15 Minute Orange Cranberry Sauce That Wows

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bowl of cranberry sauce with zester and orange

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

You may never eat canned cranberry sauce after making this recipe Enjoy making your own fresh cranberry sauce at home.  This orange cranberry sauce recipe is just 3 ingredients, making it easy to put together in about 15 minutes.  Unless you want to eat this sauce hot, make it a day ahead of time, so it has chance to cool.

If you are cooking a big holiday meal, make it after you put your turkey or ham in the oven, and it will have hours to cool.

pouring sugar into medium pan

What Ingredients Are Used To Make Cranberry Sauce?

This recipe is simple and easy and you only need 3 (ok 4 if you count the zest) ingredients:

  • fresh cranberries (or frozen cranberries)
  • orange juice
  • sugar
  • orange zest

Modifying The Cranberry Orange Sauce

You can use fresh orange juice instead of concentrated. Squeeze fresh oranges for juice. Add a cinnamon stick in while the sauce is boiling. Use sugar substitute in place of sugar. Add brown sugar instead of white sugar for additional flavor. It’s your homemade cranberry sauce, make it how you will enjoy

orange juice and sugar

Can I Use Frozen Cranberries?

Yes!  It will take longer for the sauce to come up to boil, but you can definitely use frozen cranberries if you are in a pinch.

Can The Orange Juice Be Removed?

You can remove the orange juice and replace with water if you do not want cranberry orange sauce. The fresh cranberry sauce can be changed to your families tastes.

bringing orange juice and berries to boil

What Is Whole Berry Versus Jellied Sauce?

Whole berry does not remove any seeds or skins.  Jellied sauce will be put through a strainer to collect the seeds and skins to make it smooth.

boiled cranberries in medium pot

How Do I Fix Cranberry Sauce That Is Too Tart Or Sweet?

You can add additional orange juice or sugar a little at a time if it is too tart.  This will need to be done while it is still hot or warm so that the sugar can dissolve.  If the sauce is cold, consider adding maple syrup or honey to desired sweetness. If it is too sweet, use a pinch of citric acid and mix and taste, until it’s at the desired sweetness.

pouring cranberry sauce into bowl

Can You Serve Cranberry Sauce Hot Or Cold?

This is a personal preference.  Some people prefer it to be warm or hot from the pan. Other like it cold from the fridge.  If you blend your food, keep it all warm?

What Can You Make With Left Over Cranberry Sauce?

We make muffins and bread from our leftovers. If you extra cranberries, you can also make cranberry juice.

bowl of cranberry sauce with zester and orange
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

15 Minute Cranberry Sauce

Upgrade your holiday feast with our zesty Orange Cranberry Sauce! Easy, flavorful, and a total game-changer for your festive spread. Let's make your meal pop!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 cups
Author: Regina Sober


  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups washed & sorted cranberries
  • zest from 1 orange


  • In a medium/large pot, add the sugar and orange juice.
  • Stir and bring the mix to a boil.
  • Once it's boiling, add the cranberries.
  • Stir often. The cranberries are going to start to burst (be careful!)
  • Continue to stir as the sauce comes together. It will begin to thicking.
  • It takes about 10 minutes for it to become thick.
  • Pour into serving dish and allow to cool.
  • Zest orange on top (we prefer long strings to pull off if you don't want to eat).
  • Serve and enjoy.


  • You can make this the day before to serve
  • This should be cooled before serving (unless you like it hot)
  • If you make the day off your event, make it when you put the meat in the oven, so it can have time tool cool.
Upgrade your holiday feast with our zesty Orange Cranberry Sauce! 🍊🦃 Easy, flavorful, and a total game-changer for your festive spread. Let's make your meal pop!

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