Why make boring ol’ cranberry sauce when you can make lemon ginger cranberry sauce instead? This recipe is such a fun twist on a classic Thanksgiving side dish and features fresh grated ginger, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
Say hello to lemon ginger cranberry sauce! We gave this classic Thanksgiving side dish recipe a little pizzazz with the addition of fresh lemon and ginger. Both add flavor, freshness, and brightness to this traditional sauce.
Made with wholesome ingredients on the stovetop and ready in under 30 minutes, you’re going to want to make this every year from here on out. No more cranberry sauce in a can!
“So amazing!! Made it for Thanksgiving this year and it paired so well with the turkey. Even my dad whose “not a fan of cranberry sauce” said it was really good!” – Nicole
What You Need for Lemon Ginger Cranberry Sauce
- Cranberries: Seasonal fresh cranberries are the star of this homemade cranberry sauce.
- Maple Syrup: We love using all-natural sweeteners in our recipes and maple syrup adds the perfect amount of sweetness and warmth to this sauce.
- Ginger: Grated fresh ginger is what sets this cranberry sauce recipe apart from the rest. If you don’t have fresh ginger, ginger paste (the kind in the tube) is a great replacement.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon and ginger is such a cozy flavor combination.
- Lemon Juice: A little fresh lemon juice helps balance everything out. You don’t need a ton of lemon in this recipe because the cranberries are already pretty tart.
- Water: Breaks down the cranberries to create the sauce!
- Salt: A pinch of salt offsets the sweetness and brings out all of the flavors.
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Unique Cranberry Sauce Variations
Jazz things up with these fun cranberry sauce ingredient swaps:
Citrus: Replace the lemon juice/zest with fresh orange juice/zest.
Sweetener: Use honey instead of maple syrup. (If making this swap, this cranberry sauce is no longer vegan.)
Liquid: Replace the water with orange juice or cranberry juice for extra tartness.
Can you leave out the ginger?
Absolutely. For a simple lemon cranberry sauce, omit the ginger. No other changes needed.
How do you thin out this cranberry sauce?
If your cranberry sauce becomes too thick (it will thicken as it cools), simply mix in 1-2 tablespoons of water.
Save time on Thanksgiving and make this lemon ginger cranberry sauce ahead of time! Let cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Freezing Cranberry Sauce
Get a head start on your Thanksgiving meal prep and freeze homemade cranberry sauce! Let it cool completely, transfer to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
If you have refrigerated or frozen-now-thawed cranberry sauce to heat up, transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium/high heat. If you notice that the sauce is too thick, add a couple tablespoons of water to the saucepan to thin it out. Serve warm!
A traditional Thanksgiving side dish, serve this lemon ginger cranberry sauce with all of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes like crockpot mashed potatoes, healthy green bean casserole, sausage stuffing, and roasted Brussels sprouts.
For a total twist, top a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a spoonful of this homemade cranberry sauce!
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Lemon Ginger Cranberry Sauce
- Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan set over high heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 6-10 minutes. Use a whisk to stir the sauce to help the cranberries break down.
- Let cool for 10 minutes (the sauce will thicken as it cools) and serve warm.
Tips & Notes
- Storage: Let the sauce cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- Freezing Instructions: Let the sauce cool completely, transfer to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- To Reheat Cranberry Sauce: If you have refrigerated or frozen-now-thawed cranberry sauce to heat up, transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium/high heat. If you notice that the sauce is too thick, add a couple tablespoons of water to the saucepan to thin it out. Serve warm!
- Maple Syrup: Depending on how sweet you like your cranberry sauce, feel free to add 1-2 more tablespoons of maple syrup for additional sweetness.