Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce

5 stars based on 8 votes


Fresh homemade cranberry sauce is a cinch to make. This version is flavored with orange juice and orange zest, which elevates it into an elegant holiday dish. Serve with simple Roast Turkey and Gravy.


Begin by zesting the orange. I like to use my Microplane rasp grater but any grater will do — just be sure to leave the white pith behind as it’s quite bitter.


Using the same orange, squeeze the juice into a measuring cup. You should get about a half cup.


Combine the orange juice, water and sugar in a medium pot and bring to a boil.


Add the cranberries, orange zest and salt and boil gently until most of the cranberries burst open, creating a thick sauce.


Transfer the sauce to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Cranberry Orange Sauce

Servings: 2-1/4 cups
Total Time: 15 Minutes


  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, from one orange
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (12 oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries (do not use dried)
  • Zest of one orange, about 2 teaspoons
  • Pinch salt


  1. Bring orange juice, water and sugar to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add cranberries, orange zest and salt and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently for about 10 minutes, until most of cranberries have burst open.
  2. Transfer sauce to a serving bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Easy and perfect! Simplicity at its best!

    - Julie spencer on March 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Very nice sauce. I love it and make it even off season:)

    - Afsaneh on January 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jen,
    Can’t wait to try this for Christmas Eve dinner…along with your curried carrots, roasted Brussel sprouts, and sausage stuffing, Tried your Baby Kale salad for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! We normally don’t do salad with such a heavy meal but glad I did and will do it again for Christmas Eve. I’m such a fan! Thank you. Marty

    - Marty on December 16, 2014 Reply
    • Thanks, Marty! So glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

      - Jenn on December 16, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have been making a similar recipe for years (learned from my mother to puree an entire orange in the food processor and add with cranberries). This year, I decided to give this recipe a try. Much easier and similar results. I used a few clementines instead of the orange as that is what I had on hand. Delicious and so refreshing. We will be making this all winter and as long as cranberries are available at the market.

    - Liesel on December 5, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was delicious! It was a big hit at Thanksgiving. Only thing I did different was that I didn’t have enough sugar that the recipe required (too much baking haha), so I ended up doing half a cup of sugar and measured out the remainder with brown sugar… surprisingly, the brown sugar ended up giving the cranberry sauce an addition level of flavor. I liked it a lot. I left out the orange zest because my orange was not organic.

    - Loan Hong on December 4, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    The fresh cranberry orange sauce was absolutely delicious. The orange juice added extra flavor. A touch sweet but other than that a perfect compliment to our Thanksgiving smoked turkey. I will be making this easy recipe every year.

    - Pat G on December 4, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I absolutely LOVE this recipe!! I hosted a small Thanksgiving dinner the Saturday before Thanksgiving and made this Cranberry Sauce and added 1/2 cup of brandy and it was a huge hit with my husband so I made a double batch on Thanksgiving day for my entire family and everyone raved about how smooth it was without the bitterness. THANK YOU!! This is my go-to Cranberry recipe from now on.

    - Victoria on December 3, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Excellent- will replace my former cranberry recipe. We loved it- easy to make and perfectly delicious.

    - Sandy on November 30, 2014 Reply
  • Hi Jen, I have struck gold finding you on Pinterest! LOVE all of your recipes I’ve made so far. For this cranberry sauce, can you make it the day before Thanksgiving? Or do you recommend the day of for best taste? Thank you! Stephanie

    - Stephanie on November 8, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, So glad you’re enjoying the recipes! It’s absolutely fine to make this a day (or even several days) ahead of time; taste will be the same.

      - Jenn on November 8, 2014 Reply
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  • I use fresh or frozen red raspberries for a change. Really yummy.

    - Charlene on February 16, 2014 Reply
  • Jenn, am I reading that correctly?? That only make 2servings???? How should I adjust the recipe for 16 people???

    - Judee on November 23, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Judee, it should say it makes 2-1/4 cups. For 16, I would double the recipe. You may have extra but better safe than sorry :)

      - Jenn on November 23, 2013 Reply
  • I have been using the same recipe for over 20 years. It is awesome! Have added a teaspoon of lemon zest to change it up. Awesome!

    - James E on November 22, 2013 Reply
  • I would like to try substituting Stevia for the sugar…I wonder how much I should use?

    - Peggy on November 22, 2013 Reply
    • So sorry, Peggy, I have never cooked with stevia so I can’t answer that.

      - Jenn on November 22, 2013 Reply
      • I use stevia sometimes but find it leaves a little bit of a bitter after taste.

        - Charlene on February 16, 2014 Reply
  • Hi! This recipe is DELICIOUS! I shared the link to it on my Facebook page. Thanks for sharing! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

    - Ruthie ~Sugar Pie Farmhouse on November 22, 2013 Reply
    • Thank you, Ruthie! So glad you enjoyed it :)

      - Jenn on November 22, 2013 Reply

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