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”

  1. ingrid — November 15, 2010 @ 9:56 am

    I always loved the jellied cranberry sauce. Then two years ago I made homemade and have never looked back. I don’t have a “go to” recipe so I’ll give yours a try this year.

  2. bridget {bake at 350} — November 16, 2010 @ 8:19 am

    My mom loved that canned sauce, too. I remember the first Thanksgiving at our house….we had to run out and BUY a can of cranberry sauce to go with my homemade one. :)

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  4. Jason — November 25, 2010 @ 9:20 am

    I’ve always been a fan of the relish. It’s also easier as no baking is required and it just tastes fresh.

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  6. Jennifer — November 29, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it converted a few people to the non-canned kind. Yum! Even better on turkey sandwiches the next day.

  7. Jen @ How To: Simplify — December 10, 2010 @ 10:13 am

    I love making homemade cranberry sauce. I, too, have found that adding in orange kicks the flavor up a notch!

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  10. Beth W. — November 10, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    Looks so pretty! I’ve never tried to make cranberry sauce before. I think I might be adding something new to our dinner!

  11. nicole {sweet peony} — November 10, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

    wow beautiful colors! i love cranberry sauce. i love cranberries & orange even more! this looks perfect :)

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  13. Lori — November 16, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    I always make my cranberry sauce the exact same way. Same ingredients as you except for the water. And I grind them fresh- no cooking. It has to be amde at least one day ahead so the flavors can marry. Happy Thanksgiving.

  14. Corrie Anne — November 24, 2011 @ 12:17 am

    Trying this tomorrow morning for our first homemade cranberry sauce EVER. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

    • Two Peas replied: — November 24th, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

      I hope you enjoy the sauce. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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  17. Rhonda — December 23, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

    I just made this recipe and it smells yummy and tastes yummy! It was also fun with the cranberries cooking and popping. I know it is going to be hit for my Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow. Thanks for sharing your creative dish! Two Peas, Merry Christmas!


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  20. trish in Australia — November 7, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

    Hi, was looking for similar as first tried when living 6 months in Steamboat Springs 2006-07. We bought cranberry/orange sauce from the salad bar at one of the supermarkets there and I was hooked! We don’t get fresh cranberries here so will be trying the dried ones which are still very juicy. Any day now! I am sure it won’t disappoint.

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  22. Tina — November 19, 2012 @ 9:24 am

    I’ve never made cranberry sauce, but I want to make it this year I ly problem is I’m diabetic any way I could make a sugar free version if it???

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  32. Michelle — November 26, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

    I LOVE this recipe! I make it every Thanksgiving and Christmas, and everyone raves about it! It’s so simple and smells amazing as it cooks! Not to mention that it’s sooo pretty!

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