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Homemade Cranberry Sauce is one of the easiest dishes to make for your holiday dinner. And, this Cranberry Sauce with Orange is not only beautifully sweet and tart, but it will surely win over ALL the canned cranberry sauce fans around your table! Read on for more!
Flavored with orange juice, orange liqueur and orange zest, this Cranberry Sauce with Orange is a must on your holiday menus! And, homemade cranberry sauce is, quite honestly, leaps-and-bounds above the canned stuff, in my humble opinion. If you have never made it from scratch before, I hope that this recipe will convince you otherwise!
This is a great cranberry sauce starter recipe. In fact, it is a great ending recipe as well! It really is the only cranberry sauce recipe that you will ever need. (Although, I have lots of other fun versions on my site as well! Check out my Cranberry Apple Sauce with Marsala, Piña Colada Cranberry Sauce, Aperol Spritz Cranberry Sauce, Nutty Cranberry Sauce with Cognac, and Raw Cranberry Pomegranate Relish recipes.)
So Easy To Make . . .
Cranberry Sauce with Orange is an incredibly easy and foolproof recipe. In fact, cranberry sauce, in general, is one of the easiest holiday dishes to make, so volunteer to bring it to your next Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner if you can! Also, it can be made up to one week in advance and held in the refrigerator, so helps to take pressure off the hustle-and-bustle of the big day. All you really need to do to make this recipe is combine the ingredients, simmer, and let it thicken. As my British friends would say, easy-peasy!
I love the bright and powerful orange kick in this recipe, brought out in three different ways through orange juice, liqueur and zest. Its tartness and sweetness make it the perfect accompaniment to your rich Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey and hams, as well as all of the delicious side dishes like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and other veggie sides.
So, skip the canned cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving and make this Cranberry Sauce with Orange right in your kitchen!
To make this Cranberry Sauce with Orange recipe, we will be using the following:
- Fresh Cranberries: Frozen can be substituted!
- Orange Juice and Liqueur: Adds lots of citrus flavor and sweetness, as well as the necessary liquid to transform the cranberries into a sauce. Other liqueurs can be used as well. See Recipe Variations below.
- Orange Zest: Fortifies the orange flavor and adds lots of brightness to the overall dish.
- Brown Sugar and Maple Syrup: Cranberries are very tart! The sweetness from the brown sugar and maple syrup offsets this tartness and makes the cranberries more enjoyable. I tend to not over-sweeten my cranberry sauce. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar or maple syrup up or down based on your individual preference.
A complete and detailed list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is included in the recipe below.
Step-By-Step, Pro-Tips included!
Here are the main steps for how to make Cranberry Sauce with Orange:
- Gather and prep all ingredients. Then, combine orange juice, orange liqueur, brown sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk together. Once the sugar has dissolved, stir in the cranberries.
- Simmer mixture for about 15 minutes or until all cranberries have popped and sauce has reached your desired consistency. Simmer less time for a chunkier sauce and more time for a smoother sauce.
- PRO-TIP: Help pop the cranberries by mashing them lightly with a fork or potato masher.)
- Remove from heat, stir in the orange zest & cool. Bring the cranberry sauce to room temperature before serving. That’s it!
- PRO-TIP: Make the Cranberry Sauce in advance of the big day, so there is less to do amidst all the hustle and bustle! I suggest up to one week in advance.
- PRO-TIP: Top the Cranberry Sauce in the serving bowl with some long strands of orange zest for an extra special presentation.
Recipe Variations for Cranberry Sauce with Orange
Here are a few ideas for variations on this Cranberry Sauce with Orange recipe:
- Change the liqueur: This basic recipe can work by substituting a variety of liqueurs in place of the orange liqueur, if you prefer a different flavor. Try Cassis (black currant), hazelnut or limoncello liqueurs, brandy, cognac, or something bubbly!
- Skip the Booze: If you prefer to keep this recipe alcohol-free, that is easy to do! Just substitute the orange liqueur with orange juice.
- Change the Sweetener: For the most part, you can substitute your favorite sweetener for the brown sugar and maple syrup in this recipe, be it coconut sugar, agave, cane sugar or something else.
- Use Frozen Cranberries: When fresh cranberries are not an option, frozen can be substituted without a problem!
What to Serve With Cranberry Sauce with Orange
Cranberry Sauce with Orange is classic holiday fare! It pairs perfectly with your Whole Thanksgiving Turkey, Baked Ham and all the trimmings.
In addition, there are lots of great ways to serve this Cranberry Sauce with Orange outside of the big holiday meal. Here are a few ideas:
- As a sandwich spread–with turkey the day after Thanksgiving and all year-round!
- Stir some into mayonnaise for a creamy sandwich condiment.
- Pair it with a variety of soft and hard cheeses on a cheese board at your next get-together.
- Make it the “J” in your next PB&J–why not???
Kitchen Tools & Cookware for Cranberry Sauce with Orange
To make this Cranberry Sauce with Orange recipe, you will need the following:
- Cutting board with non-slip mat underneath (I use shelf liner)
- Sharp chef’s knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Multiple bowls to hold prep
- Microplane zester
- Potato masher
- Wooden and/or silicon spoon
- 10″+ sauté pan or skillet
- Dutch oven
- Large serving bowl and serving utensils
More Great Recipes to Try
If you’ve tried this recipe or any other recipe on the blog, please let me know how it went in the comments below — I love hearing from you!
Cranberry Sauce with Orange
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec
- 1 cup loosely-packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 (12-ounce) bag cranberries, rinsed
- Zest from 2 oranges, chopped (about 2 Tbsp)
- Gather and prep all ingredients according to specifications above.
- Combine the orange juice, orange liqueur, brown sugar and maple syrup in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and whisk together. Once the sugar has dissolved, stir in the cranberries.
- Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes or until all cranberries have popped and sauce has reached your desired consistency, stirring regularly. Simmer less time for a chunkier sauce and more time for a smoother sauce. (Hint: Help pop the cranberries by mashing them lightly with a fork or potato masher.)
- Remove pan from heat, stir in the orange zest and cool.
- Bring the cranberry sauce to room temperature before serving. Buon Appetito!
- Garnishing Suggestion: Just before serving, top the cranberry sauce with some additional orange zest or orange peel.
- Make the Cranberry Sauce in advance of the big day, so there is less to do amidst all the hustle and bustle! I suggest up to one week in advance.
- Leftover Cranberry Sauce lasts for some time in the fridge and freezer! Store it in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.