Thanksgiving dinner isn't complete without cranberry sauce. It's equal parts tart, sweet, and delicious. And while you can easily buy the canned stuff from the store, why not make this classic side dish from scratch? All it takes is five simple ingredients and 10 minutes of your time. Plus, with this particular recipe, you can add orange juice and zest for a citrus touch. You don't even need fancy equipment or cooking skills. Read on to learn how to make orange cranberry sauce at home.

Orange cranberry sauce recipe

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Things You’ll Need

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice

  • 1/2 cup water

  • Pinch of cinnamon or cinnamon stick (optional)

  • Extra orange zest (for garnish)

Ingredients for orange cranberry sauce

Step 1

In a small pot over medium heat, combine the sugar, orange juice, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, mixing frequently until the sugar dissolves.

Dissolve sugar in orange juice and water


Alternatives for white sugar include brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey. For a vegan-friendly version, use sugar or maple syrup. You can also make this recipe without a sweetener.

Step 2

Add the cranberries, orange zest, and dash of cinnamon. If you want a more intense cinnamon flavor, add a whole cinnamon stick.

Combine cranberries and orange zest

Step 3

Gently boil for 8 to 10 minutes. As the cranberries soften, smash them with a large spoon. Mix frequently.

Let the cranberry sauce cool before serving.

Boil orange cranberry sauce

You can easily use this recipe to make basic cranberry sauce. Simply replace the liquid with 1 cup of water and omit the orange zest.

However, don't be afraid to experiment, too. Spices like nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom taste amazing with the natural flavor of cranberries. For a boozy version, use red wine, spiced rum, or vodka instead of water. Fresh apple cider works just as well.

Orange cranberry sauce

As you can see, the possibilities are deliciously endless!


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