Made with only 5 ingredients and in less than 30 minutes, Cranberry Orange Sauce is the best recipe for homemade cranberry sauce! Sweetened with maple syrup and flavored with oranges, this easy recipe will add the perfect zing to your Holiday meal, without being cloyingly sweet.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Call me crazy, but one of my favorite sides at Thanksgiving is the cranberry sauce. Not the jiggly stuff from a jar, but homemade cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries. To me the tartness of this dish is the perfect balance to all the rich dishes served at Thanksgiving.
And cranberry sauce is not only a must for the holiday meal, it also makes the perfect condiment to leftover turkey sandwiches or is great served over pancakes or waffles. You better believe I make a make a HUGE batch just to guarantee leftovers!
My recipe for Cranberry Sauce is made with just 5 ingredients. It is simple, wholesome, and creates the perfect balance of flavors. The tart cranberries are mellowed out by sweet maple syrup and citrus adds a zing of bright flavor
- Fresh cranberries
- Maple syrup
- Orange juice Concentrate
- Orange Zest
Why Orange Juice Concentrate?
Cranberries are extremely tart in their raw, fresh state and require a lot of added sweeteners. Instead of opting for corn syrup or refined sugar, I like to use a bit of maple syrup and orange juice concentrate.
Orange juice concentrate is 100% fruit, but because it is concentrated the sweetness and flavor are very intense. This natural sweetness and orange flavor pair beautifully with the cranberries and makes a delicious, perfectly sweetened sauce without refined sugars.
How to Make Cranberry Sauce
The real beauty in this recipe is that it only takes 2 minutes of prep work to have homemade cranberry sauce–which is JUST about as easy as opening a can, but tastes a whole lot better!
It is as easy as dumping the ingredients into a stock pan and stirring every little bit while it simmers–super simple! By only tip is to be sure to simmer on a low heat and stir occasionally to prevent the cranberry sauce from burning.
Preparing in Advance
Cranberry Sauce is a great dish to prep in advance. And if you are like me, prepping as many dishes in advance helps make pulling off Thanksgiving dinner much less stressful.
Prepare the cranberry sauce as the recipe states and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Serve cold or warmed slightly.
More Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
- Homemade Applesauce
- Harvest Quinoa Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette
- Twice Baked Butternut Squash
- Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
Cranberry Orange Sauce
- 1 pound fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate defrosted
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup see notes
- 1 teaspoon orange zest optional
- Place all ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until berries have burst and juices are becoming thick, watching to be sure liquid does not evaporate. (If it does, add in 1/4 cup water at a time.)
- Stir in orange zest if using.
- Cool and store in fridge for up to 5 days or freeze in air tight container for up to 2 months ahead of use. Thaw in refrigerator the night before using.
- Maple Syrup: Be sure to use 100% pure maple syrup for the best flavor! Add up to 2 additional tablespoons of maple syrup if you like things on the really sweet side.
- This is a thick style cranberry sauce, if you would like thinner sauce, add in 1/2 cup water.
- This Cranberry Sauce is vegan, gluten-free, Paleo, dairy free, egg free and nut free. Making it a great side dish for anyone with dietary restrictions.
- Be sure to watch your cranberry sauce closely as it comes to a boil, because of the natural sugars in the orange juice concentrate and maple syrup, it can burn quickly. Turn to a low simmer IMMEDIATELY once sauce comes to a boil.