Two Peas and Their Pod

Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce

Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce

Cranberry sauce is the perfect side dish for any holiday meal. It is great with turkey, stuffing, plain, or on leftover turkey sandwiches. Every Thanksgiving I make fresh cranberry orange sauce. I love the flavor the orange juice and zest adds to the tart cranberries.

Every year on our Thanksgiving table we have my fresh cranberry orange sauce and a blob of jellied cranberry sauce from a jar. My brother loves the jiggly cranberry sauce that tastes like the can. I don’t know why, I can’t stand it. My dad likes to please everyone so we always serve both. My cranberry sauce is always a hit, while the blob usually only has one slice missing.

Fresh cranberry sauce is simple to make. I love watching the cranberries burst when they start to boil. I add fresh orange juice and zest to compliment the cranberries. The sauce will thicken as it cools. I always make it the day before the big meal and chill it in the refrigerator. This classic cranberry sauce is a must make every holiday season. Skip the jiggly jar sauce and make fresh cranberry orange sauce this year.

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Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce

Yield: 2 cups sauce


1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 tablespoon orange zest


1. Rinse cranberries with cold water. In a medium saucepan, add sugar, water, and orange juice. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and add cranberries and orange zest. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low. Cook until cranberries start to burst, about ten minutes.

2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Pour sauce into a serving bowl and chill in the refrigerator. Serve chilled.

*Note-you can make the sauce 1-2 days in advance.

If you like this fresh cranberry orange sauce, you might also like:

Maple Tangerine Fresh Cranberry Sauce from Recipe Girl
Cranberry Orange Relish Salad from Smith Bites
Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce from Closet Cooking

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93 Responses to “Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce”

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  1. Jessica @ How Sweet — November 10, 2010 @ 4:37 am

    It’s such a pretty color! I love cranberry sauce.

  2. Erica — November 10, 2010 @ 6:21 am

    I actually have an old school cranberry grinder that I use to make sauce. I’m so excited to whip it out this year. We usually add apples, oranges & walnuts to ours. It is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal!!

    • twopeas replied: — November 10th, 2010 @ 7:56 am

      I will have to try adding apples. Sounds great!

  3. Katrina — November 10, 2010 @ 6:37 am

    This is such a staple in my house. Yum!

  4. Jenny Flake — November 10, 2010 @ 6:47 am

    This looks so great! Love how bright and pretty it is!

  5. Barbara Bakes — November 10, 2010 @ 6:47 am

    I love orange with cranberry too. My boys all love the cranberry jelly lol.

  6. Susan — November 10, 2010 @ 6:59 am

    The color is gorgeous – and those photos! Wow. Gonna have to give this one a try – perfect for Thanksgiving.

  7. the urban baker — November 10, 2010 @ 7:00 am

    i make mine similar. this looks great.

  8. marla {family fresh cooking} — November 10, 2010 @ 7:24 am

    Maria, I am like you. I always prefer a fresh cranberry sauce over anything canned. The recipe we make over here also has citrus – adds so much flavor! xo

  9. pigpigscorner — November 10, 2010 @ 7:32 am

    I made some last year! Love the combo.

  10. Marilyn — November 10, 2010 @ 7:47 am

    I have always loved cranberry sauce, even the canned kind, but when I tried Betty Crocker’s cranberry orange relish, I stopped looking further. I LOVE it. You don’t have to cook, only chop it up in the Cuisinart and let it sit a few hours or overnight. So fresh. My daughter makes it now, but she cuts the sugar way down. I have to admit, it’s still good, but it’s really tart! When she’s not looking I sneak in some more sugar. I use it to top ice cream when the turkey is gone.

  11. Kalynskitchen — November 10, 2010 @ 8:17 am

    I’ve never made cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, but I’m thinking this is the year I need to try it.

  12. the blissful baker — November 10, 2010 @ 8:36 am

    i LOVE cranberry sauce. i could eat it plain, straight out of the bowl if i was allowed to! yours looks beautiful and delicious!

  13. Kristen — November 10, 2010 @ 8:41 am

    I love the citrus addition to this sauce. Yum!

  14. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — November 10, 2010 @ 8:45 am

    This sauce looks wonderful, and so flavorful! I’d love to try it for my (small) Thanksgiving spread this year! Thanks for sharing.

