Easy, Fresh Holiday Cranberry Recipe

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Cranberries have traditionally been one of those holiday dishes that I would pass on. Growing up I thought they were much too tart. They always seemed to get in the way of the delicious, savory foods like stuffing and gravy and mashed potatoes.

But I’ve come to appreciate them in the past few years and their tartness flavor. I find that when it’s combined with the savory food staples, cranberries bring a beautiful balance to the meal.

Easy Cranberry Recipe

Cranberry History

History believes the pilgrims and the Native Americans ate cranberries at the first Thanksgiving due to the abundance in the 1500s. Cranberries during the holidays, specifically Thanksgiving, is rooted in our history in the United States.

Growing Cranberries

And contrary to popular belief, or what many have seen on commercials, Cranberries do not grow in water. They are a low-lying shrub or vine. They prefer bogs with soil made of sand, peat, gravel and clay.

Easy cranberry recipe

Easy cranberry recipe

Easy cranberry recipe

The reason you see them in water is because farmers harvest them “wet.” This means cranberry farmer floods bogs with water when the cranberries are ripe. They are “beaten” off the vines if they haven’t fallen off and the ripe berries will float. After that, they are then sucked into a machine for harvesting.

You can see them flooding the fields and beating them off the vines here.

You can see them harvesting them from the fields here.

Easy Cranberry Recipe

This cranberry recipe is perfect for winter gatherings like Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other winter holiday. However, this recipe is also really easy to make on a regular basis if you’re a cranberry lover.

With just three ingredients, it’s probably the easiest recipe I’ve ever made and pairs wonderfully with these sour cream mashed potatoes. Grab the simple recipe below and make these for your next holiday feast.

Easy Cranberry Recipe

The cranberry recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving, delicious and so easy! 
4.88 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry recipe, easy cranberry recipe, side dish, thanksgiving recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Author: Rachel Quenzer


  • 12 oz of cranberries (usually 1 bag)
  • 1/4 cup natural, real honey
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary


  • Add honey and cranberries to a sauce pan and heat on medium.
  • When it starts to bubble add sprigs of rosemary.
  • Let the mixture simmer for 10 -20 minutes stirring frequently.
  • Serve warm

If you love cranberries, check out this Cranberry Upside Down Cake. For additional recipes, click here.

cranberry recipe - The Everyday Mom life

cranberry recipe - The Everyday Mom life


  1. Cranberries or a favorite of this family. We love to use cranberries with Thanksgiving every year. It does not feel like Thanksgiving without cranberries on the table LOL. I would love to try this one.

  2. Once I tried real cranberry sauce I was so done with the cans! This recipe looks really delicious and perfect for turkey day.

  3. Once I tried real cranberry sauce I was so done with the cans! This recipe looks really delicious and perfect for turkey day this year.

  4. We always have this for Thanksgiving. I’ve never tried making it myself though. My husbands grandparents always make it. I’ll have to try out this recipe.

  5. I am a cranberry lover, but often don’t think to make them outside of the holidays. It was fun seeing how they are harvested. I must admit I thought they grew in water.

  6. 5 stars
    I may be weird, but the cranberry sauce is my favorite of all the Thanksgiving dishes. It is so easy to make it yourself, and is so much better than the canned variety.

  7. I’m usually such a big fan of the jellied cranberry sauce in the can… But this looks amazing. We had some like this at my work the other day and it was soooo good.

  8. I was the same way – wasn’t into cranberries or sauce growing up but LOVE them now! I find them to be so tasty. I made cranberry sauce for the first time last year. I’ll need to use your recipe this year. And super fascinating about the watering down the bogs. I guess I never really thought of why the guys were standing in water with cranberries floating on the commercials. Thanks for the little lesson!

  9. I have only started making my own cranberry sauce last year if you can believe it! We always just bought already made cans for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So silly – it’s so easy. Now I’m excited to try your recipe out because now I’m in the mode of trying out different styles of Cranberry sauce. Yours looks delish!

  10. Yummm! You got me craving Cranberry sauce! I used to just buy them canned and finally discovered that it’s so easy to make and WAAAAY more delicious this way. I’ve never tried it with Rosemary. Excited to give this a whirl!


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