This orange cranberry sauce recipe is sure to become a family favorite. This easy, simple recipe combines the autumn and winter flavors of cloves and cinnamon for the perfect Thanksgiving and holiday side dish. Cooks up in about 20 minutes and can be made ahead!
Why you'll love it
It's quick and easy! This orange cranberry sauce is an easy recipe to add to your Thanksgiving or holiday repertoire! Even if you've never made your own homemade cranberry sauce, you'll be so pleased with how easy it is.
It uses easy to find fresh and pantry staples! Fresh cranberries are plentiful during fall and winter and are readily available at the grocery store.
It's a classic cranberry sauce recipe- No shame in your game if you love canned cranberry sauce (I actually love it too). But if you're after something easy and homemade, you should give this orange cranberry sauce recipe a try.
- Fresh cranberries (frozen cranberries also work great)
- Orange, including orange zest
- Fresh orange juice - substitute with water, cranberry juice, or apple juice
- Sugar - you can use a mix of white sugar and brown sugar
- Ground cloves
- Cinnamon stick
Zest orange (do this first) then cut orange in half and squeeze out the juice.
Add orange juice (and reserved juice) along with sugar to a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir as sugar dissolves. When sugar has melted, add cranberries, zest, cinnamon stick, and zest. Stir to combine.
Bring mixture to a boil over medium to medium high heat. Cook until cranberries burst and sauce thickens slightly-about 10 minutes. I usually start on medium high heat then turn down to medium. Let cool in pan then store covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Recipe notes and kitchen tips
- A good saucepan is key to making a good sauce. I love my All Clad cookware because it's lasted more than 10 years and is great at even heating.
- Allow several hours for your orange cranberry sauce to cool completely. Serve cold or at room temperature.
- The cranberries will pop and splatter a little as they cook. Don't stand over the pot until most of them have burst.
- This orange cranberry sauce is quite versatile. Add chopped pecans for a southern twist. Add chopped apple, dried cranberries, or dried cherries for variety.
Reduce to amount of liquid you add and let the sauce simmer longer to help the liquid evaporate. You can also add a cornstarch or tapioca flour and water mixture (1:1 ratio) to the sauce while it's simmering.
Cranberry relish is made from raw ingredients that have been blended together. Cranberry sauce is cooked.
Cranberry sauce can be made in advance 10 days to two weeks and kept in the refrigerator. You can make it two months ahead if you freeze it.
Yes, in fact that's a great way to make it ahead. Pack it in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
What to eat with orange cranberry sauce?
- Easy Roast Turkey
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs
- Corn Casserole
- Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- Pumpkin Brownies
- Pumpkin Apple Soup
Thank you for reading this recipe! If you make it, I’d love for you to give it a ★ rating below.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
- 1 orange zested and squeezed, juice reserved
- ¾ cup orange juice plus reserved fresh orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 - 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
- 1 stick cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Rinse and drain cranberries; set aside.
- Zest whole orange then cut in half and squeeze out juice.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add orange juices and sugar. Stir as sugar dissolves.
- Add cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and cloves to sugar mixture. Bring to a gentle boil then cook until cranberries burst, and sauce begins to thicken-about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cranberries will pop and may splatter so beware!
- Let cool in pan. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Allow several hours to cool completely. Serve cold or at room temperature. I like to make it a couple days ahead, then bring it out about on hour before serving.
- Cranberry sauce is quite versatile. Add chopped pecans for a southern twist. Add dried cranberries or dried cherries.
- Keep in mind that the using more or less liquid will determine how saucy the final product is.
- Make up to two weeks ahead-store tightly covered in the refrigerator.