Are you looking for a delicious and easy cranberry sauce recipe? This homemade cranberry sauce with orange and cinnamon is perfect for the holidays! It’s easy to make and tastes great. You’ll love the flavor of the orange and cinnamon combined with the tart cranberries. Serve this cranberry sauce with your favorite Thanksgiving or Christmas feast, or enjoy it any time of year.
‘Tis the season for all things cranberry! This bright red fruit is in season from October through December, which makes it the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Plus it is a tradition for many people to serve with our roast turkey dinner, a tradition we enjoy here every year.
Cranberries are tart and tangy, and pair well with sweet and savory dishes alike. What’s not to love about this little red superfood? Now add in the flavors of orange and cinnamon and you have the perfect combination.
While I love this cranberry sauce all year round, I do make it more in the fall when cranberries are in season. They are often harder to find in the store the rest of the year.
We use a fresh orange for ours but if you use store bought and do not have an orange, you can leave the zest out.
Cranberries – Fresh cranberries rinsed and sorted. You may find a bad one in the bag (it happens) so remove any shriveled or mushy cranberries.
Orange juice – From 1 orange or you can substitute with store bought orange juice.
Sugar – We use regular granulated sugar.
Cinnamon – Optional but recommended!
Orange zest – Optional, if you are using store bought orange juice you can leave the zest out.
Salt – optional, but we add 2-3 dashes of salt to ours.
Making the cranberry sauce
This cranberry sauce with orange and cinnamon is really easy to make with just a couple steps. You will have an amazing side dish on your table to compliment your turkey (they go so well together!)
- First you need to make sure you washed your cranberries with cold water and sorted any bad looking ones out. I usually find 1 or 2 in each bag, it happens.
- If you are using fresh orange juice, squeeze all of the juice from an orange. If it is less then half a cup you will need to add a little more water to get the total amount of liquid to a cup.
- Using a zester (you can probably also buy this locally), zest about 1 teaspoon from the orange. You can use more, but we prefer to keep it to just about 1 teaspoon.
- Measure out your sugar, cinnamon and water.
Cooking the sauce
All together this cranberry sauce with orange and cinnamon takes about 15 minutes, not including the cool down but that is all hands off.
- In a sauce pot (2.5 – 3 quart is best) bring the water, sugar and orange juice to a gentle boil over medium high heat.
- Once it starts to boil add in the cranberries, cinnamon and orange zest. If you are adding a couple dashes of salt, add it now.
- Simmer over medium to medium high heat for about 10-12 minutes stirring often. You will hear popping and that’s ok! It’s the cranberries popping and you want them to do this.
- Once all the cranberries are mushed into a thickened sauce and no longer whole cranberries, remove from heat.
- We make this with whole cranberries and leave the skins in the sauce, but if don’t want the skins (not everybody does) you can strain it through a fine strainer. You can also use cheesecloth for this.
- Allow the cranberry sauce to cool, we think it is best chilled but you may prefer it the way it is – up to you!
Storing the cranberry sauce
Once cooled to room temperature it will need to be stored in the fridge. We prefer this cranberry sauce with orange and cinnamon chilled so I usually make it 1-2 days before serving. Mainly because I have a lot of other foods to cook on Thanksgiving day, it only takes an hour or 2 to chill if you make it the day you need it.
This will fit in a pint sized canning jar (it will be close) or you can store it in a different container that holds close to 2 cups.
Once made, it should be used within 5 days for best flavor.
Frequently asked questions
Yes you can freeze cranberry sauce! Be sure it is cooled down completely and put into a freezer safe container. You can even use a freezer bag. It is best used within 3 months.
You can also freeze the cranberries if you prefer to make it fresh. Cranberries can be thrown into the freezer right in the bag they come in from the store. We do this all the time!
Not quite but it is better tasting fresh! Jellied cranberry sauce holds it’s shape perfectly and can be sliced where this is a little softer and should be spooned out.
It has a similar texture to the canned, it won’t hold a perfect can (or jar) shape to be cut.
Yes there is! While we prefer our cranberry sauce with orange and cinnamon, there are other spices that go well in it. You can add cloves, nutmeg or ginger into cranberry sauce.
Do be careful not to add too many spices or too much of any of the spices. They may become overpowering in your sauce. It is a dish that is best to keep simple so pick 1 or 2 and add lightly while tasting (very carefully as it’s going to be HOT) before adding more.
Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Cinnamon
- Sauce pot 2.5 to 3 quart is best
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup orange juice see notes
- ½ cup water see notes
- 1 teaspoon orange zest optional
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 2 dashes salt optional
- Wash the cranberries with cold water and sort through them. Remove any that appear to be funky (dried up or mushy.)12 ounces fresh cranberries
- In a sauce pot bring the water, orange juice, sugar and salt to a gentle boil over medium high heat.¾ cup sugar, ½ cup orange juice, ½ cup water, 2 dashes salt
- Once boiling add in the cranberries, cinnamon and orange zest. Simmer over medium to medium high heat (stoves vary) stirring often for 10-12 minutes. You will hear popping, it's normal and you want the cranberries to all pop.1 teaspoon orange zest, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- All of the cranberries will be popped and mushed together into a thickened sauce when it is ready.
- Remove from heat. We serve without straining, but you can use a fine strainer to strain any skins out of your sauce. You can serve warm but we think it's better chilled.To chill – allow to cool to room temperature and then place in a 2 cup container (sauce fits in a pint jar) and put in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.