You can quickly make a batch of Cranberry-Orange Sauce with this simple 30-minute recipe. You can even make it ahead and stash it into the freezer if that helps your sanity. It’s so convenient and so yum!

Cranberry orange sauce in two glass jars.

Cranberry-Orange Sauce

For years, I’ve been making a version of this healthy cranberry sauce, which relies on fresh orange for sweetness and flavor. I love it as a side dish for Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham but also as a way to enjoy the cranberry flavor throughout the winter. It’s so good stirred into yogurt and oatmeal, as well as a side for savory meats and dishes.

This recipe uses a combination of orange juice and fresh oranges that get blended up for a nice mix of flavor and texture. The citrus helps to balance out the tartness in the berries.

I use fresh cranberries here to make this homemade cranberry sauce, but frozen cranberries would work, too, if that’s what you have access to.

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Ingredients You Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe.

Ingredients for cranberry orange sauce on countertop.
  • Navel oranges: Peeled with as much white pith removed as possible (since that part of the orange is bitter). You can add some orange zest for more flavor if you’d like.
  • Fresh cranberries: Look for these in the fall in the produce aisle.
  • Honey or maple syrup: Avoid honey for kids under age 1. I kept the amount in a range so you can add what you prefer. Cranberries are very tart, so you will likely want some of one of these to balance them out.
  • Orange juice: This provides the liquid in which the berries simmer.
  • Cinnamon: You can add a dash of cinnamon for more flavor if you like.

TIP: You can use maple syrup instead of honey if you prefer.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this easy cranberry sauce. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the full recipe.

how to make cranberry orange sauce in grid of 4 images.
  1. Add the oranges and orange juice to a blender.
  2. Blend until mostly smooth.
  3. Add with the rest of the ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Bring to a simmer (or a low boil) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries start to pop, are softened, and mostly broken down. Remove from heat and taste for sweetness. Stir in cinnamon. (You can also add a cinnamon stick in Step 1.)

TIP: If it’s too tart for your liking, add honey to taste.

how to make cranberry orange sauce in grid of 2 images.

Make-Ahead Cranberry Sauce

To store this cranberry-orange sauce to serve later, let it cool to room temperature. Spoon it into airtight containers and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. You can make this up to a week ahead of when you plan to serve it. It stores really well.

How can I serve this orange cranberry sauce recipe?

You can serve it with turkey on Thanksgiving or as a side for chicken recipes, but we also love it stirred into yogurt and oatmeal. And serving cranberries that way can be a fun way to introduce the flavor!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get the bitterness out of cranberry sauce?

To tone down the bitterness of cranberry sauce, you can pair it with other sweet flavors such as orange. It also helps to add honey or maple syrup to balance the flavors.

Does orange juice and cranberry juice taste good together?

Yes, the flavors of orange and cranberry are a perfect pair and complement each other well.

How do you make cranberry sauce?

To make cranberry sauce, simmer whole cranberries in a pot with liquid such as orange juice. Stir and mash the berries gently to help them break down and start to form a sauce.

Cranberry orange sauce in two glass jars with pan.

How to Store

This fresh cranberry sauce can be made up to 1 week in advance. Store in an airtight container or two (or storage jars) in the fridge until ready to serve. Or place into freezer bags, press as much air out as possible, and freeze for up to 6 months.

Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Leftover homemade cranberry-orange sauce can be stored in the fridge for about a week.

Best Tips for Success

  • Blend the peeled oranges to break them down to ensure this cooks quickly.
  • You can use maple syrup instead of honey if you prefer.
  • Other types of oranges will work. Just make sure they taste good and sweet to you.
  • Taste the finished sauce and adjust the sweetness as needed.
  • Serve as a side dish for Thanksgiving turkey, pork, Christmas dinner, on leftover turkey sandwiches, or as the fruit in Fruit-on-the-Bottom yogurt.

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I’d love to hear your feedback on this post, so please rate and comment below!

Cranberry orange sauce in two glass jars.

Easy Cranberry Orange Sauce

Yes, this is delicious on turkey, but it also makes a great jam or addition to a bowl of plain yogurt with honey!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Sides
Calories 74kcal
Servings 12 (Makes about 2 pints)

Ingredients

  • 2 navel oranges (peeled with as much white pith removed as possible; or 1 cup orange juice)
  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • ½-¾ cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • Add the oranges to a blender and blend until mostly smooth.
  • Add oranges (or the orange juice, if using that instead) and the rest of the ingredients, starting with ½ cup honey, to a medium pot over medium-low heat.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until the berries are softened and mostly broken down and the sauce has thickened nicely. Press down on the berries to help break them up as they cook.
  • Remove from heat and taste for sweetness. If it's too tart for your liking, add up to an additional ¼ cup honey.
  • Spoon into jars and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Notes

  • This can be made up to 1 week in advance. Store in airtight containers in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • You can use maple syrup instead of honey if you prefer.
  • If you don’t have fresh oranges, use 1 cup orange juice total as your liquid.
  • Other types of oranges will work. Just make sure they taste good and sweet to you.
  • Taste the finished sauce and adjust the sweetness as needed.
  • Avoid honey for babies under age 1.

Nutrition

Calories: 74kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 89mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 91IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published November 2019.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for this easy and delicious recipe. Made it today for later this week! I loved the taste and texture. I used a half cup maple syrup and everything as suggested. Made your easy mashed potatoes recipe today too. So happy to have make ahead recipes for thanksgiving. I saw you’ve been quite sick – I hope you are well enough to enjoy the holidays!

  2. This recipe is great! 2nd year making this and it’s just perfect. I used maple syrup instead of the honey. This ones a keeper. Thank you Amy.

    1. 5 stars
      This recipe is great! 2nd year making this and it’s just perfect. I used maple syrup instead of the honey. This ones a keeper. Thank you Amy.

  3. 5 stars
    Happy Thanksgiving ?. I just made this and it is delicious! I did add extra maple syrup at the end to give it a little sweetness to it. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving Day to use it. Have a great day.