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This easy 15-minute recipe for a single serving of Cranberry Sauce combines fresh cranberries simmered in orange juice with a hint of cinnamon, offering a sweet and tangy flavor that’s delightfully simple to prepare. Perfect for those cooking for one or looking to add a new twist to their festive table, this cranberry sauce is a must-try holiday condiment.

Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes to add to your holiday table? Try our small batch Green Bean Casserole, a small batch of Cornbread Dressing, or creamy Mashed Potatoes. If you find yourself with any leftovers, consider using them in easy-to-make Thanksgiving Sliders!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simple: With just four ingredients, this recipe is a breeze to make.
  • Flavorful: The combination of fresh cranberries, orange juice, and cinnamon offers a harmonious blend of tart and sweet.
  • Versatile: Serve it with your main course or use it as a topping for desserts like vanilla ice cream.
  • Customizable: Adjust the sweetness or add different spices to make it your own.
  • Perfectly Sized: Created for one serving but easily multiplied for more guests.

What Is Cranberry Sauce?

Cranberry sauce is a classic condiment made from cranberries cooked down with sugar and other flavor-enhancing ingredients. It’s most commonly found gracing tables during Thanksgiving and Christmas, adding a bright and refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of a holiday feast.

Thanksgiving For One or Two

Whether it’s due to work commitments, educational responsibilities, travel constraints, or just the pure joy of enjoying some quality alone time, many find themselves dining solo on Thanksgiving. This doesn’t mean that a festive and traditional meal is out of reach!

In fact, embracing a Thanksgiving just for one or two can be a serene and fulfilling experience. It’s a chance to reflect, appreciate the moment, and indulge in exactly the foods you love.

If cranberry sauce is a must-have on your Thanksgiving menu, forget about the canned option. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the simplicity of making a single serving of fresh cranberry sauce. Once you discover how quick and effortless it is, you’ll never be tempted by the canned version again. This homemade cranberry sauce recipe adds a personal touch to your meal, enhancing your solo Thanksgiving celebration.

RELATED: Thanksgiving For Two

Ingredients

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

If you have any ingredients leftover from this small batch cranberry sauce recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Cranberries: Provide the essential tart flavor. You can use frozen cranberries if fresh ones are unavailable. If you’ve got leftover cranberries, consider using them to make a small batch of Cranberry Orange Scones!
  • Sugar: Balances the tartness.
  • Orange juice: Adds a citrusy brightness. 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: Enhances the flavor. Ground cinnamon or nutmeg can be a great alternative. If you’ve got leftover cinnamon sticks, I love to add one to a simmering pot of hot chocolate.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Variations

  • Spiced Cranberry Sauce: Add a pinch of nutmeg or cloves for warmth, and stir in vanilla extract for richness.
  • Berry Cranberry Sauce: Mix with raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries for a berry-rich sauce.
  • Pineapple Cranberry Sauce: Combine with pineapple juice for tropical sweetness, and add chopped mango or pineapple for an exotic twist.
  • Cranberry Sauce With Nuts: Chopped walnuts or pecans add an earthy touch and can also counteract the sweetness of the sauce.
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Choosing And Storing Fresh Cranberries

Picking Fresh Cranberries: When selecting cranberries, look for berries that are firm to the touch and free from any soft spots or brown areas. While color doesn’t directly relate to sweetness, you may find that lighter red berries are more dense, while darker berries tend to be juicier.

Storing Fresh Cranberries: Proper storage is essential to keep cranberries fresh. Store them in the refrigerator, where they’ll remain fresh for up to a month. If you want to preserve them even longer, you can freeze cranberries for up to a year. Keeping them cold ensures that their texture and flavor are maintained, ready for your culinary creations.

Freezing Fresh Cranberries – A Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Wash and Dry: Rinse the cranberries under cool running water. Pat them dry with a clean cloth towel, ensuring they are thoroughly dried.
  2. Prepare for Freezing: Line a freezer-safe tray with parchment paper. Spread the cranberries out on the tray, making sure they don’t touch each other to prevent sticking.
  3. Flash Freeze: Place the tray in the freezer for 2 hours. This initial freezing helps keep the cranberries separate and easier to use later.
  4. Bag and Store: After 2 hours, remove the tray from the freezer. Transfer the cranberries to a freezer-safe bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Seal the bag and return it to the freezer.
  5. Label and Use: Don’t forget to label the bag with the date. The cranberries will last in the freezer for up to 12 months. Use them directly from the freezer in your favorite recipes.

