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Easy Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice

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You simply can’t celebrate the holidays without whipping up some homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice. This quick-and-easy recipe is sure to become a staple in your house.

If you’re in search of a last minute side dish for Thanksgiving, give my easy cranberry sauce a try. This tasty little side dish uses just 4 ingredients and comes together in under 30 minutes.

white bowl filled with homemade cranberry sauce on a grey wooden background with napkin and spoon

I try to include a few make-ahead dishes with every holiday meal to lessen my kitchen time on the big day. One of the reasons I love this recipe is that I can make it a day or two in advance.

As the perfect holiday side dish, fresh cranberry orange sauce makes a tangy, sweet addition to your holiday spread. And this no-fuss holiday side dish delivers on flavor.

We’re sharing tips to help you get the best results with this recipe. If you don’t need the tips, scroll to the bottom for the full recipe and a printable recipe card.

When is cranberry season?

Cranberries are plentiful during the Fall season, as are select citrus flavors. Which makes this cranberry sauce with orange juice an ideal (and budget-friendly!) treat.

During the months of September through November, the cranberry harvest is in full swing. This is great news for cranberry lovers and those looking to get a great deal on fresh cranberries.

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy cranberries, it’s no wonder that this bright fruit is one of my favorites. Whip up a delicious Nantucket Cranberry Pie or Cranberry Orange Cake, a zesty cranberry salsa, or even incorporate cranberries into a Broccoli Salad with Bacon.

ingredients to make homemade cranberry sauce on a wooden board with text label

Ingredients Needed

  • Cranberries – we’re using fresh, whole berries
  • Orange juice – fresh is best but use whatever you have on hand
  • Orange zest – use a microplane for easy zesting
  • Sugar
  • Water

How to Make Fresh Cranberry Sauce

  • Start by rinsing the cranberries and sorting out any duds or debris.
  • Bring the sugar, orange juice and water to boil in a large pot.
  • Add the berries and orange zest and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil until the berries pop open.
  • Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
pots filled with uncooked and cooked cranberry sauce

How to Serve

You can serve the fresh cranberry sauce warm or cold. I have to confess warm cranberry sauce is my favorite – sooo good!

For a chunkier sauce

Use a potato masher to mash the berries to your desired consistency.

For a smoother sauce

Push the berry mixture through a mesh strainer to remove chunks.

closeup of spoonful of cranberry sauce with bowl of sauce in the background

Storing Fresh, Whole Cranberries

November marks the end of the cranberry season, so don’t be afraid to stock up. As luck would have it, cranberries are one of the easiest fruits to store long term.

In the Refrigerator

Cranberries will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 weeks. Store them in the crisper drawer in the plastic bag they came in.

Remove from the refrigerator when you are ready to use them. Give them a good rinse and pick through to remove any bad cranberries or debris.

In the Freezer

Purchase extra bags of cranberries and store them in the freezer so you can enjoy this jewel-colored fruit year round. Simply stash the bags in the freezer – it’s that simple!

Cranberries typically stay good in the freezer for up to six months. Remember, when they thaw the texture may change slightly. This is usually fine if you are making pies or sauces.

If you notice any ice build-up, give the berries a quick rinse under warm water to melt the ice crystals. Make sure to pat the cranberries dry before using to avoid excess liquid messing up your recipe.

**Pin Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe for Later**

closeup of white bowl filled with fresh cranberry sauce garnished with orange zest and text overlay

Are you a canned cranberry sauce lover?  Or do you prefer the fresh sauce?  I grew up eating the canned sauce, and still like it to this day so no judgement here.

If you make one of our recipes, please leave a star rating or comment below. And don’t forget to tag us with #areinventedmom – we love to see your creations! For more great content follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Yummly.

white bowl filled with homemade cranberry sauce on a grey wooden background with napkin and spoon

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice

If you're in search of a last minute side dish for Thanksgiving, give my easy cranberry sauce a try. This tasty little side dish uses just 4 ingredients and comes together in under 30 minutes.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 about 2 cups
Calories: 243kcal
Author: Lori @ www.AReinventedMom.com



  • 2 12 ounce bags fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup orange juice, fresh-squeezed is great if you have it
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 orange, zested


  • Rinse the cranberries, picking out any duds and little twigs.
  • Zest the surface of the orange (I use a microplane zester for this task).
  • Using a large pot, combine the sugar, orange juice and water.  Bring to a boil.
  • Carefully add the fresh cranberries and orange zest.  Return to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and gently boil for about 10 minutes (or until the cranberries pop open).
  • For a chunkier sauce:  mash the berries with a potato masher until desired consistency.
  • For a smoother sauce:  push the sauce through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Allow sauce to cool before storing in the refrigerator.


  • I store my cranberry sauce in Mason jars in the refrigerator for 10-14 days.
Tried this recipe?Mention @AReinventedMom or tag #areinventedmom


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 22.9mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

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  1. We love homemade Cranberry Sauce, this looks delicious. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great day.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  2. How easy and delicious! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

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