This Zesty and Sweet Cranberry Orange Sauce is made with freshly squeezed orange juice, zest, tart cranberries, sugar and cinnamon. Perfect as a topper to your Thanksgiving turkey or to use as a spread on toast or sweetener in Greek yogurt.
I love the combination of sweet and tart! This sauce provides the perfect amount of sweet with a good balance of tart cranberry. I love keeping some of the cranberries intact so you get those bursts of tart berry flavor!
- Fresh cranberries
- Navel Oranges
- White sugar
- Brown sugar
I've never made the recipe with frozen cranberries, but I would imagine it would work just fine! It may need more time to cook, or you could defrost them before cooking.
Navel oranges work well for the freshly squeezed OJ!
I like the combination of white and brown sugar for this recipe and find the brown sugar provides notes of caramel.
The cinnamon isn't overpowering and the salt brings out the flavors of the rest of the ingredients.
The real key if you ask me is adding that zest! It brings such a pop of citrus!
Making the Sauce
Freshly squeezed OJ is the way to go! Add the orange juice, fresh cranberries, sugar and cinnamon in a pot and simmer together.
In 15 minutes, you'll get a beautiful thick sauce. I don't add water to thin it out since the consistency is similar to a jam. However, if you need to add a splash of water to thin it you can.
Before serving the sauce, zest an orange on top. The zest and oils make the cranberry sauce pop!
How to Use Cranberry Sauce
The first thing that usually comes to mind is Thanksgiving and Christmas Day! It goes with the turkey and gravy, and this is 100% true but there are so many other ways to enjoy this recipe. Let's dive into them!
Try it as a topper on toast. It's similar in consistency to jam, so any way you use jam you can use this cranberry sauce.
Try it as a new PB&J. I love the combination of salty peanut butter with the sweet and tartness of the cranberries!
You can even use it at breakfast as spread on waffles and pancakes.
Mix it into plain Greek yogurt as a way to sweeten it. I love doing this! It adds so much flavor and makes it a pretty pink color.
While we usually think of cranberry sauce going on turkey, try it with chicken as a dipping sauce or glaze.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
While I've never made the recipe with frozen cranberries, I don't see why it wouldn't work! You may need to increase the cooking time since it's starting from frozen or let the cranberries defrost before using them.
It will last for 2 weeks. It may last longer, but for optimal flavor and freshness use within 2 weeks and store in the refrigerator.
More Holiday Recipes
Roasted Root Veggies in Orange Zest and Ginger: If you're on this recipe, I'm guessing you love the flavor of orange so you gotta try this roasted veggie recipe. Full of citrus and ginger flavor and absolutely delish!
Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Apples: Another cranberry recipe, and this one isn't overly sweet. Serve as a side dish with your holiday spread of food!
Grilled Acorn Squash: This recipe is simple but packs a punch of flavor and a bit of heat from the cayenne. Top with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds and enjoy!
Cranberry Orange Sauce
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed preferred!)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar (unpacked)
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- orange zest
- Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the fresh cranberries, OJ, sugars and spices and bring to a gentle boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the cranberries soften and pop (about 10-15 minutes).
- Remove saucepan from the heat and allow to cool before serving or storing for later.
- The zest is so important and adds a pop of flavor. I highly recommend zesting the top before serving.
- Use leftover sauce as a jam for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sweetener for yogurt or topper for toast.
(Nutrition values are calculated by third-party software and an estimate that can vary based on product brands and cooking methods.)