Freezing cranberries is a fantastic way to preserve their freshness and have them on hand whenever you need them. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll always have a supply of these tart and tasty berries ready to go.

RELATED: 15 Easy Dessert Recipes For One

How To Make Cranberry Sauce

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

  1. Place the cranberries in a colander and rinse them. Pick out and discard any damaged cranberries.
  2. In a 1-quart saucepan, add the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, water, and a cinnamon stick. Put the saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the cranberries are tender and open up, about 10-12 minutes. The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cooks.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and let the cranberry sauce cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to a bowl. Cranberry sauce can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. It’s completely up to you.

What To Serve With Cranberry Sauce

Create the perfect Thanksgiving feast by pairing this delightful cranberry orange sauce with traditional holiday dishes. Whether you’re dining alone or with a special guest, these single serving recipes are designed to complement your holiday meal:

Holiday Side Dishes:

For the Main Course:

Dessert Options:

With these serving suggestions, you can tailor your meal to your taste, ensuring a satisfying and festive dining experience. The cranberry orange sauce adds a bright and tangy touch that ties everything together. Enjoy your holiday meal with these specially curated single serving and small batch recipes.

Expert Tips

  • Scaling the Recipe: Want to make a larger batch of cranberry sauce? No problem! You can easily double or triple the ingredients. For a double batch, I suggest using a 2-quart saucepan to accommodate the extra volume..
  • Fresh or Frozen Cranberries: This recipe is versatile and works with either fresh or frozen cranberries.
  • Thickening the Sauce: Cranberry sauce should thicken as it cooks. If it seems too “soupy,” make sure you’ve added enough sugar, as it helps the sauce firm up. Follow the recipe to ensure the right consistency.
  • Enhancing Orange Flavor: Craving a more robust orange taste? Swap out the water for orange juice. This simple substitution adds a delightful citrus zing to your cranberry sauce.
  • Stirring and Simmering: Keep an eye on the sauce as it simmers, and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Cooling and Storing: Allow the cranberry sauce to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Stored in an airtight container, it’ll keep for up to a week, making it a convenient make-ahead option for your meal planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store leftover cranberry sauce?

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.

How can I make cranberry sauce sweeter?

Add more sugar gradually, tasting as you go.

Can I make sugar-free cranberry sauce?

Yes! Substitute a sugar replacer like Swerve or Stevia for the sugar

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this small batch cranberry sauce recipe 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 it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Cranberry Sauce For One

5 from 7 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Cool: 5 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Quick, easy single serve Cranberry Sauce recipe: Fresh cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon blend for a sweet, tangy flavor in just 15 minutes.

Ingredients 
 

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

Instructions 

  • Place the cranberries in a colander and rinse them. Pick out and discard any damaged cranberries.
  • In a 1-quart saucepan, add the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, water, and cinnamon stick. Put the saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the cranberries are tender and open up, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let the cranberry sauce cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to a bowl. Cranberry sauce can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Video

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Scaling the Recipe: Want to make a larger batch of cranberry sauce? No problem! You can easily double or triple the ingredients. For a double batch, I suggest using a 2-quart saucepan to accommodate the extra volume..
  • Fresh or Frozen Cranberries: This recipe is versatile and works with either fresh or frozen cranberries.
  • Thickening the Sauce: Cranberry sauce should thicken as it cooks. If it seems too “soupy,” make sure you’ve added enough sugar, as it helps the sauce firm up. Follow the recipe to ensure the right consistency.
  • Enhancing Orange Flavor: Craving a more robust orange taste? Swap out the water for orange juice. This simple substitution adds a delightful citrus zing to your cranberry sauce.
  • Stirring and Simmering: Keep an eye on the sauce as it simmers, and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Cooling and Storing: Allow the cranberry sauce to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Stored in an airtight container, it’ll keep for up to a week, making it a convenient make-ahead option for your meal planning.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 201kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 3mg, Potassium: 154mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 43g, Vitamin A: 128IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg

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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22 Comments

  1. Thank you for this recipe! It is definitely on my menu this Thanksgiving. But I don’t understand “let the cranberry sauce cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to a boil. ” Is that supposed to be “bowl”?

  2. 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!

  3. 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!