Cranberry Orange Sauce

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 25 min.


2 cups

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
In about 20 minutes, with just a few ingredients, you can have the freshest cranberry orange sauce you've ever tasted. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin
Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Triple Sec or orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, water, Triple Sec and orange juice. Cook over medium heat until berries pop, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat; stir in orange zest. Transfer to a small bowl. Chill until serving.
Cranberry Orange Sauce Tips

What makes cranberry sauce gel?

Cranberries contains pectin, a natural starch found in many fruits and veggies, which gels when it's combined with sugar and acid.

How should you serve cranberry orange sauce?

Cranberry orange sauce can be served warm or cold. For instance, use it as a glaze for baked ham or roasted pork, or spoon the chilled sauce over cream cheese as a no-fuss appetizer or over vanilla ice cream for an easy dessert.

How do you get the bitterness out of cranberry sauce?

To cut down on the bitterness in cranberry sauce, stir in maple syrup, sweet wine or sweetened fruit juice with a pinch of salt. The salt will intensify the flavor, so you don't have to add too much sweetener. Check out more problem-solving cooking tips for your holiday dinner.

What can you add to cranberry sauce?

Cranberry sauce works great with different add-ins. You can upgrade the holiday staple by making cranberry sauce with walnuts, chipotle-orange cranberry sauce or apricot-apple cranberry sauce. Round out your meal with sweet potato casserole and apple pie.

What can you do with leftover cranberry orange sauce?

You can use leftover cranberry orange sauce to make many recipes, including turkey gouda and apple sandwiches, cranberry-sauerkraut meatballs and cranberry orange cheesecake!

Julie Schnittka, Taste of Home Senior Editor and Christina Herbst, Taste of Home Social Media Editor
Sugared Cranberries
Heat 3 tablespoons light corn syrup in microwave until warm; gently toss with 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, allowing excess syrup to drip off. Toss in 1/3 cup sugar to coat. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set, about 1 hour. 

Nutrition Facts

2 tablespoons: 61 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 1g fiber), 0 protein.