Looking for a delicious and healthy way to enjoy cranberry sauce this holiday season? Look no further than this delicious vegan cranberry sauce with orange! Made with just a few simple ingredients, this sauce is perfect for topping your favorite Thanksgiving dinner dishes. Plus, it's vegan and gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy it!
I don't know about you, but I cannot wait for Thanksgiving. Not only is it my favorite holiday, but it also means that I get to eat all of the delicious food!
One of my favorite dishes is cranberry sauce. If you are looking for a healthy and delicious option for your Thanksgiving feast, then you should definitely try this vegan cranberry sauce recipe. It is sure to please everyone at the dinner table!
The store-bought canned version doesn't even come close in terms of flavor. When does store-bought anything taste better than homemade? Plus, this cranberry sauce is a gorgeous shade of pinkish-red, making it a festive addition to the table throughout the winter season.
What makes this cranberry sauce vegan?
Although sugar itself is vegan, the processing may not make it so. Some refined sugars are filtered through bone char. However, this isn't the case with organic sugar.
Ever since I went vegan several years ago, I've been buying organic cane sugar. The brand I typically use is listed in the recipe, although you can use any organic cane sugar. If you prefer, use maple syrup instead.
Here's what you need to make this easy cranberry sauce:
- Colander or bowl to rinse the cranberries and sort through them
- Microplane zester for the fresh orange zest
- Medium saucepan, preferably a deep saucepan because the cranberries pop as they cook.
- Wooden spoon
Here are the ingredients you need to make the best cranberry sauce:
- Oranges for fresh orange juice and zest.
- Cranberries - fresh or frozen. You can use frozen cranberries, which are available year-round.
- Fresh lemon juice for adding brightness and acidity
- Organic brown sugar and organic cane sugar - you can use maple syrup instead, or only organic cane sugar.
- Sea salt - a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors.
- Cinnamon stick for holiday spice, this is optional.
- Optional: cognac, gin or brandy (not pictured).
How to make this Vegan Cranberry Sauce with Orange
It's easy to make your own fresh and homemade easy Vegan Cranberry Sauce! Cook fresh cranberries with fresh orange juice, orange zest, organic sugar, and lemon juice for a tart yet sweet addition to your holiday table in twenty minutes!
This cranberry sauce is on the tart side, so feel free to adjust the amount of sweetener to your own tastes.
Rinse the cranberries and sort through them, and discard any shriveled and soft cranberries (not fresh). How to tell if a cranberry is fresh? A fresh cranberry will bounce.
- Zest one orange, then juice both oranges. If you're a little short on orange juice, it's okay, just replace the missing orange juice with water. If you have a whole cup of orange juice, that's okay! Taste as you go, and adjust the amount of sugar as needed.
Preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix all of the ingredients together and bring to a gentle boil.
Lower the heat to keep the mixture just simmering. Stir often until the cranberries have popped.
If the sides of your saucepan aren't high enough and there is a lot of splattering, put the top on and remove it once the cranberries have stopped popping.
Simmer for 15- 20 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Gently press any whole cranberries with a spatula to release the cranberry juices.
The vegan cranberry sauce is ready when it coats a spoon and is not runny. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
Let the cranberry sauce cool and then refrigerate in a glass jar for up to one week, or two weeks if you have added alcohol.
- Organic brown sugar and organic cane sugar - you can use maple syrup, maple sugar or date syrup instead, or only one type of sugar.
- Add nuts such as walnuts or pecans if you like a bit of crunch. I prefer not to unless I'm putting the cranberry sauce in another recipe.
- Try lemon zest instead of orange zest.
Make this easy vegan cranberry sauce ahead of time for your holiday dinners! I make this recipe the day before I plan to serve it.
You can make the sauce up to a week in advance and store it in an airtight glass container in the fridge. Once you make it, it will last in the fridge for about a week.
If you make it the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas, you have a week to enjoy it! If you add gin or brandy, the cranberry sauce may last for two weeks.
Freezing: You can try it, however, when thawed, it may be too watery. You can try cooking it down on low-medium heat. I tend to consume cranberry sauce within a week or two of it being made, so I don't recommend freezing it.
How to serve
You can enjoy this cranberry sauce with savory dishes, alongside brussels sprouts or green bean casserole, or save it for dessert to go on vegan ice cream. Or enjoy it as a cranberry jam!
What to do with leftover sauce
- Try my Vegan Cranberry Cream Cheese Bites, they have only 5 ingredients and take 30 minutes to make.
- Put this cranberry sauce on toast, just like you would with jam. It's so good! You can also put it on French toast, crepes, pancakes, or waffles.
- Serve it with granola and vegan yogurt.
- When you are baking, try swirling cranberry sauce in the batter.
Fresh cranberries can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. If you buy them more than two weeks in advance of cooking them, be sure to freeze them. There is no need to wash them, just place them in the freezer in the bag they come in. When you’re ready to make cranberry sauce, rinse the cranberries in cold water; there is no need to thaw them.
If the cranberry sauce is too thick for your taste, add more water.
Let it cook down a bit more if the cranberry sauce is too thin for your taste. Keep in mind it will thicken as it sits.
Add a bit more sugar or maple syrup to your taste if it is too tart.
More vegan recipes
If you make this recipe, let me know what you think by ★★★★★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. You can follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
Vegan Cranberry Sauce with Orange
- Medium saucepan
- wooden spoon
- 1 teaspoon orange zest from 1 large orange
- ¾ cup orange juice from 2 large oranges
- 12 oz fresh cranberries picked and sorted or frozen, 3 cups equivalent
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup organic light brown sugar packed, or organic dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup organic cane sugar
- Pinch Sea salt
- 1 cinnamon stick optional
- 1 tablespoon cognac optional, or gin, brandy, or Grand Marnier
- Preheat a medium saucepan with high sides over medium heat.
- Add orange zest, orange juice, cranberries, lemon juice, brown sugar, cane sugar, sea salt, cinnamon stick, and brandy, if using.
- Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered, stirring often, until the cranberries have popped. The cranberry sauce should set on a spoon on a plate. It should not be runny.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into four 1 cup glass jars leaving ½ inch space from top. Place lids onto jars.
Resplendent Kitchen offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site as a courtesy. Although resplendentkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information from online calculators, these figures are estimates.
Good Stuff! Thanks!
I am glad you enjoyed it, Brian! Thank you for your feedback!
This is really good and really easy, I've made it twice so far this week. I love cranberry sauce, it's one of my favorites!
Natalia, thanks for your review! I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe!
This is by far the best cranberry sauce! Thank you for the recipe!
Thanks so much for your review, Chris! It's always a joy to hear such a lovely comment!
This vegan cranberry sauce was so delicious! I loved how sweet and tangy it was! Can't wait to make this for Thanksgiving!
Kayla, thanks for the feedback! I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe. I'm a big fan of cranberry sauce and it's one of my favorite sides to make for Thanksgiving!
This cranberry sauce is the best! I love baking it with puff pastry. It’s so good together!
That is an amazing combination, Joshua! Thank you for your review!