Baked Cranberry Sauce

4.92 from 46 votes

This Baked Cranberry Sauce is a great thanksgiving side dish that practically makes itself in the oven! Leftovers can be used like jam after!

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This is a Baked Cranberry Sauce that practically makes itself! If you’re looking for a variation from the usually cranberry sauce recipe, try this easy hands-off baked recipe. It needs just 2 minutes of active prep time, then it is baked in the oven for an easy Thanksgiving and holiday side dish that can be made ahead of time.

Baked Cranberry Relish in a white bowl and spoon, garnished with orange slices and pecans
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We all know how crazy the kitchen gets the day of the big Thanksgiving dinner! So, cranberry sauce is always an easy make-ahead dish you can count on. This baked version might be even easier and more convenient!

ingredients & SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Cranberries: This recipe uses fresh cranberries, but you can also use frozen.
  • Sugar: This recipe calls for granulated white sugar. Cane sugar can also be used.
  • Cinnamon: A little ground cinnamon adds a wonderful sweetness and warming spice flavor. You just need a little so that it doesn’t overpower the dish. You can also swap for nutmeg.
  • Pecans: These add a nice texture to the finished sauce. You can use other nuts like almonds or walnuts.
  • Orange marmalade: This adds a lovely fresh tang and is stirred into the cranberries at the end of cooking. You can leave it out if you prefer.
Ingredients to make the recipe

How to make baked cranberry sauce

  • Combine the cranberries, sugar, water and cinnamon in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake until the cranberries start to soften, then stir the sauce to help dissolve any sugar, and return to the oven covered until the cranberries are tender and bubbly.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and fold in orange marmalade and pecans.
3 image collage to show the cranberries in a baking dish, then stirring, then adding the orange marmalade and pecans

tips for baking cranberry sauce

  1. Learn how to freeze fresh whole cranberries so you can make this recipe with frozen cranberries. It’s the same technique and great way to use up extra cranberries.
  2. Be sure to cover the pan with foil while baking. This traps the moisture in the pan so that the cranberry sauce doesn’t dry out or burn.
  3. Let the sauce cool to room temperature. Then you can cool it in the fridge for an hour before serving. This will help to enhance the flavor and makes it a great make-ahead recipe.
  4. Serve the sauce hot or cold. Simply reheat it on the stove top or in the oven if you prefer it hot, but we always eat it cold during our Thanksgiving meal.

Frequently asked questions

What so you serve with the sauce?

This thick baked cranberry sauce goes perfectly with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. And if you have leftovers for the next day, this is a condiment queen! Just slap it on some toast or muffins or in oatmeal. It’s a wonderful balance of tart and sweet flavor.

How far in advance can you make cranberry sauce?

When it comes to make ahead side dishes, cranberry sauce is the most popular one! Once it has cooled to room temperature, store it in an airtight jar in the fridge and it will last for 3 to 4 weeks. It’s also a great option to give as a gift to friends and family.

My cranberry sauce came out too sweet? How do I lessen the sweetness?

To lessen the sweetness after it’s cooked, try adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and a pinch of salt and give everything a good mix.

Baked cranberry relish on thanksgiving dinner table next to turkey and green beans

This is a simple delicious cranberry sauce that requires no time spent on the stove-top stirring to get the saucy consistency. It all just dissolves and cooks perfectly in the oven. Goodbye to canned cranberry.

More Cranberry Sauce Recipes:

More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes: 

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Baked Cranberry Sauce

This Baked Cranberry Sauce is a great thanksgiving side dish that practically makes itself in the oven! Leftovers can be used like jam after!
4.9 from 46 votes
Servings 8 servings
Course Side Dish
Calories 185
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 2 minutes
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  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Combine the cranberries, sugar, water and cinnamon in a 8×11 baking dish. Cover and bake for one hour, stirring halfway through.
  • Remove the dish from the oven, fold in pecans and orange marmalade
  • Allow to come to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.


Calories: 185kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 7mg, Potassium: 69mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 33g, Vitamin A: 37IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Side Dish

Rate and comment

Recipe Rating


  1. Clara says:

    This recipe was so easy! Everyone loved it! My husband mixed it with Greek yogurt as a snack. 😊

  2. April says:

    This recipe is great! First time making cranberry sauce and not the last. Instant classic. Five stars easy. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! That makes me so happy to hear!

  3. Amanda M says:

    This recipe was SO easy, I’ll never go back to stove top cranberry sauce! It just took a few minutes to mix it up and pop it in the oven. I was able to continue working while it baked for an hour and then just another few minutes to finish it up with marmalade and pecans. Good. To. Go. So tasty I’m going to add it to my Thanksgiving cheese board instead of fig spread!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      That’s great to hear! Yay!! Sounds wonderful!

  4. Laura says:

    This is a fantastic recipe! Super simple, but delicious! I swapped out the water for Bourbon and it really took it up a notch! This one is going in the recipe book!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you so much! That sounds like a fun switch! Yay!!

  5. Carolyn Perlman says:

    Yummy good

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you!

  6. Ian says:

    Tasted okay. Was a little too sweet. The big problem was that the dish overflowed a huge, red, sugary mess in the oven which took days to clean.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Oh, no! I have when it overflows. Sorry that that happened!

  7. Voula says:

    I was looking forward to eating this but a little disappointed that it was too sweet. Is they something I can add to it that can lessen the sweetness? I followed the directions.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Aww sorry to hear that. To lessen the sweetness after it’s cooked, I recommend adding a tablespoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt and give everything a good mix.

  8. Kayrl says:

    These cranberries were amazing and so easy to make. Big hit around my (small) table this Thanksgiving!