Made with just four ingredients this Fresh Orange Cranberry Sauce has an amazingly sweet and tart flavor that is perfect anytime but it’s always welcome during the holidays.
Cranberries are a favorite winter fruit, it’s hard to resist that beautiful deep red color and the tartness of the berries. Right now I have three bags of cranberries in the fridge and trust me, next time I am at the market I will buy more. One bag is already spoken for because I am making this super easy-to-make fresh cranberry relish.
If you are having rich foods, try eating some cranberries as a palate cleanser. Yes, that is why we love cranberries with our big turkey dinner.
How to serve cranberry sauce
Hey, don’t wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas to make this sauce because it has so many uses.
Did you know you can serve cranberry sauce hot or cold? Both ways are delicious.
- Use cranberry sauce as a side next to your turkey and dressing – it adds great flavor. Or, better yet, make these Turkey and Stuffing Roll-Ups that uses this sauce.
- Spoon over baked chicken or ham for a sweet/tart sauce.
- Mix into your bowl of yogurt – this will add some pizazz to your morning.
- Top your slice of cheesecake with this beautiful red sauce.
- Make cranberry crumble bars – recipe coming soon before I use up all my cranberries.
- Add to appetizers such as topping a wheel of brie with cranberry sauce -this is always popular at parties.
- Mix it with apples, oranges, and pomegranates for a fruit salad
- Hey, you can just eat this sauce on its own because it is that good.
You need 4 ingredients
- 1 bag of cranberries – you can also use frozen cranberries, just let them come to room temperature first.
- ½ cup of sugar
- 2 oranges
- Cinnamon stick
Now I have no problem if you decide to add a fourth and even a fifth ingredient like ginger, allspice, or some cardamon and I have in the past, but today, I am keeping this recipe simple because I like it this way the best.
Cranberries are in the stores for about two or three months, around late September through January, so buy extra bags to freeze them. Just pop that bag in the freezer so you can make this sauce any time.
🥄 Let’s cook
Seriously, this cranberry sauce is so quick and easy to make, you will love the fresh citrusy flavor.
Step 1. If you are using frozen cranberries, set them out to defrost while you are preparing the oranges.
Step 2. With a citrus zester, zest one orange over a small plate.
Step 3. Place the orange on a small cutting board and with a serrated knife, cut the peel off of the orange you just zested.
Step 4. Place the orange on a large plate and with the same knife, cut the orange into segments, try to make the cuts between the membrane of the orange, this is called supreming. The plate will catch the orange juice.
Step 5. Using a pair of kitchen scissors cut the orange segments into small dice. You can also do this with a serrated knife, but the scissors work remarkedly well.
Step 6. On a cutting board, cut the other orange in half. Using a citrus juicer, juice both orange halves over a small bowl.
Step 7. In a medium-sized saucepan add the cranberries, sugar, orange pieces, orange juice, and the cinnamon stick.
Step 8. Stir the mixture well and heat this mixture over medium heat until the mixture starts to boil.
Step 9. Once the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat to medium-low and continue cooking this mixture until thickened about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally and then you will hear the cranberries popping.
Step 10. The cranberry sauce is done when the mixture is thick. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the sauce into a medium-sized bowl to cool, then store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can serve cranberry sauce hot or cold.
I love the ruby color of this sauce with the orange zest on top, and you can still see the whole berry.
More cranberry recipes
Apple Cranberry Galette – If you like pie this galette is a quick and easy alternative and in my opinion, it may be better.
Apple Cranberry Oatmeal – This is my go-to breakfast. It’s hearty, creamy, and full of fruit.
Spiced Orange Cranberry Bread – You may want to make a double batch of this bread with orange and cranberries, it’s seriously good.
How to store fresh cranberries?
In the refrigerator
Cranberries are usually bought in plastic bags and they like to be chilly, so put the unopened bag in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator. Or if you have a partially opened bag, pour the unused berries in a ziplock bag or airtight container and keep it in the fridge for about two weeks.
In some areas, you can buy cranberries in bulk. For these berries, transfer them to a ziplock bag or an airtight container and place them in the fridge’s crisper drawer.
In the freezer
To freeze cranberries, you can place the whole bag of berries directly into your freezer. Or if it is open or you bought bulk cranberries, place them in a freezer bag or an airtight container and place them in the freezer. Frozen berries can be kept for 12 months.
Don’t forget to pin for later, you know those times when you want to make a recipe you have found and then forget where you saw it.
Fresh cranberries that are kept in the refrigerator will last up to two weeks.
You can eat raw cranberries, however, they are quite tart and have a strong flavor, so it is best to add the raw berries in a recipe that pairs with other flavors. Or, you can chop the berries and toss them with a little bit of sugar or honey for some sweetness.
Yes, make sure to wash the berries, just run them under some cold water to give them a big rinse.
Here’s a quick how to
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Orange Cranberry Sauce
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- Prepare the oranges by first zesting, peeling, slicing and dicing one orange.
- Using a citrus zester, zest one orange over a plate or piece of parchment paper and set aside. Place in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap, this zest will be added when the sauce is cooled.
- Place the zested orange on a small plate and using a serrated knife cut away the orange peel. A plate will catch any of the juice.
- Keep the orange on the plate and then using the serrated knife, cut the orange in slices, and then with a pair of kitchen shears or a serrated knife cut the orange slices into small pieces.
- Cut the other orange in half, and using a citrus reamer, juice the orange and strain out any seeds or pulp. I usually have about ⅓ cup of orange juice.Optionally, you can add a ⅓ cup of bottled orange juice.
- Rinse the cranberries under cold water then place them in a medium-sized saucepan along with the sugar, the orange pieces and any juice, the juice from one orange, and the cinnamon stick.
- Turn the heat to medium and stir all the ingredients. Bring to a slight boil then turn the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the mixture starts to thicken, about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally and you will hear the cranberries pop during cooking.
- The sauce is ready once the cranberries have softened and this will continue to thicken up after the sauce cools. Pour the sauce into a small bowl to cool.
- Store covered in the refrigerator.
- To serve top with the orange zest, or you can stir the orange zest into the cranberry sauce.
- You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe. If using frozen cranberries, bring them to room temperature before using them.
- You can make this cranberry sauce ahead of serving time as it will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- You can freeze this cranberry sauce. Make sure the sauce is completely cooled and store in an air-tight container and store for three months.
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory recipes with all my baking friends.