Orange Cranberry Sauce is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that’s so easy to make. It costs just $3.09 to make and 39¢ per serving.
Did you grow up on canned cranberry sauce? I remember having it with every Thanksgiving meal and even every week. The cans lined one whole shelf in our pantry and still do at my parents’ house to this day!
My Dad LOVES the stuff. I have a confession; I do not love it. In fact, I will not touch the canned cranberry sauce. I convinced myself that I did not like cranberry sauce. However, that lifelong belief was forgotten once I tasted homemade cranberry sauce. My life was forever changed.
This cranberry sauce with orange juice blows the canned sauce out of the water! There is simply no competition.
Even my Dad, who, true story, will eat a can of cranberry sauce just by itself for dinner, admits that this cranberry-orange sauce is the way to go if given a choice. A can will do in a pinch, but the homemade version is the best option!
Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe Questions Answered:
Can cranberry sauce be frozen?
Yes! It is so easy to freeze and defrosts wonderfully. Just place it in an airtight container and use it within two months for the best results. When you are ready to use it, put it in the fridge the night before to defrost.
Does cranberry sauce need to be refrigerated?
Yes, it does need to be stored in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container within two hours of making the cranberry sauce. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Do you need to remove seeds from cranberries?
Cranberries have seeds, they are small but mighty! Cranberries have a plethora of health benefits. The seeds are edible. So you can remove them if you would like (pour the finished sauce through a fine-mesh strainer) or leave them right where they are.
How to Make Easy Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe:
- First, in a saucepan, bring the orange juice, orange zest, sugar, and salt to a boil.
- Then stir in the cranberries and return to a boil.
- Reducing the heat, simmer lightly until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- You should see that ⅔ of cranberries have opened up.
- Finally, stir in cinnamon, transfer the sauce to a serving bowl and cool it down for a few minutes.
How to get the kids involved with this recipe:
- Ages 2-3: Have them help you pour the ingredients into the saucepan.
- Ages 4-5: Let them stir in the cranberries while they cook. Guide their hand, because the cranberry mixture will be hot!
- Ages 6-8: Have them help you bring the sauce to a boil and help stir it until the sauce thickens. Teach them how to turn the dials on the stovetop.
- Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Remember to have them read it twice before beginning the recipe.
- Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe, unsupervised, while you do the happy dance in the corner!
Discover why we love getting the kids involved in the kitchen and more tips in our How to Get Kids Involved In Cooking article.
The flavor and Recipe Variations:
- You can make this recipe without the orange flavoring. Use water instead of orange juice, and leave out the orange zest. You’ll also need to increase the sugar to ¾ cup.
- Instead of cinnamon, nutmeg can be used.
What to Serve with Easy Orange Cranberry Sauce:
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- One hour Dinner Rolls
- Instant Pot Turkey Gravy
- French-Bread Stuffing Recipe
- Jenna’s Naughty Mashed Potatoes Recipe
How long is this good for:
- Serve: The cranberry sauce will keep at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
- Store: This recipe will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days! This means you can make this recipe the week before Thanksgiving. Yay for make-ahead recipes!
- Freeze: Cranberry sauce can be frozen for up to 2 months! Just make sure you keep it in an airtight container or freezer bag. I have my Thanksgiving cranberry sauce sitting in my freezer right now!
How much will this Easy Orange Cranberry Sauce cost:
RECIPE COST: $3.09
PER SERVING COST: $0.39
To find out more about how we price our recipes, check out Budget Recipes Explained.
- ¾ cup orange juice – $0.28
- Zest of 1 orange – $0.68
- ½ cup granulated sugar – $0.12
- Pinch of salt – $0.01
- 12-ounce bag cranberries or 3 cups – $1.98
- ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon – $0.02
- medium saucepan
- wooden spoon
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Orange Cranberry Sauce
- medium saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- ¾ cup orange juice
- 1 orange zested
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 12 ounce bag cranberries or 3 cups picked through
- ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring orange juice, orange zest, sugar, and salt to a boil. Stir in cranberries and return mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened, saucy, and about 2/3 of cranberries have popped open about 5-6 minutes.
- Stir in cinnamon. Transfer cranberry sauce to a serving bowl, cool to room temperature, and serve or chill until ready to serve.