Orange Cranberry Sauce

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? For me, it's the Cranberry sauce and Stuffing - without them, it's not a Thanksgiving meal. And no, canned cranberry sauce does not cut it. True cranberry sauce has texture, with softened cranberries that burst with that unique tart-sweetness as you eat them. It brings that much needed brightness to an otherwise very brown plate of traditional Thanksgiving dishes. 

Making fresh cranberry sauce (over canned) has a couple benefits. First, it's less processed, meaning you'll get more of those antioxidants that cranberries are packed with. Second, you control the amount of sugar you use. Since cranberries are so tart, it takes a lot of sugar to tone that down. But canned sauces tend to over do it.

Cranberry sauce is very quick and easy to make, not to mention inexpensive! So whip up a batch while the Tofurky and Potatoes cook, leaving enough time for it to cool down. My favorite way to jazz up the traditional recipe is by adding in orange juice, so I'm sharing that version with you today.

Pair this with a Lentil Loaf and Herb Roasted Potatoes for a delicious and plant based Thanksgiving meal. 


Recipe and photos by Once Upon a Chef
Servings: 2-1/4 cups / Total Time: 15 Minutes



  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from two oranges)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (12 oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries (do not use dried)
  • Zest of one orange (about 2 teaspoons)
  • Pinch salt


  1. In a medium sauce pan over high heat, bring the orange juice, water and sugar to a boil. Add the cranberries, orange zest, and salt and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil gently for 10 to 12 minutes, until most of cranberries have burst open. (You may need to mash them a bit with a spoon.)
  2. Transfer sauce to a serving bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Make-Ahead/Freezing Instructions: Cranberry sauce will keep for 10 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.