It's easy to make your own fresh and homemade easy Cranberry Orange 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 less than thirty minutes!
Why make this easy cranberry orange sauce?
It's beautiful, it's simply delicious, and it's good for you! The store-bought canned version doesn't even come close in terms of flavor. When does store-bought anything taste better than homemade?
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 orange sauce:
- Colander or bowl to rinse the cranberries and sort through them
- Microplane zester for the orange zest
- Medium saucepan, preferably a deep saucepan because the cranberries pop as they cook.
- Wooden spoon
- Oranges for fresh orange juice and zest.
- Cranberries - fresh or frozen.
- 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 to bring out the flavors, just a pinch.
- Cinnamon stick for spice, this is optional.
- Optional: cognac, gin or brandy (not pictured).
How to make this Easy Cranberry Orange Sauce
Rinse the cranberries and sort through them, discard any that shriveled and soft cranberries (not fresh). A fresh cranberry will bounce.
- Zest one orange, then juice the oranges. If you're a little short on orange juice, it's okay, just replace the missing orange juice with water. You may need to add a bit more sugar or maple syrup, taste as you go.
- Preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- 1) Mix all of the ingredients together and bring to a gentle boil.
- 2) Simmer for 15- 20 minutes uncovered. Lower the heat to keep the mixture just simmering. Stir often until the cranberries have popped.
- The cranberry sauce is ready when it coats a spoon.
- Remove the saucepan from heat, and stir in gin, cognac, or brandy if you wish.
- Let it cool and then refrigerate in a glass jar for up to one week, or two weeks if you add alcohol.
- 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.
- Try maple syrup instead of sugar.
Make this easy vegan cranberry sauce ahead of time for your holiday dinners!
What to do with leftover cranberry 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.
You can try it, however, when thawed, it may be too watery. You can try cooking it down. I tend to consume cranberry sauce within a week or two of it being made, so I don't recommend freezing 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.
You can use frozen cranberries, which are available year-round.
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.
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.
Easy Cranberry Orange Sauce
- 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
- 1 tablespoon cognac optional, or gin or brandy
- Preheat a medium saucepan with high sides over medium heat.
- Add orange zest, orange juice, cranberries, lemon juice, brown sugar, cane sugar, sea salt, and cinnamon stick.
- 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, stir in gin or brandy if desired. 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.