Homemade cranberry orange sauce is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I’m not mad at canned whole berry cranberry sauce or jellied cranberry sauce at all and I do use them in recipes year-round.
But homemade cranberry sauce is so darn easy to make so when fresh cranberries are available in stores, I jump at the chance to make my family’s favorite cranberry recipes with fresh cranberries.
Ingredients for cranberry orange sauce
- 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
Ingredient variations and additions
- Orange zest – if you really want a citrus zing
- Cinnamon sticks – remove after cooking and before refrigeration
- Use 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup water for a more subtle orange flavor
HOW TO MAKE EASY CRANBERRY SAUCE FOR TURKEY DAY
How to make cranberry sauce with orange juice
In a large saucepan, stir together orange juice and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the cranberries and bring to a boil.
Let the cranberries and orange juice mixture boil gently for about 10 minutes. The cranberries will burst open and release their juices and the mixture will become quite foamy.
Let the cranberry sauce cool for 10-15 minutes at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until serving.
How to make cranberry sauce with water
Cranberry sauce with water is made exactly like cranberry sauce with orange juice except you substitute water in place of juice. It’s a basic cranberry sauce recipe for purists and it will always be my favorite.
Should I use fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries to make cranberry orange sauce?
Either one will work!
Do you eat cranberry orange sauce cold or warm?
Homemade cranberry sauce is usually served chilled or at room temperature, but there are a few people who like to heat it up. I’m #teamcold
Is cranberry sauce always tart?
Oh, yeah. Cranberries are naturally very tart and even with the added sugar in homemade cranberry sauce, they’ll still retain the tartness and give you a pucker.
Is cranberry relish the same as cranberry sauce?
Cranberry relish is made with uncooked cranberries and cranberry sauce is made by combining cranberries, water and sugar cooked on the stove. Both of them can be zhuzhed up with citrus, warm spices, toasted pecans, or a splash of spirits.
Can I make homemade cranberry sauce ahead of time?
Absolutely! I always make it the day before I plan on serving it and store it covered in the refrigerator.
How to garnish fresh cranberry sauce
I like to cut thin strips of orange peel, curl them around a wooden skewer and put that on top of the cranberries for a pop of color. You could also add a sprig of mint or a few pecans.
How long does cranberry sauce last?
In my house, it’s gone long before I have to worry about freshness, but it would be fine in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Can I freeze cranberry sauce?
You bet. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
What goes with cranberry sauce
- The absolute best combination (in my opinion) is cranberry sauce and turkey. It’s a beautiful marriage.
- Spread it on rolls, bagels or toast.
- Mix it into a smoothie.
- Serve it over vanilla ice cream.
- Stir it into plain or vanilla yogurt.
- Drizzle it over a sweet pound cake.
- Use leftover sauce to make glazed cranberry orange quick bread.
- Pork tenderloin
Try this delicious cranberry fluff salad for dessert!
Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce
- 12 ounce pkg fresh cranberries rinsed and drained (fresh or frozen cranberries)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- In a medium saucepan, stir together orange juice and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil.
- Add cranberries; return to a boil. Continue boiling gently for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool on counter for about 15 minutes before covering and refrigerating. Store in fridge until serving. Garnish with fresh orange peel spirals, if desired.