Classic Cranberry Orange Sauce

Photography by Blue Caleel

This is my classic recipe for traditional cranberry orange sauce.  The only twist I add to this classic recipe is adding a dash of red pepper flakes.  If you do not care for spicy, or do not want that little kick, then just omit that part of the recipe.  I also have a recipe for Cranberry Port Sauce or Cranberry Relish if you prefer those.

This super easy recipe takes about 20 minutes to make, and can be made up to two weeks in advance if kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  You can also put it in jars, rotating it in as you would any canned jelly, jam or condiment.  This way you can use it as a shelf staple or gift all year long!  It also freezes well.

Tip: Buy the sweetest orange you can find.  If you can't find a particularly sweet batch of oranges where you live, then you can substitute sweet tangerines.


1 12-ounce bag of cranberries (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest from one orange
Segments from one orange, chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (Don't overdo it on this because a little goes a long way.  If you really like spicy, you can up it to 1/4 teaspoon.)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt  (A dash of salt balances out the sweetness)

In a pot, combine all the ingredients, and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Do not worry that it seems dry and looks like it needs more liquid; the fruit will release it's own liquid as it heats and there will be plenty of moisture.

Cook until it bubbles and the cranberries pop, approximately 5 minutes.  

Let it sit for about 15 minutes.  Serve immediately, or transfer to an airtight jar or container for storage.

Maili's Notes:  Some people like more sugar, but I like the tartness and tang of cranberries and feel like 1/2 of a cup is plenty of sugar.  If you prefer a sweeter sauce, you may add an extra 1/4 (so, 3/4 cup sugar total).

Cranberry Sauce is obviously the perfect accompaniment to butter roasted turkey.  Here is my recipe for Roast Turkey that is so simple a child can do it!  


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