Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce

This homemade cranberry orange sauce couldn't be easier to make; it requires just 5 ingredients and less than 15 minutes of your time. With its vibrantly tart-sweet flavor and deep red color, it's an absolute must-have dish for your holiday table! 

  • Author: alexandra
  • Prep Time: 2
  • Cook Time: 13
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: sauces and spreads
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 8 ounces (1 cup) freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) cane or granulated sugar
  • 1” piece of fresh ginger root, grated
  • heavy pinch of salt
  • 12 ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-grated orange zest


  1. Make a syrup: Combine freshly-squeezed orange juice, sugar, grated ginger root, and salt in a medium saucepan. Place on stove over medium to medium-low heat and let the mixture cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is starting to simmer.
  2. Add cranberries to the mixture in the saucepan. Cover and let cook at a simmer or low boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have burst and softened. Once done, the mixture should be saucy and thick enough to coat a spoon. 
  3. Remove from heat and stir in orange zest. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled. 


Ingredient notes:

  • You'll need about 4 whole oranges for a single batch of this cranberry sauce. 
  • If using frozen cranberries, you may need to cook the sauce for slightly longer to get the cranberries softened and the sauce thickened.
  • If for some reason you can't find fresh ginger root, try swapping out finely-minced crystallized ginger, or simply stir some ground ginger into the finished sauce. 


  • Use water instead of orange juice and no orange zest to make a classic, straightforward cranberry sauce. 
  • Use half brown sugar for a richer molasses flavor. 
  • Stir in vanilla extract, spices, or chopped nuts in step 3 if desired. 

Storing, freezing, and reheating:

  • Cranberry sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Reheat on the stove over low heat, stirring often, until warm. 



Keywords: cranberry orange sauce, fresh cranberry sauce, whole cranberry sauce, homemade cranberry sauce, easy cranberry sauce, Thanksgiving sides, holiday recipes