Cranberry Orange Sauce

5 from 11 votes

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This Cranberry Orange Sauce tastes so much better than anything you can buy in a can. It is easier than you think to make homemade cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries.

Cranberry orange sauce in a dish with fresh cranberries sprinkled on the side

Cranberry Orange Sauce

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner — or any great turkey dinner — there is always that one part of the meal that you just can’t live without. Once you try this Cranberry Orange Sauce, it may become that one thing for your family. This fresh cranberry sauce with a hint of orange is delicious on turkey and rolls. It tastes so good and smells so good that I have to discipline myself to not eat it right out of the pan. It has a zesty, tangy flavor. I love it served warm, but cranberry sauce is traditionally served chilled. This recipe one that can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for at least a week before a holiday dinner.

Orange Cranberry Sauce over slices of turkey with rolls in the background.

Have the kids help!

If you’re looking for a recipe that the kids can help prep, this Cranberry Orange Sauce is a great one to try. When the cranberries heat up in the pan they make a hissing noise just before they pop. It’s kind of exciting to watch. The anticipation is addicting. When all of the cranberries “pop” or split open the sauce starts to thicken.

Fresh cranberries cooking in a saucepan to make cranberry orange sauce

Can you freeze cranberries?

YES! I watch for fresh cranberries to go on sale, buy a bunch, and freeze them right away. Cranberries can be frozen in the bag they come in. Cranberries can be frozen for up to a year. I have used frozen cranberries from a previous year many times. The taste and texture is every bit as good when I want to make cranberry sauce.

Give the gift of homemade cranberry sauce

With only a few ingredients, this sauce is inexpensive to make. Cranberry sauce is a great gift for neighbors and friends during the holidays. Pour the sauce into decorative jars, keep chilled, and add a bow. You will be the favorite neighbor on the block!

Cranberry sauce in a bowl and on a homemade roll

Cranberry recipes

If you are looking for another tasty cranberry sauce recipe to make at home, click here for our Raspberry Cranberry Sauce recipe. If you have leftovers, this sauce can also be used as the base for our Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing. Some other cranberry recipes that we always are making over the Holidays are our Cranberry Almond Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl for breakfast, our Cranberry Salsa for a yummy appetizer, and our Cranberry Chicken  and Cranberry-Sausage Stuffing are perfect for Holiday dinners.

Don’t forget the turkey

As amazing as our Cranberry Orange Sauce tastes, don’t forget about the main event of the meal: The turkey! If you are looking for the best way to cook a turkey, you’ve come to the right place. We have step by step instructions with photos, as well as a video. Don’t be intimidated by cooking a turkey. We’ve got you covered! You’ll be so pleased with the turkey and the Cranberry Orange Sauce, you just might decide to make it more than once a year at Thanksgiving.

How to make Cranberry Orange Sauce

Cranberry Orange sauce with fresh cranberries and oranges on the side

Cranberry Orange Sauce

5 from 11 votes
This Cranberry Orange Sauce tastes SO much better than anything you can buy in a can. It's really easy to make your own and it has so much more flavor!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12



  • Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
    Cranberries, orange juice, sugar, and orange zest in a saucepan
  • Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. You will see the cranberries soften and hear them begin to pop. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
    Fresh cranberries cooking in a saucepan to make cranberry orange sauce
  • Serve warm with turkey and rolls.
    Cranberry orange sauce in a dish with fresh cranberries sprinkled on the side



If serving chilled, pour sauce into a dish or jar and cool at room temperature. Once cooled, refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 87kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 65mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 14.4mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 0.1mg

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    I love making homemade cranberry sauce. I am definitely trying your recipe! The orange flavor is perfection!

  2. 5 stars
    You’re so right in that this homemade sauce is better than anything you can get at the store! Love the use of orange juice and actually cut back on the sugar a bit just due to how sweet my juice was.

  3. 5 stars
    I made it last Thanksgiving and cant wait to put it on my table again. All of the kids including my picky nephew were devouring it . They did not touch the can ones . Cant wait ! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    1. Yay! We are glad you like it as much as we do! Thanks for the 5-star rating and Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  4. 5 stars
    I want to make this sauce for Thanksgiving this year, and I am also making another recipe that calls for cranberry sauce to be used in it. I want to use this homemade sauce rather than store bought. I know the recipe says this makes 12 servings, but how large is a serving for this recipe? What would you say the total amount made is? 2 cups? 3 cups? Thanks so much!

  5. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Made it for thanksgiving. Unfortunatly only two of the 5 people there likes cranberries. I was left with half left over which I did end up using most of. My question is how long will this sauce hold for in the fridge? Thank you

  6. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’m always worried about trying new recipes on Thanksgiving! I’m so glad you can make ahead! I read one of the reviews where she said its better when left in the fridge for a couple days! Perfect!

  7. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe. it is so very easy and delicious. I like to make it 2-3 days ahead of time. I think it tastes better the longer you let the flavors meld. Thank you for sharing.

  8. This is so good! I made it for Thanksgiving and for a Christmas work thing, and it was recieved with great fanfare! Great recipe!

    1. I’m so glad you like the recipe, Marisa! It is my absolute favorite cranberry sauce. I make it every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love it on turkey and rolls.

    1. Store bought or fresh squeezed will both work fine in the recipe. Use what is most convenient for you. Thanks for asking!

  9. 5 stars
    We made this yesterday for Thanksgiving and it was delicious!!! I made the raspberry cranberry sauce last year, which is also fantastic but I like not dealing with The Raspberry seeds. I did add an extra cup of sugar bc I like it more sweet.