Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe (2024)

This homemade Cinnamon Cranberry Orange Sauce is bursting with fresh juicy cranberries and is perfect served with Roast Turkey. You will be surprised how easy this is (with just 4 ingredients) and it’s way better than canned or storebought sauce.

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe (1)

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Orange Cranberry Sauce is iconic for the holiday table along with classic sides like Mashed Potatoes, easy Turkey Gravy, creamy Sweet Potato Casserole, and of course soft Dinner Rolls. This Cranberry Orange Sauce proves that homemade is best.

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe

You’ll love this spin on Classic Cranberry Sauce infused with cinnamon and orange flavors. You can’t beat homemade because it has a real cranberry texture. The cranberries burst and release their juices as they heat, which turns into a jelly-like sauce as it cools. This one is bursting with bites of sweet, tangy cranberries.

This is one of the easiest side dishes you’ll make but Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without it. Make this once and you’ll quickly realize canned cranberry sauce is no match for the real thing.

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe (2)

How Long Does Cranberry Sauce Last?

You can make cranberry-orange sauce ahead and take a little pressure off the biggest cooking day of the year! Homemade orange-cranberry sauce will keep well covered and refrigerated for 10-14 days.

Can I Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

Cranberry Sauce freezes really well. Transfer it to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag, remove excess air and freeze up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Ingredients for Orange Cranberry Sauce

The sauce is infused with orange and cinnamon and sweetened with honey. The honey gives this sauce a boost of flavor and makes it healthier than using sugar. This recipe has all-natural, unprocessed ingredients.

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe (3)

Can I use Frozen Cranberries?

Yes! We love keeping a bag of fresh-frozen cranberries in the freezer for when the cranberry sauce craving strikes. Did you know fresh cranberries can be frozen in their original bag or a freezer-safe bag for 10 to 12 months?

You can use fresh or frozen cranberries to make orange cranberry sauce. Frozen will take slightly longer to reach a simmer but the flavor and consistency will be the same in the finished sauce.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Sauce

This recipe is EASY and comes together quickly. It takes just 10 minutes for the sauce to form.

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine honey, water, orange juice, zest, and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring it to a simmer.
  2. Add fresh (or frozen) cranberries then simmer at a low boil 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until cranberries start to burst.
  3. Add more honey to taste then remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick.
Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe (4)

Pro Zesting Tip: Zest the orange before juicing it (it’s much easier!). When zesting, be sure you only remove the orange peel and not the white portion underneath which can make your sauce taste bitter. Don’t go crazy with the zest. Using more than a teaspoon can overwhelm the sauce. If you only have store-bought orange juice, you can omit the zest and it will still work well.

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe (5)

How to Serve Orange Cranberry Sauce

If you have never tried homemade, you are in for a deliciously easy treat! As the sauce cools, it thickens and becomes spreadable – perfect for the Thanksgiving Turkey, with Pork Tenderloin, chicken, ham, and on Dinner Rolls. That combination of sweet and savory is irresistible. You could even use it as a topping for Cheesecake. The possibilities are endless!

Cranberry Sauce Can be served hot or cold right out of the refrigerator. We usually serve it cold or at room temperature.

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe (6)

More Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Try these top-rated holiday sides to make this your best holiday menu yet! If you’re looking for more Thanksgiving menu ideas, check out all of our Thanksgiving recipes here.

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes – with bacon and garlic
  • Scalloped Sweet Potatoes – a twist on the classic
  • Mashed Potato Casserole – loaded and so cheesy
  • Green Bean Casserole – completely from scratch
  • Quiche Lorraine – delicious hot or cold

Q: Do YOU have a special cranberry sauce you make every year? I’d love to hear about it. If you haven’t started that tradition, I invite you to try this recipe and hope it becomes a new favorite for you and your loved ones. Have a beautiful and memorable Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe

5 from 196 votes

Author: Natasha of

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe (8)

This Orange Cranberry cranberry sauce is infused with orange zest and juice and cinnamon, and sweetened with honey. Store-bought is no match for homemade orange cranberry sauce!


Cook Time: 10 minutes mins

Total Time: 10 minutes mins


Servings: 10 people (makes 2 1/2 cups cranberry sauce)

  • 2/3 cup honey, or add to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed from 1 large orange
  • 1 tsp orange zest, lightly packed, from the same orange*
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 oz cranberries, fresh or frozen


  • In a medium saucepan, combine 2/3 cup honey, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 tsp orange zest and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve honey.

  • Add 12 oz cranberries and bring to a boil. Once boiling, adjust heat to keep at a low boil and cook 10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cranberries will burst and sauce will begin to thicken. A minute or so before turning off the heat, taste for sweetness and add more honey to taste for a sweeter sauce. Keep in mind the sauce will thicken when it cools.

  • Remove from heat, discard cinnamon stick and cool cranberry sauce to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to serve.


*Zest the orange before juicing it (it’s much easier!). Be sure you only zest the orange peel and not the white portion which can make the sauce bitter. Don’t use more than 1 tsp or it overwhelms the sauce.

Nutrition Per Serving

88kcal Calories23g Carbs1mg Sodium53mg Potassium1g Fiber20g Sugar35IU Vitamin A8mg Vitamin C8mg Calcium0.2mg Iron

  • Full Nutrition Label
  • Nutrition Disclosure

Nutrition Facts

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe

Amount per Serving



% Daily Value*























Vitamin A





Vitamin C















* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Condiments, Sauce

Cuisine: American

Keyword: cinnamon orange cranberry sauce, orange cranberry sauce

Skill Level: Easy

Cost to Make: $

Calories: 88

P.S. I am truly thankful for you, my readers, whether you just stumbled upon my blog today or have been following along since 2009 when this blog was born, I truly appreciate you. Because of you, my husband and I can do what we love to wake up to daily. We have especially been blessed to hear how our recipes have blessed your families, nourished your children and impressed your parents! This Thanksgiving, we are thanking God for you.

