Homemade cranberry sauce couldn't be easier to make and the ingredients are fresh and simple!
Forget about the canned stuff that you can get at the grocery store and make this tasty cranberry sauce with orange juice. It's wonderfully fresh tasting with the perfect balance of sweet and tart and is a great addition to your holiday table.
This recipe was originally posted in November 2016. Pictures and recipes have been updated.
Cranberries are a great way to add flavor to food. We also like them in orange-cranberry chicken recipe.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's made with just a few simple ingredients and it's naturally sweet.
- Cranberry sauce can be made ahead of time.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce Ingredients
This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe, scroll down to see ingredient notes and substitutions as well as the full recipe on a printable recipe card with exact measurements and complete cooking instructions.
- Fresh Cranberries
- Fresh Orange Juice & Orange Zest
- Fresh Ginger
Equipment Needed to Make this Recipe
- Small Saucepan
- Hand Grater for zesting the orange
- Hand Juicer to extract the juice from the orange
How to Make Fresh Cranberry Sauce from Scratch
Place all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan.
Cook the cranberry mixture over low-medium heat while stirring occasionally and smashing the whole berries with the back of the wooden spoon.
Once most of the cranberries have been smashed, the natural pectin in the cranberries will cause the sauce to become thick.
Tip! For a less chunky sauce, cool the mixture in the pan to room temperature and place it into a blender or food processor. Process until it reaches a consistency that you like.
Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Fresh Cranberries. Cranberries are in season in the fall and winter, if fresh cranberries are not available, you can substitute with an equal amount of frozen and thawed cranberries.
When selecting fresh cranberries look for a package of fresh cranberries that are bright red and not wrinkled.
Honey. Honey can be substituted with an equal amount of pure maple syrup, coconut sugar or organic brown sugar. If you prefer your cranberry sauce sweeter, you can add more sweetener than the recipe calls for.
Orange. Any type of fresh oranges can be used to make homemade cranberry sauce. Be sure to wash the skin well before zesting the orange.
Ginger. Fresh ginger brightens up the flavor in this sauce, and if fresh ginger is not available, it can be substituted with ¼ teaspoon of dried ginger.
What to Serve Delicious Homemade Cranberry Sauce With
Aside from the traditional holiday meal, we love homemade cranberry sauce spread on turkey sandwiches, on the side with chicken or Swedish Meatballs, Turkey Meatballs or smeared on top of grilled chicken breasts just before taking them off of the grill.
How to Store Your Homemade Sauce
Store homemade cranberry sauce in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight food storage container.
Freeze leftover cranberry sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or place the container in a bowl of cold water for several hours.
If the sauce is watery after it has been frozen and thawed, heat it on top of the stove over low heat to thicken it up. You can also add a small amount of tapioca flour to help thicken it.
- Add a diced apple or pear to the pan with the cranberries, honey and replace the orange juice with a cup of water,apple juice, your favorite fruit juice or a sweet white wine.
- Replace the orange juice with water or a light, sweet white or red wine and add a cinnamon stick.
- Add a diced jalapeno pepper for a spicy sauce and a splash of lemon juice.
- Stir in a splash of grand marnier or rum while the berries are cooking for a boozy cranberry sauce.
- Add any combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, mint, lemon zest, orange zest.
As the ingredients for the sauce cook in the pan, the sauce should reduce and thicken. If it's still too watery, try adding a slurry of tapioca or arrowroot to the sauce.
You can serve cranberry sauce at room temperature or cold, straight from the refrigerator.
You Might Also Like these Holiday Recipes
- Garlic & Ginger Sweet Potato Mash
- Healthy Candied Sweet Potato Casserole
- Smashed Roasted Garlic Rosemary Potatoes
- Green Beans and Almonds
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate
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Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 2 cups of fresh cranberries
- 1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
- 3 to 4 tablespoons honey
- Place all of the ingredients into a saucepan
- Cook at medium heat stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes mashing the cranberries as they pop which will thicken the liquid.
- If you like a smooth sauce process it in a food processor
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
Homemade cranberry sauce is just the best! Loving that it is sweetened naturally too! So much flavor! 🙂
Brittany Hollie says
Absolutely love that this cranberry sauce is naturally sweetened! This is a very simple recipe which means no excuses for using the canned stuff.