I guarantee that once you see how easy it is, you'll never go back to canned.

RELATED: Single Serving Comfort Food Recipes

Why This Recipe Works

  • This fresh cranberry sauce comes together very quickly. In fact, it takes less than 15 minutes!
  • You can use any leftover sauce as a spread for turkey sandwiches.
  • It provides a gorgeous pop of color to your Thanksgiving plate.

What You'll Need

the ingredients to make cranberry sauce labeled and on a brown table.

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Cranberries: Although you can use fresh or frozen cranberries in this easy cranberry sauce recipe, I love using fresh best.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar helps balance the tartness of the cranberries.
  • Orange juice: I suggest using pulp-free orange juice.
  • Water: Feel free to substitute orange juice for water if you'd prefer a stronger citrus flavor.
  • Cinnamon stick: Optional, but highly recommended. You can use a pinch of ground cinnamon instead.

RELATED: 15 Easy Dessert Recipes For One

How To Make This Recipe

  1. Pour the cranberries into a small saucepan and add in the orange juice and water.
  2. Add in the sugar and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir occasionally until the sugar melts, then continue simmering until the cranberries begin to soften and break down. As the mixture simmers, it begins to thicken.

If you have ingredients left over from this small batch cranberry sauce recipe, you might like to use them in a small batch of cranberry jam. It's wonderful spread on toast or served with ice cream.

Expert Tips

  • You can double or triple the ingredients in this cranberry sauce recipe if you'd like to make a larger batch.
  • Use fresh or frozen cranberries in this recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Store Leftover Cranberry Sauce?

This small batch of cranberry sauce can be made a day or so ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until you're ready to eat it. It keeps well when covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Can I Freeze Fresh Cranberries?

I love making cranberry sauce all year long and usually have a bag of cranberries in my freezer to use throughout the year.
Cranberries freeze very well. Here is how to freeze them:
1. Wash the cranberries under cool running water. Dry them thoroughly with a cloth towel.
2. Line a freezer safe tray with a parchment paper and spread the cranberries out on the tray. Try not to let them touch. Place the tray in the freezer for 2 hours.
3. Remove the tray from the freezer and transfer the cranberries to a freezer safe bag. The cranberries will last in the freezer for 12 months.

What Size Pan Should I Use For This Single Serving Recipe?

For this cranberry sauce recipe, I use a 1-quart saucepan. For best results, use a pan of similar size.
If you would like more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
Examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen can be found on our Store page.

Serving Suggestions

You might like to consider serving any of these single serving recipes with this cranberry sauce recipe:

If you’ve tried this cranberry sauce for one or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!

cranberry sauce | one dish kitchen

Cranberry Sauce For One

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cool: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keywords: cranberries, Thanksgiving
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)


  • Place the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, water, and a cinnamon stick, if using in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the cranberries are tender and pop open, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cool before serving.


Expert Tips
  • You can double or triple the ingredients in this cranberry sauce recipe if you'd like to make a larger batch.
  • Use fresh or frozen cranberries in this recipe.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 30.3mg | Iron: 0.3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

19 thoughts on “Cranberry Sauce For One”

  1. Amy @ Little Dairy on the Prairie

    Cranberry sauce is seriously so easy to make, I'm not sure why anyone eats it out of the can! I bet the orange flavor is fantastic too!

  2. Renee - Kudos Kitchen

    Don't you love how quickly homemade cranberry sauce is made? And it's SO much better than what comes in the can. Again, you're rocking the single portions!

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