Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce is a classic side to any Thanksgiving meal and pairs perfectly with Thanksgiving turkey. Why open a can when making fresh cranberry sauce is so easy and tastes even better!
Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe
Homemade cranberry sauce is one of the easiest recipes you'll make for Thanksgiving. I love making mine with brown sugar, orange juice, fresh orange zest and a hint of cinnamon. I also make a Spiced Pear and Cranberry Sauce which is also delicious.
Ingredients in Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Cranberries - I prefer to use fresh cranberries but frozen will work as well.
- Brown Sugar - most recipes call for white sugar but I personally like deeper flavor that brown sugar adds with just a touch of molasses.
- Orange Juice - fresh squeezed is always sweeter and best!
- Orange Zest - two big strips of orange zest cook down into the sauce to add a bright orange flavor and more is used grated over the top for garnish.
- Water - just 2 Tablespoons to help the sauce along. If you are using frozen cranberries, you can skip this ingredient.
- Salt - just a pinch.
- Cinnamon - cinnamon sticks cook down with the cranberry sauce and give it a very subtle hint of cinnamon.
How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Making homemade cranberry sauce is a breeze and once you've made it once, I'm sure you'll make it every year.
Here's how to do it:
In a sauce pan combine cranberries, sugar, water orange peels and cinnamon. Bring that mixture to a boil then reduce and cook until the sauce thickens. This will only take 5-7 minutes so the process is very quick. If you are doubling the recipe, it may take a bit longer but not much.
Season your sauce with a pinch of salt and stir in the orange juice. Cook another minute before turning off the heat. The sauce will thicken even more as it sits.
Allow the sauce to cool completely before removing orange peels and the cinnamon stick. Store in a glass mason jar in the refrigerator until sauce is chilled and ready to serve.
Before serving the cranberry sauce, transfer to a pretty serving bowl like this one, and grate orange zest over the top for garnish.
Cranberry and orange are a flavor combination made in heaven. I love using this cranberry sauce in my Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktails as well as my Cranberry Margaritas. In fact I usually make a double batch if I know there will be cocktails made with this sauce as well.
Make Cranberry Sauce Ahead:
The best part about homemade cranberry sauce is, you can make it ahead of time and have it ready on Thanksgiving day. Cranberry sauce can be kept in sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 10-14 days. Longer than that and you will want to freeze it. In the freezer cranberry sauce will last for 2 months.
- Frozen cranberries can be used in place of fresh. If you use frozen, you can eliminate the 2 Tablespoons of water.
- If you aren't a huge fan of orange, you can always make this sauce all cranberry by skipping the juice and zest completely and using a cranberry juice cocktail instead of orange juice.
- No brown sugar? You can always use white granulated sugar.
More Recipes for Cranberry Lovers:
- Easy Cranberry Apple Tarts
- Cranberry Orange Pound Cake
- Cranberry Spice Margaritas
- Cranberry Gin Fizz
- Bourbon Cranberry Jello
- Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs
- Cranberry Mules
- Blue Cheese & Cranberry Crostini
- Pomegranate Cranberry Sparkler
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 wide strips of orange peel, plus more zest for garnish
- 2 Tablespoons water
- pinch of salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- Rinse and drain cranberries.
- Peel two large strips of rind off of an orange with a vegetable peeler.
- Place cranberries, brown sugar, orange zest, cinnamon stick and 2 Tablespoons of water in a sauce pan.
- Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce and cook for about 5 minutes stirring, until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Season with a pinch of salt and add the orange juice.
- Cook stirring another 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Remove orange zest and cinnamon stick.
- Transfer to a large glass mason jar or storage container with a lid and refrigerate until chilled and ready to serve.
- Garnish with grated orange zest before serving.
If you are serving more than 4 people, I would recommend doubling the recipe. All ingredients can be doubled.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 48mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 3gSugar: 51gProtein: 1g