Orange Cranberry Sauce and a Plea for Help

The beginnings of orange cranberry sauce

Cranberries and an orange floating around, waiting to be turned into orange cranberry sauce – recipe below!

Well, I think I’ve recovered from Thanksgiving, how about you? It’s time to dive into Christmas!

Luckily, I doubled recipes like mashed potatoes, wild rice dressing and cranberry sauce, so those things are ready for the big day. Although, I’ve never frozen cranberry sauce before; we’ll just have to see how it turns out. We’ll have turkey again because it’s a family favorite. Now for the fun stuff!

What are your family’s favorite holiday dishes?

I love cooking the cranberry sauce. As the berries burst, the color bursts, too, but the orange makes all the difference in the flavor of this sauce.

Pic 1) Always rinse and pick through the cranberries. Throw away any soft or wilted ones. It’s also a good idea to wash your fruit with a little soap and rinse well in cool water.  It’s especially important if using the zest, and to buy organic whenever possible.

Pic 2) Gather the ingredients: cranberries, an orange, and sugar

I love the visual detail at this step. The berries begin to burst as they simmer in the sugar and orange juice. You can see that the liquid is just a little thicker than water. It’s becoming a syrup, and will soon thicken the juice that comes from the cooking cranberries.

Just look at that color! I love the look of the bright jewel red in a white bowl. And all you have to do is cook and stir.

Orange Cranberry Sauce

In our house, this recipe makes the difference between sauce that gets eaten and sauce that gets thrown out. It is tart, even with the sugar. And it’s fantastic on cold turkey sandwiches, or mixed with a creamy dressing, such as ranch for a green salad.


  • 12 oz pkg fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 lg orange, zest and juice (may need an additional ½ cup juice)


  1. Place ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low/medium-low.
  2. Simmer approximately 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cranberries should pop and sauce begin to thicken. If it looks too thick, add another ½ cup orange juice in last 5 minutes.
  3. Chill until within ½ hour of serving. Can be served at room temperature or chilled.

So, does your family eat cranberry sauce, or just put it on the table as a decoration? And how about some side dishes? Like I asked at the beginning, what are your family’s favorite holiday dishes?

I ask twice because I really want to know!

Coming Soon: The Most Amazing Cheese Ball You Have Ever Had In Your Whole Mouth!

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10 Responses to Orange Cranberry Sauce and a Plea for Help

  1. Sue Smart says:

    Definitely have to say that homemade baked goods are on high demand–my daughter really likes cherry nut bread which I only make at Christmas. Jim loves the very rich date bars (oatmeal crust and topping with cooked dates as the filling). I always try to bake a variety of cookies as gifts and for dessert trays during the holidays, including decorated cut out sugar cookies, Mexican wedding cakes, gingerbread men. Not a good time to start a diet!!!


  2. Jansina says:

    I don’t usually like cranberries…but that actually looks good. 🙂

    My Christmas favorites…

    -Lefse (my grandma, brother, and I start making batches of this around October…we’re such good Norwegians sometimes)
    -Junkit (kind of a mix between pudding and jello, which makes it sound gross, but it’s actually amazing. I think it’s Dutch? Which, we are not, but we stole the tradition anyway)
    -Popovers (with honey-butter)
    -Okra pickles, garlic-stuffed olives, baby corn, &c.
    -Sparkling grape juice (this year we found non-alcoholic Cabernet, which might be even better)


    • Hi there! I don’t like regular cranberry sauce, either. I also made a pineapple cranberry sauce one year, but it didn’t come close to this orange cranberry. Somehow the orange cancels out the bitter, and the sugar tones down the tartness.

      I love the idea of homemade lefse. I’ve only had the store bought kind, and only a couple times. I liked it, but I know there’s nothing like homemade. And I would love to try junkit. It sounds so interesting.

      I love hearing about people’s favorite traditions. America has so much heritage!


  3. Lisa says:

    I discovered, just this year, that Ellie LOVES homemade cranberry sauce. She loves it so much that she asked me to make a big batch for her birthday supper, along with pizza, Caesar salad and fruit. Silly girl. She eats it as if she is eating yogurt. Greek yogurt. But that is entirely another story of something she loves.


    • I have to say, I’ve never heard of a kid who loved cranberry sauce that much, but from the sounds of it, she has very healthy taste. That’s a dream come true for a mom. 🙂 Have you tried different kinds? This one with orange is our favorite so far. I thought I’d prefer the pineapple one, but it didn’t quite grab me like the orange.


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