Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce

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

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

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Why We Love This Recipe

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.
  • Oranges – You need two mandarin oranges. Peel them, removing as much of the strings of white pith as you can.
  • Orange extract or orange zest – If you don’t have orange extract, or don’t want to purchase a bottle, you can zest a couple of navel oranges and use that instead.
  • Water – for boiling.
  • Sugar – to sweeten the sauce.

How To Make Cranberry Orange 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.

Recipe FAQs

Can you freeze homemade cranberry sauce?

Yes! Homemade sauce freezes beautifully. Pour into a 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 fresh 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, traditionally Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinner, and is rarely served at other times.

Don’t forget the turkey!

Get the best roast turkey recipe, plus TONS of tips!

Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce in a white dish with orange slices.

Storage

Refrigerate: Leftover cranberry sauce should be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

Freeze: Transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container or resealable plastic freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 2-3 months and thaw overnight in the fridge.

Expert Tips

  • We think this sauce has just the right amount of sweetness, however if you want a more tart flavor, reduce the amount of sugar to ½ a cup or less.
  • When you peel and chop the oranges, be sure to remove the white pith as it is quite bitter.
  • For a warm holiday flavor, add a cinnamon stick or cloves to the sauce as it’s boiling.
  • You can easily double the recipe, just make sure your pan is big enough.
  • Make this recipe a few days ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge. Keep in mine that this will reduce the amount of time it can be kept once you store your leftovers.
A spoonful of homemade cranberry orange sauce.

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Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce

4.75 from 12 votes
Cranberry Orange Sauce is a delicious combination of sweet and tart, and the perfect accompaniment to all your holiday meals.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Side
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 170kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces fresh Cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract or 2 teaspoons fresh ornage zest
  • 2 mandarin oranges peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions
 

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

Notes

  • Instead of fresh oranges, you can use ½ cup orange juice and 1.2 cup water. Omit the extract and add zest instead.
  • When you peel and chop the oranges, try to avoid the bitter white pith, and remove as much as you can.
  • Try adding a cinnamon stick or cloves to the sauce as it’s boiling.
  • Make this recipe a few days ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge. Keep in mine that this will reduce the amount of time it can be kept once you store your leftovers.
  • Refrigerate: Leftover sauce should be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • Freeze: Transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container or resealable plastic freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 2-3 months and thaw overnight in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 0.5gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.05gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 95mgFiber: 3gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 234IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 0.2mg

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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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Comments

  1. This is a great recipe! It’s so yummy. I substituted the orange zest and oranges with orange marmalade – about 3-4 tablespoons. It saved several steps, including picking off the pith. A nice balance of sweet and tart. I was experimenting for my Christmas dinner and I think I hit the nail on the head with this! Otherwise I followed the recipe as written. Good stuff!!

  2. Can you please post the ingredients for the old recipe? I’ve been making this for the past few years and everyone has loved it the way it was. I remember there being equal parts water and sugar but can’t remember how much and how much orange flavor extract and how many oranges?

    1. You and lots of others! 🙂 I updated the recipe and included instructions for using juice instead in the notes.

  3. Didn’t this recipe have mandarin oranges last year? There’s no point in saving a recipe if it’s just going to get edited. Why not create a new recipe instead of editing an older one that people loved?

  4. We like our cranberry sauce quite tart and so reduced the sugar to a 1/2 cup. The flavour was phenomenal. Very fresh and bright. The oranges and cranberries are so complimentary. The texture is perfect. We loved it!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.
      K.

  7. 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!!

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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!