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Small Batch Cranberry Sauce

Easy to make Cranberry Sauce recipe for one. This simple, classic Thanksgiving side dish is made with only 4 ingredients! It’s fresh tasting and absolutely delicious.

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.

Cranberries go so well with turkey and a Thanksgiving table just doesn’t feel complete without a bowl of homemade cranberry sauce.

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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


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

  • fresh cranberries
  • sugar
  • orange juice
  • water
  • optional: cinnamon stick

RELATED: 15 Easy Dessert Recipes For One

How To Make Cranberry Sauce

This fresh cranberry sauce comes together very quickly.

  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.

How To 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.

How To 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 cranberries:

  • Wash the cranberries under cool running water. Dry them thoroughly with a cloth towel.
  • 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.
  • 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.

For this 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.


What To Serve With Cranberry Sauce

You might like to consider serving any of these single serving recipes with a bowl of fresh cranberry sauce:


cranberry sauce | one dish kitchen

How To Make Cranberry Sauce For One

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cool: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 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.


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 “Small Batch Cranberry Sauce”

  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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