How To Cook Cranberries – It’s Simple & Delicious!

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Last Updated on January 12, 2023

Today we will learn how to cook cranberries and all the amazing properties they have that can help you improve your health! You will have an excuse to use them outside Thanksgiving. This native North American fruit can be used in desserts and main courses because of how delicious and beneficial it is.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial: How to Cook Cranberries (Frozen or Fresh)


For Candy Fresh Cranberries:

  • 12 ounces of cranberries
  • Equal Parts water and sugar

For Quick Cranberry Sauce:

  • 12-ounce bag of cranberries, frozen or fresh
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of sugar

For Cranberry Jelly:

  • 4 cups of cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar


  • Small Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon or rubber spatula

Step-by-Step Instructions

Candy Fresh Cranberries

Step One: Make Simple Syrup

An easy way to cook cranberries is to candy them. This is great to use in fruitcakes -like this one– to finish up the cooking.

To do this, you can use simple syrup. Combine equal parts of water and sugar over a saucepan and boil it until all the sugar is dissolved.

Step Two: Coat Cranberries

Let it cool and then coat all your fruit with it. Afterward, cover the cranberries with extra sugar, and you are done!

Cranberries soaked in simple syrup are one of the easiest ways you can prepare your cranberries. In addition, it is very tasty and makes for a versatile side dish.

If you don’t want to make your own simple syrup you can buy your own from the grocery store. However, the simple syrup should be hot when adding it to the cranberries for the best result.

To make candy fresh cranberries, you can use fresh or frozen cranberries. When using frozen cranberries to make cranberry sauce you do not need to thaw them first. Finding fresh cranberries can be tricky when it is not around Thanksgiving time, so it can often be more convenient to use frozen cranberries for your recipes.

Candy Fresh Cranberries

Make a Cranberry Sauce

Step One: Heat All of the Ingredients

You can easily cook a simple cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. You do not need to buy one at the store.

To do this, add 1/2 a cup of water and 1/4 of sugar to a 12-ounce bag of cranberries. Place everything in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Leave it uncovered and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. It is that fast!

Delicious Cranberry Jelly

Step One: Heat Orange Juice and Sugar

Another great way how to cook cranberries is to make jelly, as it is very similar to a sauce but thicker. In this case, you will need to mix 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of orange juice in a saucepan. Once it is boiling, add 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar and stir until it is dissolved.

Step Two: Add Cranberries

Add 4 cups of washed cranberries to the orange sugar water and leave it be. You can take it out once you see their skin begin to crack if you prefer a thinner mix. If you like your jelly to be thicker, then you should leave it for longer. Check the consistency and take it out when you reach what you like best.

Afterward, place it in a jar. If you plan to keep them for a long time or gift them, consider sterilizing them and vacuum sealing them. If you are going to enjoy it right away, then do not even bother!

How to Prepare Fresh Cranberries – A Healthy and Delicious Side!

Fresh cranberries are bursting with flavor and make for a delicious and healthy side dish. Using fresh cranberries is a great way to make a delicious sauce, perfect for serving your favorite meals. How to cook cranberries is simple, whether you buy them fresh or frozen.


  • 12-Ounce Bag of Fresh Cranberries
  • One Cup of Sugar
  • One Cup of Water


  • Small saucepan
  • Wooden spoon or rubber spatula

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step One: Wash Cranberries

To start, buy a 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries. Before preparing your cranberry sauce recipe, be sure to wash your cranberries under cold water.

Step Two: Cook Sugar and Water, Then Add Half of the Cranberries

After washing your cranberries, sort through them to remove any soft or spoiled cranberries. Next, add one cup of sugar and one cup of water to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Then, add half of your cranberries and cook over low heat until most of the cranberries are soft around 10 minutes.

Step Three: Add the Remaining Cranberries

Increase the heat to medium and keep cooking until most of the cranberries have burst about 10 minutes. Then, add in your remaining cranberries and stir until combined. If desired, add the zest of an orange and the juice from one orange.

If desired, you may reduce the sugar by half. However, it is important to note that reducing the sugar will lead to quite the tart cranberry sauce. If reducing the sugar to half, also reduce the water to half as well.

Tips and Tricks

Exactly how long to cook cranberries will vary slightly, so be sure to keep an eye on them as they cook. They may take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes depending on how hot your stove is and the size of your saucepan.

Fresh cranberries typically have a long shelf life when stored properly. They can last for up to three to four weeks in the fridge in the bag they came in or in a reusable produce bag. For best results, wait to wash your cranberries until you are ready to use them.

Uses For Cranberry Sauce

While cranberry sauce makes a great side dish at Thanksgiving and Christmas, you can enjoy it all year round. Cranberries sauce pairs great with turkey and chicken, as it compliments poultry well. It also goes well with pork too and can even be added to your favorite BBQ sauce.

Cranberry sauce also makes a great filling in pastries. You can also use it as a topping on your pancakes, waffles, and toast. It also tastes delicious when paired with vanilla ice cream or cheesecake.

Many people also enjoy serving brie and cranberry together, as they taste delicious when spread together on bread or crackers. You can also use cranberry sauce to make cranberry crumble bars or even muffins.

Why Cook Cranberries? Take a Look at their Health Properties!

According to Medical News Today, research links cranberries to a lower risk of developing urinary tract infections. UTIs are incredibly annoying so this is amazing news!

Another health benefit associated with cranberries is slowing the progression of certain cancers. They also help boost your immune system as well to decrease blood pressure.

Cranberries are a great source of vitamin C – this is where all of their antioxidants come from! Antioxidants, apart from helping your immune system, help your body fight off free radicals. This leads to younger-looking skin.

They also contain a range of B vitamins. These types of vitamins are not produced naturally by the body and need to be ingested. Cranberries are a great way to incorporate them into your diet!

Why Cook Cranberries

Of course, as all fruits are, cranberries are packed with fiber. A diet that is high in fiber is great not only for digestion but for your overall health. How to cook cranberries is something that everyone should learn, as you will find many uses for cranberry sauce.

What do you think? Will you try to cook some fresh cranberries? Tell us in the comments below!

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