This cranberry sauce recipe uses only 3 ingredients and is mainly sweetened with orange juice. As a result, it’s lower in sugar with a lovely zesty flavor. So worth the effort to make yourself!
This post may contain affiliate links, where we earn from qualifying purchases. See more details in the policy page.
Cranberry sauce is a classic accompaniment to a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey dinner, and it is certainly a pairing that goes well together. The sweet but tart cranberry sauce with the savory, mild turkey makes for a delicious mouthful.
Our Christmas table (in the UK) almost always included homemade cranberry sauce. We only occasionally bought it if we didn’t get cranberries before they sold out – it was never missed out – but it was always a proper preserve-like sauce.
Only on coming to the US have I come across the more jelly form of cranberry sauce in a tin that I tried once through lack of choice. I have to say I don’t think I could bring myself to have again. Sorry to anyone who likes it, hopefully I can convert you with this recipe as it really is ridiculously easy and tasty.
How to make this easy cranberry sauce
There are only three ingredients – cranberry, orange and sugar. I use a lot of orange juice so this cranberry sauce has very little actual sugar in it, unlike a lot of bought varieties. The orange also adds a lovely fresh zesty flavor that goes well with the cranberry.
Personally I prefer a fairly tart sauce so this recipe reflects that. As a result, you my want to add a little more sugar than I have here. You can do this right at the end when you taste it. I would just suggest you do it while it is still warm as the sugar may not dissolve properly if you wait until it is cold.
I mentioned before in the cranberry gin experiment that we are lucky enough to live not too far from the home of a huge cranberry harvest festival. We have been to see the whole process which is both interesting and beautiful. I always try my best to use local foods where I can. It’s even better to be able to go right to the source where possible.
Even if you don’t get a chance to visit a cranberry farm, though, don’t skip cranberry sauce from your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. It really is worth the teeny bit of effort and you can make it a good day or two in advance. If you have any left, it’s great with leftover turkey and stuffing for lunches as we always do. Yum.
Try these other dishes for your Holiday feast:
- Rutabaga, date and bacon stuffing
- Butternut squash wild rice salad with cranberries
- Acorn squash and Brussels sprouts side dish
- Fennel, prune and pork stuffing
- Plus get more Holiday recipes in the archives.
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries 150g, or frozen, defrosted
- 1 orange juice and zest ie juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- Put cranberries, orange juice and rind and sugar in a small pan over a medium heat.
- Bring to the boil and keep heating until all the cranberries pop and the sauce thickens up- the cranberries should be fairly mushy. It will take about 15min in all.
- Check the taste and add a little more sugar to taste.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline’s Cooking Amazon store.
Remember to pin for later!