  15. kat — November 10, 2010 @ 8:54 am

    Isn’t it funny how there is always one person who wants the canned jelly

  16. Amy from She Wears Many Hats — November 10, 2010 @ 9:21 am

    This just puts me in the holiday mood so much! Pretty color!

  17. Tracey — November 10, 2010 @ 9:26 am

    I’ll admit to liking the cranberry sauce from the can, but homemade is definitely way better :)

  18. Pam — November 10, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    This will be on my table for Thanksgiving!

    P.S. I got the tortillas yesterday… I can’t wait to use them. Thank you!

  19. DessertForTwo — November 10, 2010 @ 9:49 am

    Wow, Maria. I just had to comment and say that is the most gorgeous photograph. I love the frozen cranberries and the placemat underneath. You’re a very talented photographer! :)

  20. Estela @ Weekly Bite — November 10, 2010 @ 9:55 am

    Fresh cranberry sauce is my favorite! I can eat it straight out of the bowl :)

  21. jenna laughs — November 10, 2010 @ 10:12 am

    Beautiful! I loooove the flavor combination of cranberries and oranges. I especially love cranberry orange scones.

  22. Rose @ The BMK — November 10, 2010 @ 10:50 am

    Mmmm! This is the same recipe I use! I grew up hating cranberry sauce as I only knew the jiggly canned stuff. This is the real deal!

  23. I am in TOTAL agreement! I always hated cranberry sauce because I associated it with the jelly in a can. Once I discovered the joy of making my own, though, I fell in love. It’s delicious.

  24. Jamie — November 10, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

    I grew up with the cranberry sauce in a can and didn’t know what I was missing until I started using fresh cranberries. I love how they burst also and so easy to prepare. I use orange juice/zest plus chopped apples. Homemade is the way to go.

    • twopeas replied: — November 11th, 2010 @ 6:22 am

      I will have to try chopped apples next time. Sounds great!

  25. Joanne — November 10, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    This is definitely my favorite way to make cranberry sauce! Cranberry and orange go so super well together.

  26. Rachel — November 10, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    Love cranberry sauce of any kind. (Even the jellied kind that holds the shape of the can.) Has anyone tried to can their own sauce? It seems like this recipe would work well preserved. Any recommendations?

  27. Tracy — November 10, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

    I am with you, Maria – I made fresh cranberry sauce last year when I hosted Thanksgiving and I’m never going back!

  28. teresa — November 10, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

    oh i love this. sometimes i really think cranberry sauce might be my favorite part of thanksgiving.

  29. Amanda Richardson — November 10, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

    I love fresh cranberry sauce! Your pictures are gorgeous!

  30. Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker — November 10, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

    Love the addition of orange to this cranberry sauce! Yum! I adore cranberry sauce with my turkey :)

  31. Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen — November 10, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

    Soooo perfect! This will be on my table for thanksgiving! Yummy! :)

  32. Crustabakes — November 11, 2010 @ 7:20 am

    Cranberry and orange. That sounds so bright, cheery and sunshiney! i love it!

  33. naomi — November 11, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

    Oh, I love this side! It’s one of my favorites

  34. Uncle Paul — November 11, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

    I don’t like cranberry anything. If I come to your house can I just get a glass of milk and a dozen Oreo cookes?

    • twopeas replied: — November 11th, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

      Uncle Paul if you come visit you can have whatever you want:) Let us know if you need help with anything. We can come up sometime!

  35. Shaina — November 11, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

    Love fresh cranberry sauce. This looks delicious!

  36. Pingback: Cranberry Sauce with Pear, Pomegranate, Orange: Thanksgiving Side Dish — Family Fresh Cooking

  37. Jenn Chamberlain — November 12, 2010 @ 8:05 am

    This looks delicious, easy-to-make AND I can make it in advance! Adding this to my Thanksgiving menu. Thanks Maria. …And what is it about there being one person in every family that likes canned cranberry sauce? ICK! I just don’t get it.

  38. Amanda — November 12, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

    That look so good maria!

  39. Paul Byron Downs — November 13, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    Love the combination of cranberries and oranges. Also great together in drinks too!


  40. Emily — November 14, 2010 @ 11:57 pm

    I’m definitely making this for Thanksgiving. Soooo pretty.

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