Homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice and brown sugar, the best sauce to serve with your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey. Ready in just 10 minutes from scratch if you use fresh cranberries, or 15 minutes if you use frozen ones. So easy, and so flavourful, with only 3 ingredients.
Oranges and cranberries are at their best in the cold season. And if you combine them into a zesty sauce, you know that you have the ultimate sauce for your festive season.
The brown sugar adds the subtle sweet kick, making it the easiest and best sauce you can possibly have over the festive season. The cranberry sauce might be new to me, since we don't really serve it at Christmas in Romania, but I love it now, and really enjoy it with meat, especially turkey.
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving or Christmas without this amazing side for your juicy roast. Why settle for overly sweet store-bough cranberry sauce, when it's so easy to make your own, and sweeten it to your own liking? Granted, the homemade sauce is tart, but I'd rather have that instead of a cranberry jam, what most ready-made sauces tend to taste like.
If you don't have fresh oranges, you can used store-bought orange juice too, either smooth or with bits. I do prefer fresh oranges, there is something about the delicious aroma that fills the kitchen when I prepare this sauce, that I simply can't have enough of.
Ingredients needed to make cranberry sauce
- frozen cranberries - you can also use fresh ones
- light brown sugar
- granulated sugar
I tried it with fresh cranberries and with frozen ones, and I could not find any difference in taste. The only difference is in the cooking time. The fresh cranberries will just take a little longer to cook, around 15 minutes, where the frozen ones 10 minutes. The secret to making a fabulous sauce is the sugars to the orange juice before throwing in the cranberries.
Step-by-step photos and instructions
You could try cranberry sauce without sugar, but I personally find it bitter. Or you might want to use more sugar, if you'd rather have it sweeter.
- Grate the oranges, and squeeze out the juice, and add everything to a pan, together with the sugars
- Let it simmer so the sugar can dissolve.
- Add the cranberries and let to cook until it thickens into a sauce.
You might want to use a hand blender to make the whole cranberry sauce smoother once it is cooked, although I prefer it chunky. No need to make it super smooth though.
How to store the cranberry sauce
The sauce can be easily stored in a jar, and kept chilled until ready to use. Due to its jam-like texture, it can be preserved well for at least 10-14 days, which means you can make it ahead of your big celebrations.
You can add more sugar if you want, I always tend to use less sugar in everything I make, plus the brown sugar is not as sweet as the regular white granulated sugar, but it I prefer it, as it gives depth and flavour to anything you add it to.
What to do with leftover cranberry sauce
If you buy more cranberries and oranges, you can also make a nice batch of Cranberry & orange shortbread cookies, for another festive treat. Plus, no one will ever complain about them, they really are yummy.
Another recipe I love is my Easy Brie and Cranberry Bites -they taste are amazing as they look. Plus, they go down a treat for any special occasion too. Or how about these simple Healthy Leftover Turkey Wraps with Cranberry Sauce
And there you have it, a delicious sauce to go with that juicy roast. Do give it a go!
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Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice
- 1 lb frozen cranberries 450 g - you can also use fresh ones
- 2 oranges
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Grate the oranges and then cut it in half and use a citrus squeezer to squeeze the juice out.
- Add the juice and sugars to a pan and simmer for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
- Tip the cranberries in and simmer for a further 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve cold.
- Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
- The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.
- I tried it with fresh cranberries and with frozen ones, and I could not find any difference in taste. The only difference is in the cooking time. The fresh cranberries will just take a little longer to cook, around 15 minutes, where the frozen ones 10 minutes. The secret to making a fabulous sauce is the sugars to the orange juice before throwing in the cranberries.