Cranberry sauce is a beloved staple on many dinner tables, especially during holiday feasts. However, while many cooks use the canned stuff, there's nothing quite like an easy homemade cranberry sauce. Made with fresh cranberries and zesty oranges, this Thanksgiving staple is a delightful combination of tart flavor and sweet, sure to elicit rave reviews. My Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe with Orange Juice has only four ingredients, is easy to make, not too sweet, not too tart. I love making my fresh cranberry sauce the sparkling jewel on my Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving table.
WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT THIS RECIPE?
- This cranberry sauce recipe goes beyond the traditional. The inclusion of fresh-squeezed orange juice and orange zest adds an tangy citrusy twist. The natural tartness of cranberries paired with the brightness of orange creates a harmonious blend, perfect for the holiday season.
- It's not just another cranberry sauce; it's a fresh cranberry revelation, packed with vitamins and antioxidants!
- It elevates the Thanksgiving dinner or any holiday meal as much as the dinner rolls and sweet potatoes.
IS THIS RECIPE BUDGET-FRIENDLY?
Absolutely! Given the simple list of ingredients, this recipe falls within the "cheap" category of your website. It offers a luxurious taste without a hefty price tag, perfect for those who want to add a touch of elegance to their table without straining their budget.
Just four simple ingredients found at most grocery stores, a bag of cranberries, fresh orange juice and orange peel, sugar, and a pinch of salt.
(Get the full recipe with exact amounts in the recipe card below.)
- Fresh Cranberries: These ruby-red gems are the star of the show. Fresh cranberries have a natural pectin that thickens the sauce and provides a burst of tangy flavor.
- Orange Juice & Zest: Freshly squeezed orange juice brings brightness, while the zest adds a deeper orange undertone. Always opt for fresh to get the most vibrant flavor.
- Granulated Sugar: It balances the tartness of the cranberries and orange, giving the sauce a smooth and sweet finish.
- If granulated sugar isn't available, brown sugar can be a good substitute. It will give the cranberry sauce a richer, molasses-like flavor.
- While fresh cranberries are ideal, frozen cranberries can also be used. Just ensure they're fully thawed before cooking.
- Maple Cranberry Sauce: Replace granulated sugar with pure maple syrup for a warmer, autumnal flavor.
- Cranberry Cinnamon Delight: Add a pinch of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick for an added warmth and depth to your sauce.
A medium saucepan is all you need for this recipe. If looking to expedite the process, consider using an Instant Pot. Just ensure you adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Yes! Pour the cooled sauce into an airtight container and freeze. It can last up to a few months.
How long does homemade cranberry sauce last?
Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it should last for 10-14 days.
Leftover cranberry sauce can be spread on toast, swirled into yogurt, or even paired with meats like turkey and chicken. The next day make a sandwich with Thanksgiving turkey, mayo and cranberry sauce.
PRO COOKING TIPS
- Always cook over medium heat to ensure the cranberries burst and release their natural pectin without burning.
- To check the sauce's consistency, cool a spoonful at room temperature. If it thickens to your liking, it’s done!
- While the cranberry sauce is delicious when freshly made, chilling it for a few hours allows the flavors to meld beautifully.
- Make extra and store in cute little jars with airtight lids and a gift tags secured with twine. Your guests will want to take some home!
- The first time I made this, my best cranberry sauce ever, I made a small batch. Last year and every year since I have doubled or tripled it to freeze leftover sauce or give as gifts.
STEP 1: Bring orange juice, water, and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the cranberries and orange zest and return to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and boil gently for about 10 minutes.
STEP 2: When most of the berries have burst, remove from heat. Cool at room temperature then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. That's it! Store the cranberry sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice
- ½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- zest from 1 orange
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- Bring orange juice, water and sugar to a boil in a medium sauce pan.
- Add the cranberries and orange zest and return to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and boil gently for about 10 minutes.
- When most of the berries have burst, remove from heat.
- Cool at room temperature then chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.
As November approaches and Thanksgiving plans start taking shape, consider elevating your dinner spread with this homemade cranberry orange sauce. It's not just a sauce; it's a conversation starter. The balance of tart cranberries with zesty orange juice and zest, sweetened just right with sugar, is nothing short of a masterpiece. Whether you're celebrating a holiday or just want to bring something special to a Sunday dinner, this recipe is the perfect touch of homemade deliciousness. Enjoy, and happy cooking!