Orange Cranberry Sauce is sweet, a little tart, and a twist on the traditional holiday favorite.
Thanksgiving is almost here, and you know what that means! Turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and don’t forget the cranberry sauce. Did you just get a mental picture of that blob of gelatin-like cranberry sauce that comes in a can? I know I did.
Sadly, that was one of the only things I would eat as a kid when it came to Thanksgiving foods. It was so easy to portion out because it had the lines from the can etched into it. All you had to do was cut along one of those lines, and you had a perfectly round slice of processed, canned sauce.
I don’t think I’ve ever purchased canned cranberry sauce as an adult. However, we still like to eat cranberry sauce around the holidays, so we had to figure something out. A couple of years ago, I decided to make an orange cranberry sauce from scratch. I didn’t think it would be difficult to make, and I was right.
This recipe is one of the easiest I’ve ever done, and my favorite part is that you can adjust the sugar, orange juice, or zest to your liking. It tastes so much better than the canned variety, and the texture is a hundred times better, too.
Wash the cranberries and place them in a medium to large saucepan or stockpot. I like to use a medium saucepan with tall sides. The first couple of times I made this sauce, the cranberries popped as they began to heat and sent pieces flying out. Unfortunately, I was using a small pan both times. From then on, I chose a taller pan.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and orange zest.
Add the water, sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and juice to the cranberries and cook over medium-low heat. Stir to combine and continue to stir until the sugar melts. After that, the mixture only needs to be stirred every couple of minutes.
Continue to cook and allow the mixture to boil. If the cranberries start to pop, cover the pan with a lid, otherwise, a lid is not necessary. The orange cranberry sauce will thicken as it cooks, so as soon as it reaches the desired thickness remove from heat.
Mash and Strain:
After the cranberry sauce thickens, use a potato masher to mash the larger pieces of cranberries into a smoother consistency. You can also let the sauce cool and place it in a blender or food processor to eliminate any large pieces. For this post, I simply used the potato masher for a thicker, chunkier consistency.
Another option is to strain the sauce. After the sauce cools a bit, simply pour it through a strainer and use the back of a spoon to push it through. The skins will remain, and a beautiful, smooth, silky sauce will come through.
- 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.
*Calories are based on a 2 tablespoon serving.