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Orange Cranberry Sauce

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Homemade orange cranberry sauce starts with fresh cranberries and ends with a yummy sweet-tart sauce. It is great warm or cold and can be made ahead of time for a festive side dish.

Antique berry spoon scooping out freshly made orange cranberry sauce with chunks of cranberries and a deep red color from a white serving bowl.

Cranberry sauce is a holiday classic. There is something about those tart crimson berries that just draw you in.

Making Sauce From Fresh or Frozen Cranberries

Like most of you, I grew up celebrating Thanksgiving with cranberry sauce from a can, and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t my favorite. With so many tasty side dish options on the table, I pretty much never wasted the space on the canned sauce.

Over the years, the fresh berries have caught my eye at the grocery store. They are one of those fun seasonal produce items that are only available fresh for a short period of time, so I have to get some.

Ingredients including washed fresh cranberries, sugar, a cinnamon stick, and orange juice ready to be made into homemade cranberry sauce.

What started as a curiosity and my first batch of homemade cranberry sauce has turned into an obsession. Now I stock up on cranberries whenever I see them on sale.

That way, I can make all the cranberry goodies. I also wash and freeze some for later.

That way, I can enjoy yummy cranberry treats throughout the year and not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, you can buy them frozen as well, but those sale prices on the fresh berries are hard to beat.

Making Your Own Cranberry Sauce

Luckily, making your own cranberry sauce is simple. You just need the berries, a sweetener, and some liquid.

You can get all fancy if you want, but really, it is as simple as that. I love using orange juice as the liquid for an added layer of flavor.

Then, I usually just use granulated sugar because it is economical and easy. You could stop there, but I also like to toss in a cinnamon stick too.

It doesn’t really make it taste super cinnamon-y. It just gives it that little something that makes it feel like it belongs on the holiday table.

All you have to do is cook everything together until the cranberries start to pop. The mixture will naturally thicken as the berries go.

You can eat it as is or use a potato masher to break up any remaining large chunks of berries. For a smoother sauce, you can even use an immersion blender.

Serving Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Usually, cranberry sauce is served cold. Chill the sauce for at least two hours so it can set up.

Then it will stay in its place on your plate. Plus, it gives a nice contrast to all of the other hot and heavy food on your plate.

However, the sauce is also tasty warm. You can serve it warm with roast turkey, a pork loin, or other savory meat.

Or spoon some hot sauce over vanilla ice cream for a lovely seasonal dessert. There are so many great ways to enjoy your sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make cranberry sauce in advance?

Yes! You can make homemade cranberry sauce up to a week in advance of when you plan to serve it. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container.

How can you make cranberry sauce thicker?

The longer you simmer your sauce, the thicker it will be. Keep in mind that your sauce will seem runnier while it’s hot and will thicken as it cools and sets.

White serving bowl filled with chunky homemade cranberry sauce, ready to be served.

More Great Cranberry Recipes

If you like these flavors, you may also want to check out my recipe for orange cranberry relish. It is similar ingredients but it isn’t cooked so it has a really fresh flavor.

Or try making cranberry applesauce for another fabulous side dish. The cranberries add great flavor and texture to homemade applesauce.

Check out my collection of cranberry recipes for more tasty inspiration.

Antique berry spoon scooping out freshly made orange cranberry sauce with chunks of cranberries and a deep red color from a white serving bowl.

Orange Cranberry Sauce

Carlee
Homemade orange cranberry sauce starts with fresh cranberries and ends with a yummy sweet-tart sauce. It is great warm or cold and can be made ahead of time for a festive side dish.
5 from 3 ratings
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Course Sauces, Dressings & Condiments
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 107 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 12 ounces cranberries fresh or frozen
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick optional

Instructions
 

  • Place all ingredients in a saucepan.
  • Cook over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. The berries will pop as they cook. The sauce is done once it has thickened to applesauce consistency.
  • For a smoother sauce, mash any remaining berries with a potato masher. Or for an even smoother sauce, use an immersion blender.
  • You can eat it warm, but traditionally it is chilled for a couple of hours to set up before enjoying.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze it for up to three months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 107kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 98mgFiber: 2gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 89IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 0.2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!

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