Christmas/ Sauces/ Thanksgiving

Cranberry Orange Sauce

28 November 2021 | Last Updated: 8 January 2022 By Aleksandra

Homemade cranberry orange sauce is so simple to make and it tastes amazing. It will be ready in 15 minutes and can be easily reheated. It goes great not only with turkey, but also with chicken, duck, or goose.

Cranberry orange sauce in a white bowl. Oranges and rosemary twigs in the background.

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to make the recipe. Scroll down for a printable recipe card with measurements and detailed instructions.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this delicious cranberry orange sauce:

  • cranberries – can be fresh or frozen, is using frozen thaw them first
  • oranges – we will need orange juice and orange zest
  • sugar – to sweeten sour cranberries
  • salt – to balance the sweetness

Freshly squeezed orange juice and orange zest really take this sauce to another level!

A small pinch of cinnamon would also be a good addition.

Labeled ingredients for cranberry orange sauce.

Step by step instructions

A collage of 4 photos showing how to prepare cranberry orange sauce.

STEP 1: Zest one orange then squeeze the juice out of 2 oranges. Measure out 3/4 cup of juice. Add orange juice, orange zest, and sugar into a medium pot.

TIP: The best zester for grating citrus zest is a Microplane.

STEP 2: Bring to a boil then simmer for 4-5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the juice has thickened a bit.

STEP 3: Add the cranberries.

STEP 4: Simmer for 6-8 minutes until all the cranberries have burst.

STEP 5: The sauce will look too runny at this point but don’t worry all the liquid will turn into jelly when the sauce has cooled down. Stir in the salt and let the sauce cool and thicken.

Enjoy!

Storage

You can keep the sauce for up to 5-6 days in the fridge. It reheats very well.

It can also be frozen. Freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in a pot.

What to do with leftovers

Recipe FAQs

How do you thicken up cranberry sauce?

Cranberries naturally contain a lot of pectins which will thicken the sauce as it cools. This sauce is thick and jammy but it won’t be as thick as from the can. This article explains well why that is.

What to do if my cranberry sauce is too runny?

Drain it on a fine mesh strainer reserving the liquid. Add the liquid to a pot and cook it until thickened. Add the thickened liquid to the cranberries. Wait for the sauce to cool.

Should cranberry sauce be served hot or cold?

Serve it at room temperature or just slightly warm.

What to do if my cranberry sauce is too sweet?

You can add some lemon juice to balance the sweetness.

An overhead photo of cranberry orange sauce in a white bowl. Oranges and rosemary twigs in the background.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Homemade cranberry orange sauce is so simple to make and it tastes amazing. It will be ready in 15 minutes and can be easily reheated. It goes great not only with turkey, but also with chicken, duck, or goose.
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Cranberry orange sauce in a white bowl. Oranges and rosemary twigs in the background.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 127kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice about 2 medium oranges
  • zest grated from 1 large orange about 2 teaspoons
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 200g
  • 12 ounces (340g) cranberries
  • big pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Zest one orange then squeeze the juice out of 2 oranges. Measure out 3/4 cup of juice.
  • Add orange juice, orange zest, and sugar into a medium pot.
  • Bring to a boil then simmer for 4-5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the juice has thickened a bit.
  • Add the cranberries, simmer for 6-8 minutes until all the cranberries have burst.
  • The sauce will look too runny at this point but don’t worry all the liquid will turn into jelly when the sauce has cooled down.
  • Stir in the salt and let the sauce cool and thicken.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can reduce the sugar amount to 3/4 of a cup (150g), if you want it less sweet. The sauce will be still sweet with a hint of tartness. I wouldn’t reduce it more.
  • The sauce can be made several days in advance. Reheat it in a pot.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/8 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
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