This fresh cranberry orange sauce is a delicious and sweet cranberry sauce with a touch of orange and pineapple, that is perfect paired with your Thanksgiving dinner and all the trimmings.
This cranberry orange sauce is the perfect cranberry sauce to make for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a bit sweet, a bit tangy, and has the perfect bright flavor to accompany your Thanksgiving turkey, or really any meal.
I love Thanksgiving. It might be my favorite holiday (well, maybe alongside Christmas, the fourth of July and my birthday – haha!). I love the whole month of November. Fall is finally here with crisp air, colorful leaves, and that means hot chocolate. During the month of November I love remembering what I’m grateful for. And Thanksgiving is the perfect ending to the whole month.
Thanksgiving dinner is probably the best dinner we can have all year. The food is all amazingly delicious, and there is so much of it. From the turkey, to the mashed potatoes and gravy, to the stuffing, and rolls, and the cranberry jelly.
And you should definitely not use that canned cranberry jelly. Please, please use this cranberry orange sauce instead. It is fairly quick, easy, and so delicious. You can even prepare it ahead of time.
To tell you how good it really is, imagine this: I never ate cranberry jelly growing up. It was on the low end of what I wanted on my turkey. But when my friend Tara introduced me to this cranberry orange jelly I fell in love with cranberry sauce. It is so good. I even spread it on some of my dinner rolls too.
If you have extra leftover after Thanksgiving dinner, it’s delicious to use some on turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches, or on top of breakfast waffles or pancakes.
Can I use frozen cranberries?
Cranberry orange sauce can be made with fresh or frozen cranberries. The frozen berries will take longer to cook the juices out, but the flavor and texture of the sauce should stay the same.
How do you make cranberry orange sauce?
Add your water and sugar to a large pot and bring it to a bowl. Add the cranberries to the boiling water. Add in the finely chopped orange and it’s juices to the boiling water and stir it all together. Stir often while the mixture cooks down and the cranberries start to pop.
Add in the clove, continue cooking while the sauce thickens. Make sure to stir regularly to keep it from sticking to the sides.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the pineapple and pecans. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and stir it all together. Let the sauce cool and then serve.
Orange Cranberry Sauce Variations:
I customized my orange cranberry sauce with pineapple, cloves, cinnamon, and pecans, but the sauce is totally customizable. Those can be left out if you don’t like them
- Instead of crushed pineapple, try adding 1 peeled and diced apple, or pear.
- Instead of adding cloves and cinnamon, try adding in 1/2 to 1 TBS of minced ginger.
- Instead of adding pecans, you could also add chopped walnuts.
Can you make cranberry orange sauce ahead of time?
This cranberry orange sauce is a great make ahead recipe. You can make it up to a week before you plan to serve it. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.
You definitely need to make this cranberry orange sauce for Thanksgiving this year. It’s so so so much better than the canned jelly.
This cranberry sauce is a bit sweet, a bit tangy, and so delicious paired with your Thanksgiving dinner favorites. It’s so easy to make, and so delicious to eat!
You might also like Thanksgiving side dish recipes:
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Cranberry Orange Sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 oz water
- 12 oz fresh cranberries (frozen will work too)
- 1 whole orange (including peel)
- 1 whole clove (crushed) (optional)
- 1/3 cup crushed pineapple (drained)(optional)
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- In a large pot add the water and sugar. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring as the sugar dissolves.
- Wash your cranberries and orange.
- Cut your orange in half and remove any seeds, continue to chop it as finely as possible.
- Add your cranberries to the boiling sugar water.
- Add your finely chopped orange and its juices to the boiling sugar water. And stir.
- Stir regularly while cranberries and oranges cook down, and the cranberries will start to pop .
- Stir in the crushed clove.
- Turn your heat up to medium high and stir often until your sauce has reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the pineapple and chopped pecans.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and stir it all together.
- Scoop the sauce into a different bowl and let the sauce cool and then serve.
- You can store in your fridge up to a 5 days.
This cranberry orange sauce was first posted on November 22, 2014. The photos and blog post were updated for clarity on November 13, 2020.