Easy Cranberry Jelly

cranberry jelly with fresh cranberries on a wooden table
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This basic Cranberry Jelly recipe only needs sugar and water, as cranberries naturally contain a lot of pectin, which helps keep the berries nice and firm. Make it during the autumn when cranberries are available! It’s an excellent side to add flavor to turkey and pork or everyday meals and a favorite for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Note: Cranberry jelly is not the same thing as cranberry sauce. Jelly is clear and smooth, while sauce has chunks or bits of fruit. As a jelly, you can pour it into either jars or special molds for serving.

Homemade cranberry jelly will taste more natural and less sugary than the canned versions. It uses whole fruits and does not use the high fructose corn syrup and more corn syrup found in canned brands. Plus, it’s so easy to make with only two ingredients!

Refrigerate this jelly for up to two weeks.

See our “How to Make Jelly” guide to learn more and discover more jelly recipes!

1 quart or 4 cups of cranberries
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
  1. In a heavy saucepan, simmer cranberries in the water for 20 minutes or until soft. Optional: If you want super-smooth jelly, transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or jelly bag, pushing the sauce through with a spatula. 
  3. Return to the stove. Stir in sugar. 
  4. Stirring, bring to a rolling boil over high heat, and cook for about 5 minutes. 
  5. Pour into a wet molds or sterilized jelly jars immediately as jelly hardens quickly.

Refrigerate to set completely. Enjoy!

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The Almanac Chefs

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