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Orange Cranberry Sauce

This orange cranberry sauce is a twist on the traditional holiday favorite. It’s full of fresh, tart cranberries, and sweet orange juice.

It’s been almost two years since we first published this recipe and you know what? This is still one of my favorite cranberry sauces.

Kim first made our orange cranberry sauce back 2011 and it definitely tastes better than its canned cousin. While it does take a few minutes to put together, I feel it’s worth the effort.

The recipe only uses six ingredients and takes about 30-minutes to prepare. The best part is that you can make it as sweet or as tart as you prefer.

For me, I’ve got a sweet tooth, so I tend to add a little more sugar than directions recommend.

However, if sugar isn’t your thing, you can skip down to the tips section for a few substitutions. Getting back to the orange cranberry sauce, there’s not a whole lot of work involved.

Mainly, you’re just waiting on the berries to cook down. You’ll need to stir them from time to time to keep the cranberries from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Other than that, it’s a pretty simple dish to make. How about we get cooking?

The finished orange cranberry sauce in a white bowl surrounded by fresh cranberries.

Orange Cranberry Sauce Instructions:

First, start by gathering your ingredients. Go ahead and wash and drain the cranberries. If you want, you can pat them dry, but I don’t feel that’s necessary.

When your ready, in a small mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch, orange zest, and sugar. Give the mixture a quick toss with fork to blend it all together.

The orange cranberry sauce ingredients like fresh oranges, fresh cranberries, and sugar are in the photo.

Next, in a medium to large saucepan, combine the cranberries, cornstarch mixture, orange juice, and water.

Feel free to stir the ingredients so they properly mix. Cook the sauce over medium-low heat for about 10-minutes.

Now, as the sauce heats, make sure to stir the cranberries so the sugar dissolves.

An aerial photo of the cranberries, sugar, and other ingredients in a large saucepan.

Then, allow the orange cranberry sauce to come to a boil. As it boils, it will begin to thicken rapidly, so keep an eye on everything until the dish reaches your desired thickness.

Last, remove the orange cranberry sauce from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes and serve. If you like, you can use a potato masher to crush the cranberries.

Alternatively, once the sauce cools, a food processor or blender works beautifully to emulsify everything.

The final picture of the sauce in a white serving bowl surrounded by cranberries and orange wedges.

Orange Cranberry Sauce Tips:

  • We find it’s best to use a pan with tall sides because the cranberries bubble and pop while cooking. This can make a frightful mess on your stove top.
  • Not everyone likes to use sugar. So, you can substitute agave nectar, honey, or even maple syrup in place of the granulated sugar.
  • For a silky smooth orange cranberry sauce, once everything cools, run the sauce through a strainer and discard the cooked cranberries.

If you like this recipe, please leave us a comment and rate the recipe card. You can also find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram searching for Berly’s Kitchen!

The final picture of the sauce in a white serving bowl surrounded by cranberries and orange wedges.

Orange Cranberry Sauce

5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 32 Servings

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  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice


  • Combine sugar, cornstarch, and orange zest in a small bowl.
  • Place cranberries, water, orange juice, and sugar mixture in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat.
  • Stir to combine and continue to stir until sugar melts.
  • Allow mixture to come to a boil, stirring every couple of minutes.
  • Cook until sauce reaches desired thickness.
  • Remove from heat and mash remaining berries with a potato masher or let sauce cool and place in a blender or food processor.
  • For a completely smooth sauce, put cooled sauce in a strainer and press through with the back of a spoon. Discard any large leftover pieces.
  • Store uneaten sauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients and a 2-tablespoon serving size. The sauce can be stored in your fridge for up to 3-days in a sealed container.


Serving: 2Tblsp | Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Sugar: 6g
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