Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce

Cranberry Orange Sauce is a delicious combination of sweet and tart, and the perfect accompaniment to all your holiday meals.

A bowl of homemade cranberry orange sauce in a white dish.

This sweet and tangy Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce will be the perfect compliment to your Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing and it makes a fantastic relish for leftover turkey sandwiches. Plus you can make a double batch and use it for Cranberry Fluff Salad, too!

Say goodbye to cranberry sauce from a can and hello to this perfectly sweet and tart homemade cranberry orange sauce. With just a few ingredients and about 15 minutes of cooking time, it’s so easy to make at home.

Want a delicious holiday breakfast idea? Try topping Pumpkin Pancakes with this cranberry relish, or mix it into your oatmeal, yogurt or smoothies. It will blow your mind!

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe Ingredients

  • Fresh Cranberries – this is the base of your sauce. Make sure you buy fresh and not frozen.
  • Mandarin Oranges (Cuties) – these are the Cuties oranges that you find in bags in the produce aisle. They are particularly sweet in the fall, but also have a fabulous slightly bitter taste that compliments the sweet. You could also use a navel orange, and, in a pinch, a cup of really well drained canned mandarins.
  • Water – for boiling.
  • Sugar – to sweeten the sauce.
  • Orange extract – this ingredient is completely optional and just adds more orange flavor.

How to Make Cranberry Sauce from Scratch

  1. Add sugar and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add oranges, cranberries and orange extract and continue to simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes. Stir it around a few times. The cranberries will begin popping and releasing all of their yummy juices.
  3. Remove from the heat and let sit for about 20 minutes to cool. Once the sauce is completely cooled, store it for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge.
Cranberry Orange Sauce is a delicious combination of sweet and tart, and the perfect accompaniment to your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Expert Tips

  • Instead of the orange extract, you could also add a splash of orange juice and some orange zest instead. Just keep in mind that oj has a lot of sugar, so you may want to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe.
  • The white pith of the orange is quite bitter, so try to remove as much of that as you can.
  • For a warm holiday flavor, add a cinnamon stick to the sauce as it’s boiling.
Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce in a white dish with orange slices.


Can you freeze homemade cranberry sauce?

Yes! Homemade sauce freezes beautifully. Pour into an freezer safe container or bag (squeeze out extra air), label it, and place it into the freezer for up to 2 months for the best quality. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and you are ready to roll.

Do you serve cranberry sauce hot or cold?

Cranberry sauce is best served as a chilled relish or side dish. It can be served at room temperature.

What do you eat the cranberry sauce with?

Cranberry sauce can be served with a variety of proteins, including turkey, chicken, pork or ham. It is most often served at holiday meals, traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas, and is rarely served at other times.

A spoonful of homemade cranberry orange sauce.

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Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce


  • 1 12 oz. bag fresh Cranberries
  • 2 Sweet Mandarin Oranges peeled and diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange extract


  • Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  • Add cranberries, oranges and orange extract and boil gently for about 10-15 minutes; until most of the liquid has reduced and cranberries have popped.
  • Remove from heat and cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

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Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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  1. I am not a fan of Cranberry Relish however I made this recipe for Thanksgiving last year and doubled it so I could make the Cranberry Fluff Salad. My guests went crazy for both dishes and actually wanted the recipe! Oh, and guess what… I have found a cranberry relish recipe I enjoy! And that Cranberry Fluff Salad, are you kidding me? It’s fantastic!! Thank you!

  2. The best cranberry recipe ever!!!! So easy. I made sure I kept a lid on the sauce pan or else it will get messy when they pop. I will never buy canned cranberries again! Thank you for your recipes, I only use yours! If I could rate more than 5 stars I would.

    1. Thank you so much for the RAVE Brittany! It’s one of our favorites as well. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I’ve always made fresh cranberry sauce with the orange juice. This year I didn’t have orange juice but had mandarin oranges. Saw your recipe and tried it out. It was awesome as well as easy. Thanks for the recipe!!

  4. its easy to make i tried it .its so delicious i must say everybody can make it and enjoyed it. i tried and eat with different kinds of snacks. thank you

    1. yes you can definitely use frozen. You might need to cook it a little longer to reduce the extra water. If you want to use canned, use the whole cranberry sauce and add the oranges and let it simmer for a little bit.

  5. its easy to make i tried it .its so delicious i must say everybody can make it and enjoyed it. i tried and eat with different kinds of snacks. thank you

  6. wow, it’s surprisingly easy! I’m imagining that we can also use the same recipe for other ingredients like strawberry, raspberry for example, can’t we?
    – Natalie

    1. Hmm, the servings were there and now they’re gone. If I recall it made about 2-3 cups. I’d say at least 8-10 small servings.

      1. Lol – you are right about the 8-10 servings. I doubled the recipe, and now have TONS! It’ll be great for leftovers though. Thanks for the recipe. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!