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Cranberry Orange Sauce

Homemade cranberry orange sauce for the holidays.  Ridiculously easy to make with fresh cranberries and sugar, perfectly flavored with orange, cinnamon and cloves.

Cranberry orange sauce in serving dish.

I started making fresh cranberry sauce a few years ago at the insistence of my oldest daughter.  She wants homemade, my middle daughter wants the canned jellied stuff, and my youngest daughter doesn't care.  So I just have both, no big deal.

Cranberry sauce in glass serving dish with spoon.

Cranberry sauce, or relish, is typically served on the holidays alongside the turkey.  Gravy on top, cranberry sauce on the side.  That's how we do it.

How to make fresh cranberry orange sauce

Ingredients photo labeled on white board.

It's easy to make on the stovetop with just a few simple fresh ingredients.

Process photo collage, ingredients simmering in saucepan.

  1. In a sauce pan, place the fresh cranberries, sugar, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, cinnamon stick and cloves and stir to combine.
  2. Bring to a simmer and stir and cook until cranberries burst and sauce thickens.

Cranberry sauce thickened in saucepan.

That's it.  Pretty easy, huh?  And it's so good.  Don't forget to remove the cinnamon stick and cloves before serving.

Can I freeze this sauce?

Sure can.  Just pack in an airtight container and it's good to go in the freezer for several months.  Did you know you can freeze fresh cranberries, too?  Fresh cranberries will keep a couple weeks in the fridge, but you can freeze them in airtight containers or plastic freezer bags to use later.

Cranberry sauce in glass dish.

I prefer this homemade cranberry orange sauce but pass no judgement on the jiggly canned stuff, we just have both on the table.  Everyone is happy, all is good in the world.  And it's great the next day on leftover turkey sandwiches, just sayin' Kelly

Cranberry orange sauce in a serving dish with spoon.

It's all about the sides in our house, here's some more to go alongside the turkey:

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Cranberry orange sauce in serving dish.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Easy homemade cranberry orange sauce with fresh cranberries, orange, cinnamon and cloves.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 82kcal


  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 orange, zest cut into strips and juiced about 8 strips of zest
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves


  • Put cranberries, strips of orange zest, juice from orange, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick and cloves in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir to combine and bring to a steady simmer.
  • Continue simmering and stirring until cranberries start to burst and sauce thickens, about 10 - 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves and serve room temp. Or cool and refrigerate. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • I zest the orange in strips and use about 8 strips in the recipe, more or less.  You could also just zest an orange the regular way.
  • You can freeze fresh cranberries as well as the finished cranberry sauce in air-tight containers. They'll keep for several months.


Calories: 82kcal Carbohydrates: 21g Protein: 1g Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 1mg Potassium: 34mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 20g Vitamin A: 38IU Vitamin C: 9mg Calcium: 12mg Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!


5 from 1 vote
Recipe Rating


Friday 15th of November 2019

It looks as good as it tastes.