Simple Southern Cranberry Sauce

There’s a big Thanksgiving debate in my family every year.  It’s very serious and it gets very heated.  It is a disagreement over the very important topic of cranberry sauce.  My husband is of the mindset that cranberry sauce should maintain its can shape and be sliced along the ring imprints formed by the can.  That is so weird, right?! He likes to put it out on a plate, slice a few slices, and then leave it on the plate in its gelatinous, canned form with the knife so people can cut their own slices. I, on the other hand, like to make things that seem like I put a lot of work into them, but are actually easy to make.  And this Simple Southern Cranberry Sauce is super easy!

So today you are in luck. I am here to give you two super quick and easy cranberry sauce recipes!  My husband’s and mine.  Here is my husband’s recipe: buy a can of jellied cranberry sauce, dump it out onto a plate, and slice along the ring imprints.  If you want to get really fancy, you can even fan out or layer the rings to show off your plating skills. You’re welcome for this bonus recipe.

side angled view of a rectangular plate filled with simple southern cranberry sauce

But probably why you’re actually here is for an amazingly delicious cranberry sauce that will make your family and friends think you really put a lot of work into this dish, but it’s actually super easy!

What you’ll need

All you need for this super simple recipe is a pot and spoon or spatula to make the cranberry sauce, and then a shallow pan to chill it. I usually use an 8×8 baking dish for this and it works perfectly!


canned cranberry sauce with whole berries
black cherry jello
cherry bourbon
crushed pineapple
mixed berries

top down view of a rectangular white plate of cranberry sauce next to a rose gold spoon both sitting on top of a round piece of wood

How to make Simple Southern Cranberry Sauce

Mix everything except the fruit in a saucepan on the stove for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the fruit. Pour this mixture into a shallow dish and chill. The best part about this recipe is that you can substitute fruits, or even use nuts if you prefer. I also like to use frozen mixed berries because I can buy them any time and not worry about them going bad! If you can’t find cherry bourbon, you can use regular bourbon, or a combination of bourbon and grenadine!

When it’s time to eat, scoop into your fanciest serving bowl and enjoy!

Common Questions

Is Cranberry Sauce served cold?

I like to serve it cold, but it can also be served at room temperature. It should not be served warm.

Is Cranberry Sauce supposed to be sweet?

This version of cranberry sauce is sweet. On their own, cranberries are very tart, so the jello and sugar add sweetness to counteract the tartness of the berry.

What do you eat Cranberry Sauce on?

I eat this Simple Southern Cranberry Sauce by itself, but on Thanksgiving, many people like to put cranberry sauce on their turkey. It would go well on a turkey sandwich too, or even used like a jam on a toast. Or you could put it over vanilla ice cream for a dessert. The options are endless!

How does Cranberry Sauce taste?

This Simple Southern Cranberry Sauce is like a dessert. It’s sweet and fruity with a jelly-like texture.

an angled view of Simply Southern Cranberry Sauce in a white bowl with an orange rim with a rose gold spoon sticking out. There are three large strawberries on top. The bowl is on a white marbled surface

This cranberry sauce is sweet and delicious and tastes just like dessert, but you don’t have to wait till after dinner to eat it! You can top it with whipped cream, or nuts, or if you’re like me and are too impatient to wait, you just eat it as is! My husband isn’t quite yet ready to admit that I win the argument, but I could tell by his reaction to tasting it that he knows I’m right.  You will not miss the jellied, canned slices once you get a taste of this glorious treat!

Looking for other Thanksgiving recipes? Check these out:

Kentucky Sweet Potato Pie
Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
Bourbon Molasses Chocolate Pecan Pie

Looking for other fruit recipes? Check these out:

Sangria Poptarts
Piña Colada Upside Down Cupcakes

Did you try this recipe?  Review and comment below, and share a photo on Instagram and tag @flourdeliz!

Pin this recipe for later:


Simple Southern Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time4 hrs 13 mins


  • 1 can cranberry sauce with whole berries
  • 1 package black cherry jello
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cherry bourbon regular bourbon works too!
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 2 cups mixed berries


  • Mix the cranberry sauce, jello, sugar, and bourbon in a saucepan and heat over medium-low for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and add pineapple and berries.
  • Pour into shallow pan and refrigerate until set, 4 hours to overnight.
  • Transfer to serving dish or serve right out of the shallow pan!


Instead of mixed berries, you can mix in any fruit or nuts that you choose! You can even dump frozen fruit right in!


This post was updated in September 2020 with an improved recipe, new photos and additional information about the recipe.


4 thoughts on “Simple Southern Cranberry Sauce”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.