Natasha Kravchuk

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe (9)

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe (2024)


Can you mix orange and cranberry juice? ›

Cranberries and orange juice combine with agave to create a festive drink that's a beautiful holiday red, has all the sweet and tangy flavors of the season, and just makes the holiday feel so much more merry and bright. It's a great drink to serve to family and friends around the fire on a cold Christmas day.

How long does orange cranberry sauce last? ›

You can make cranberry-orange sauce ahead and take a little pressure off the biggest cooking day of the year! Homemade orange-cranberry sauce will keep well covered and refrigerated for 10-14 days.

What is the difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry relish? ›

There is an important difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry relish and that is that cranberry relish is made from raw ingredients blended in a food processor (it's more fresh and tart tasting) and cranberry sauce is cooked and often much sweeter than relish.

What thickens cranberry sauce? ›

Jelling. Homemade cranberry sauce is meant to thicken, or “jell,” while cooking. If it stays soupy, that could mean a couple of things. One possibility is that you may not have used enough sugar: Sugar helps the sauce firm up, so be sure to use the full amount called for in a recipe.

What is it called when you mix cranberry and orange juice? ›

Mix up some cranberry juice, orange juice, and vodka for a refreshing co*cktail known as the Madras. Published on May 4, 2018.

What not to mix with cranberry? ›

Possible Interactions
  1. Warfarin (Coumadin): Cranberry may raise the risk of bleeding, especially if you already take medications to thin the blood such as warfarin. ...
  2. Aspirin: Like aspirin, cranberries contain salicylic acid. ...
  3. Other medications: Cranberry may interact with medications that are broken down by the liver.

Is homemade cranberry sauce good for you? ›

The homemade cranberry sauce has nearly half the calories, carbohydrates, and sugars compared to the store brand. It also has more fiber as well as potassium! Thankfully, buying cranberry sauce at the store is not the only option. We have the perfect Simple Cranberry Sauce recipe to make for the upcoming holidays!

How do you enhance cranberry sauce? ›

Spike cranberry sauce with citrus

Adding a teaspoon or two of fresh lemon or orange zest, a tablespoon of chopped candied peel, or even a splash of juice to your canned sauce will brighten flavors and bring in some homemade flavor.

Do you refrigerate homemade cranberry sauce? ›

Cranberry sauce will last for two hours at room temperature. Homemade cranberry sauce will last in the fridge for 10 to 14 days. Canned cranberry sauce that has been opened will last up to a week in the fridge.

Is canned cranberry sauce better than homemade? ›

While there are some editors who prefer homemade cranberry sauce, the canned variety also has quite a following. "There's something so beautifully perfect about the texture of canned cranberry sauce, and none of those homemade mess will ever compete," says Senior Digital Food Editor Kimberly Holland.

How do you cut the tartness out of cranberry sauce? ›

"Resist adding granulated sugar—you won't get the full effect unless you reheat the sauce and the sugar dissolves," writes Kelsey Kloss. "Instead, start by stirring in one tablespoon maple syrup and one teaspoon of a sweet drink like apple juice, orange juice, or fruity white or red wine. Add more to taste.

Should cranberry sauce be served warm or cold? ›

Cranberry sauce is best served at room temperature or slightly chilled. (You've got enough things on the menu to warm up! Don't make the list longer!) I tend to make cranberry sauce a few days before Thanksgiving and then set it on the table about an hour or two before we plan to eat.

What takes the bitterness out of cranberry sauce? ›

Try A Softer Sweetener

If you don't have maple syrup (pancake syrup WILL NOT do, y'all), try honey or a more neutral sweetener like agave syrup, brown rice syrup, or even simple syrup. All of these syrupy ingredients are a perfect quick fix for bitter cranberry sauce.

What are the two types of cranberry sauce? ›

Cranberry sauce can be served either as a gooey liquid or as a solid jelly. The jellied version is solid enough to retain the shape of the container in which it's placed whereas the sauce version is much more fluid. The difference between the fluid sauce and the jelly versions comes down to pectin.

Why is my homemade cranberry sauce watery? ›

Mistake #2: Your Cranberry Sauce Is Too Runny

You may have added too much liquid to the cranberries. In addition to pectin, cranberries contain water, which means you only need to add a splash of liquid to get the cooking going. Add too much and you'll be stirring at the stove much longer than expected.

What mixes well with cranberry juice? ›

Cranberry juice goes best with orange juice and orange-flavored liqueurs. The orange enhances the cranberry flavor in the best possible way! Other great mixers for cranberry juice are grapefruit juice and pineapple juice. Cranberry juice also goes well with alcohols such as vodka, rum, gin, champagne, or red wine.

What to avoid with orange juice? ›

Combining dairy based products with citrus fruits or juice may trigger indigestion or heartburn, this is because the acidity of oranges may curdle up the proteins in milk, leading to an upset stomach or bloating.

Can you mix cranberry juice with other juices? ›

This easy drink contains a mixture of tart cranberry juice, orange juice, 7UP, and vodka. However, it is equally enjoyable as a mocktail without the addition of vodka, if you wish to avoid alcohol.

Does cranberry juice or orange juice help UTI? ›

Cranberry juice and other cranberry products are more effective than any other therapy for the treatment of UTIs.


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