Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe

This twist on a cranberry sauce recipe is so easy to make and absolutely delicious. My cranberry orange sauce recipe mixes together the classic cranberry sauce with fresh orange zest and juice.

There is nothing better than making your own easy cranberry sauce in my opinion. You can make a lot without spending much money and I think it tastes so much better too. Make-ahead cranberry sauce is also great to make in advance of Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Cranberry Orange Sauce in a white bowl with dried orange slices around it

There are few flavours as festive as cranberries and oranges, I love drying oranges in the oven at Christmas so my house smells festive and that’s when I had the idea to make a cranberry orange sauce. My recipe for homemade cranberry sauce is on you will come back time and time again.

Why you’ll love this cranberry orange sauce recipe

It’s a healthy cranberry sauce, using fresh orange juice and either fresh or frozen cranberries. You don’t have any preservatives or weird chemicals. Homemade is best!

You can adapt the homemade cranberry sauce to your own taste by adding more or less orange, sugar or spices (I love adding cinnamon to this recipe for homemade cranberry sauce).

Add a little port to the orange cranberry sauce it cooks for a fuller flavour. A great addition.

Cranberry Orange Sauce in a bowl with dried orange slices and fresh cranberries around it

Top Questions

Is cranberry and orange juice good together?
How do you get the bitterness out of cranberry sauce?
Is cranberry sauce supposed to be sweet or sour?
How do you thicken up cranberry sauce?


For the full recipe for homemade cranberry sauce and instructions scroll to the bottom of the page for the recipe card.


Fresh or frozen, the wonderfully tart cranberries are a staple Christmas ingredient and the perfect pair to a roasted turkey, or roast goose if you’re feeling fancy.

They need to be washed (and defrosted if frozen) and then cooked slowly on medium heat for this cranberry sauce with orange and cinnamon.


You can adapt how much of each you want to add to your orange cranberry sauce. I prefer using more zest in the cranberry sauce with orange juice.


Caster sugar can also be used for this recipe but I prefer the depth of flavour brown sugar gives. It’s warmer and the more molasses the better in my mind.

Cooking cranberries with sugar helps reduce some of their tartness and means you can easily adapt the amount of brown sugar needed for your taste.


Cranberry sauce with orange juice and cinnamon is the most Christmassy preserve you can imagine. The smell of cinnamon is fantastic as it cooks and it adds such a warming flavour to the finished cranberry sauce.

How to make – step by step

fresh cranberries and brown sugar in a bowl
cranberry sauce with orange zest being mixed in
  • Slowly cook your washed cranberries over medium heat with the brown sugar until they have softened slightly.
  • Add the orange zest.
Cranberry Orange Sauce being made in a jam pan
cranberry sauce ready to serve.
  • Add your orange juice and mix, once the cranberries are soft and slightly pulling apart, taste test for sugar and orange quantities.
  • Add more as needed. Allow to cool and pop in a sterilised jar.

Cranberry Orange Sauce Top Tips

Add the sugar and then adapt the orange cranberry sauce recipe to your taste. I like a sweeter, lumpier cranberry sauce with orange juice and cinnamon so this recipe is more suited to me!

Use up your leftover cranberries from baking for this, you can easily adapt the quantity of orange juice and sugar to match the amount of leftover cranberries you have.

Making healthy cranberry sauce is easy and quick, but it’s best to make a day or two before so it can fully cool, set and be ready to serve with your Christmas dinner.

If you make cranberry sauce ahead it freezes really well.

Serving Suggestions

The orange cranberry sauce is best served at room temperature or warm.

The homemade cranberry sauce can be served up with your roast goose or turkey on Christmas day.

This healthy cranberry sauce also makes a wonderful fruity addition to pancakes on Christmas morning or is poured over a warm Christmas pudding. It can be a bit tart but that is lovely against the sugary warmth of sweet dishes.

You could also add it to my cranberry cheesecake.


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Substitutions and variations

You could easily swap out the citrus if you prefer a cranberry and lime sauce or if you fancy a refreshing sauce, try cranberry sauce with lemon.

Storing Orange Sauce with Cranberries / Making ahead of time options

Store in the fridge for up to a week, but bring the orange cranberry sauce to room temperature before serving, making it much easier to scoop out and serve.

Be sure to add your homemade cranberry sauce to sterilised jars to make it last longer.

This recipe for cranberry sauce with orange juice freezes really well, once your sauce has fully cooled, add it to a freezer-safe Tupperware and freeze it for up to a couple of months.

Orange cranberry sauce is a great option for making in October when you’re just getting into the Christmas spirit and want to get some of your bakes prepped.


Is cranberry and orange juice good together?

YES! Cranberry and orange juice are so good together, the tart cranberries and zingy oranges are perfect together, especially in a cranberry sauce. I love making homemade cranberry and orange sauce.

How do you get the bitterness out of cranberry sauce?

You can get the bitterness out of cranberry sauce by adding more sugar to your recipe, this will sweeten your cranberry sauce and make it a little thicker also.

Is cranberry sauce supposed to be sweet or sour?

Cranberry sauce is supposed to be slightly sweet with a hint of tartness from the fresh cranberries. You can adapt homemade cranberry sauce to your liking by adding more or less sugar.

How do you thicken up cranberry sauce?

You thicken a cranberry sauce by letting it cook longer to boil off the excess moisture, or adding a thickening agent such as gelatine. You could also make a small cornflour/ cornstarch slurry by mixing some cornflour with a little cold water.

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Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe

Sisley White
This twist on a cranberry sauce recipe is so easy to make and absolutely delicious. My cranberry orange sauce recipe mixes together the classic cranberry sauce with fresh orange zest and juice.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine American, British, International
Servings 6 small portions
Calories 130 kcal


  • 300 g (3 cups) fresh cranberries (or frozen and defrosted)
  • 150 g (5 2/7 oz) light brown soft sugar (or caster sugar or granulated sugar)
  • 150 ml (150 ml) Water
  • 1 Orange (zest and juice)

Optional Spices

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp ground ginger


  • Add the 300g of fresh cranberries to a saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan on the hob and cook on a medium-low heat. If too hot the fresh cranberries may pop so it might be worth adding a lid to the saucepan.
  • Measure out the 150g light brown soft sugar and 150ml water. Add it to the cranberries and mix together.
  • Add in the orange zest and orange juice.
  • Keep stirring the cranberry mix on the hob until the cranberries are bubbling and have softened and are falling apart slightly. I prefer it slightly lumpy but you can reduce it down further if you want.
  • Take a spoon and remove a little of the sauce, allow it to cool before tasting it. It might need a little more sugar so add some to taste.
  • Place the cranberry sauce in prepared and sterilised jam jars or in a bowl ready to serve.
  • If you are going to freeze the cranberry sauce allow it to cool and then spoon it into freezer-safe bags. The cranberry sauce will be good for about 6 months.



  • Make ahead of time and store in a jar in a cool place. Or even pop it in the freezer until you need it.
  • Best served with a roast dinner but also great as leftovers in a roast dinner sandwich.


Calories: 130kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 0.5gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 9mgPotassium: 116mgFiber: 3gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 80IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 0.4mg

Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

Keyword Cranberries, cranberry sauce, cranberry sauce recipe uk, fresh cranberry sauce, frozen cranberries, frozen cranberry sauce, homemade cranberry sauce, orange, orange cranberry sauce
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8 thoughts on “Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    Love how the orange juice and zest cut some of the tartness from the cranberries. Gives this cranberry sauce a much needed zing.


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