Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice

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 if you use fresh cranberries, or 20 mintues if you use frozen ones.

Shot of a white bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice, fresh cranberries scattered around the bowl and a slice of orange next to a Christmas tree

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 cranberry sauce with orange juice.

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.

Overhead shot of a white bowl of frozen cranberries with 2 oranges next to it

The sauce is very popular in the UK and not only.  Any shop would sell fresh or frozen cranberries or cranberry sauce around this time of the year, but making it yourself takes only 10-20 minutes and it has a lovely sharp citrussy taste.

Why buy a store-bought sauce that is way too sweet and you can hardly taste the fruit in it? Homemade is the best way, plus you can make as much as you need, no need to buy a whole jar if you are going to use less.

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.

A spoon of homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice with a bowl of cranberry sauce, cranberries and orange slice in the back ground

How do you make the best cranberry sauce with orange juice?

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 20 minutes, where the frozen ones 10 minutes.

The secret to making a fabulous sauce is adding brown sugar to the orange juice before throwing in the cranberries.

Regular granulated sugar could work too, but the brown sugar has that caramel-like taste that takes this cranberry sauce to the very next level.

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. 

You might want to use a hand blender to make the whole cranberry sauce smoother once it is cooked, I actually quite like it this way. No need to make it super smooth though.

Overhead shot of a white bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice, cranberries and an orange slice around the bowl and a christmas tree branch at the top

 If you’ve liked my HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE WITH ORANGE JUICE or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

5 from 2 votes
A white bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice, fresh cranberries scattered around the bowl and a slice of orange next to a Christmas tree
Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice, the best sauce to serve with the Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: English
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 95 kcal
Author: Daniela Anderson
  • 400 g frozen cranberries
  • 2 oranges
  • 6 tsp of dark muscovado sugar
  1. Grate the oranges and then cut it in half and use a citrus squeezer to squeeze the juice out.

  2. Add the juice and sugar to a pan and simmer for a few minutes until the sugar has disolved.
  3. Tip the cranberries in and simmer for a further 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

  4. Use a hand blender to blend it to a smoother consistency.

  5. Transfer to a bowl and serve cold.

Recipe Notes
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 95
% Daily Value*
Sodium 3mg 0%
Potassium 203mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 14g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 4.1%
Vitamin C 58.4%
Calcium 3.8%
Iron 1.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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  • Reply
    December 24, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Very tasty sauce. Healthy too!

    • Reply
      Daniela Apostol
      December 24, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Thank you very much! Have a very Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Parenting Pick
    December 9, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Wow! I love cranberry sauce. I have stopped buying canned cranberries over a decade ago! This is the easiest recipe and you can add whatever you like to enhance the taste. 1 cup sugar 1 cup water it never fails. Taste is unbelievable! I stock up and freeze the bags so I don’t run out.
    Read about the best bottle brush cleaning sets reviews. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Daniela Anderson
      December 9, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Thank you! Indeed, the homemade sauce is way better than any bought stuff.

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