The Best Orange Cranberry Sauce
The best Orange Cranberry Sauce recipe you’ll ever make! With only four simple ingredients, this simple make-ahead dish will help you rock the holidays.
Ok friends, let’s be clear about one thing. This is not the canned cranberry sauce that your great aunt slops into a bowl for Thanksgiving. You know the kind that comes out of a can, makes a squelching sound when it slithers out and could retain the shape of the can even during a nuclear holocaust.
This is not that sauce. This cranberry sauce has depth and flavor. It has legs. It is cranberry…like cranberry was meant to be. And if you need to free up your stove while making it, check out our Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce.
How Long Does It Take Cranberry Sauce to Set?
It will reach the final consistency once it has fully cooled.
HOW LONG DOES CRANBERRY SAUCE LAST?
You can keep your fresh cranberry sauce with orange juice in the fridge for up to two weeks. In fact, homemade cranberry sauce actually tastes better if made a few days prior to serving. That’s why we call it make-ahead cranberry sauce! ????
If you want to make it shelf-stable, check out this tutorial on Canning Cranberry Sauce.
CAN YOU FREEZE CRANBERRY SAUCE?
You sure can! This means if you’re reading this weeks or even months before a major holiday, make a batch today and freeze it for later. You’ll also love my free Thanksgiving Checklist printable for all your Type-A holiday planning needs!
I freeze mine in wide-mouth canning jars. I use pint jars for smaller servings and quart jars for large gatherings. Just allow the sauce to fully cool before adding it to the canning jars. And leave 1-inch of space between the top of the food and the top of the jar.
VARIATIONS ON Make-Ahead CRANBERRY SAUCE
- Want a boozy cranberry sauce? Reduce the orange juice by 1 tbsp and cook as directed in the recipe card. Add 1 tbsp of Grand Marnier or bourbon to the sauce after it has finished cooking. Cook the sauce on saute for 2 minutes to cook off some of the alcohol.
- Add 1-2 cinnamon sticks to the pot prior to cooking if you prefer spiced cranberry sauce.
- Sub in maple syrup, honey, or even coconut sugar in place of the regular sugar.
- Stir in a little homemade Strawberry Puree to take your sauce to the next level.
MORE THANKSGIVING IDEAS
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Crispy Fried Onions
- Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
- Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Amazing Vegan Gravy
- Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
- Turkey Bone Broth
- Chipotle Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes
If you have leftover cranberries after making this, learn all about Freezing Cranberries to save the extras for another time.
Orange Cranberry Sauce
- In a medium saucepan, combine orange juice and sugar. Bring to a boil.
- Add the cranberries, and reduce the heat to medium. Allow it to cook until you start to hear the cranberries popping.
- With a wooden spoon or potato masher (what I use), smash down the cranberries until it reaches your desired texture. I prefer mostly mushed with a few whole berries sprinkled in there.
- Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest. Allow sauce to cool for 20 minutes at room temperature (so it doesn't heat up your fridge), and transfer to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator. It will thicken a bit as it cools.
If you are looking for a sugar-free version of cranberry sauce, try this one sweetened with honey.
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