Homemade Orange-Cranberry Sauce

A tart and chunky homemade cranberry sauce, that can be made ahead for Thanksgiving.

Orange-Cranberry Sauce Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

Raise your hand if you grew up on canned cranberry sauce. I have memories, not how I didn’t say *fond* memories, of slices spread across a serving tray. It seemed normal. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with canned cranberry sauce, many people love it. It’s tart and tasty but it jiggles and resembles the shape of a can.

Truthfully, even though my family loved this homemade cranberry sauce, they’d happily eat canned when offered. In fact last year they devoured a can unintentionally. I don’t know exactly how it happened but it was set out and the next thing I new, it was gone. It’s a skill making food disappear in the blink of an eye, or nearly.

This is positively easy to whip up, so even if you plan on serving canned cranberry sauce, there is no reason why you can’t serve a homemade chunky style sauce as well! Best of all, you can make it ahead! So come Monday and Tuesday when you start freaking out thinking all that needs to be accomplished at the crack of dawn on Thursday… fear not, you can whip this up several days in advance and let it chill in the fridge.

It’s tart and tangy, chunky and amazing. I promise you’ll love it.

PS This is part 1 of 2 for condiments/sides that pair so perfectly with a leftover turkey sandwich. Stay tuned for part 2!

Orange-Cranberry Sauce

A tart and chunky homemade cranberry sauce, that can be made ahead for Thanksgiving.
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cranberries, Thanksgiving
Servings: 6


  • 12 oz cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C water
  • zest of 1 orange


  • Add all ingredients to a medium-large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cooking until all cranberries have burst, roughly 5-7 minutes. Stir regularly. Remove from heat. Transfer to a clean bowl to cool at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. May warm slightly prior to serving if desired.


An original recipe from Baked by Rachel
Share this:

18 Responses to “Homemade Orange-Cranberry Sauce”

  1. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — November 16, 2012 at 8:04 am

    LOL… but it jiggles and resembles a can.

    I hated it as a kid…. scary stuff. My dad still requests canned instead of my mom’s homemade. I love your recipe it’s perfect!

    • #
      Rachel — November 16, 2012 at 8:19 am

      It’s true!! lol I wanted to compare it to Jell-o.

  2. #
    amy @ fearless homemaker — November 16, 2012 at 8:27 am

    This looks fantastic + I love that you used it on top of a sandwich – YUM!

  3. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — November 16, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Last year I discovered that I love cranberry sauce so I definitely need to try making my own this year. Putting this on my Christmas dinner plan.

  4. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — November 16, 2012 at 9:25 am

    YES PLEASE!!! I love this.

  5. #
    Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — November 16, 2012 at 10:08 am

    hahha I used to LOVE canned cranberry sauce!

  6. #
    Erin@theLawStudentsWife — November 16, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Yes to homemade cranberry sauce! I just can’t handle the can (I mean you can still see the lines! At least try to camouflage people). Orange + cranberry is a royal combo, especially for the holidays. Thanks for sharing!

  7. #
    Stephanie — November 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I’ve never had cranberry sauce before! Then again, I grew up in an Asian household where Western holidays weren’t really celebrated.

  8. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — November 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I really love homemade cranberry sauce! And even more, these photos are stunning!

  9. #
    what katie's baking — November 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    first of all, this looks delicious! second of all… i love how you used it!

  10. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — November 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    you know how i feel about the whole canned cranberry crap! you can still see the lines on that gross gelatin when you plop it out!! but, i laughed so hard when i read your comment that we posted the same exact thing. we’re definitely twinsies ;) can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!! bring Evan hahaha

  11. #
    Thom Brennan — November 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I hated cranberry sauce as a kid, until I started making it from scratch. It’s too easy – I add the juice from the orange and add some cinnamon and allspice too. I have to make tons of it every year.

  12. #
    Joan — November 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Yum adding orange sounds great. The sandwich made my hungry for lunch.

  13. #
    sara — November 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    That sandwich is calling my name! Gotta say, I LOVE Thanksgiving dinner, but there’s really nothing better than turkey sandwiches piled high with leftovers. :)

  14. #
    Tracey — November 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I’ll confess to loving the canned version – it’s one of the only foods I really do love from a can! I like the idea of having both homemade and canned on the Thanksgiving table. You can never have too much cranberry sauce :)

  15. #
    katie — November 20, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Holy stunning photo! This cranberry sauce is signing to me right now! This is a very similar recipe that I make. Over the past few years I’ve backed my family off the ledge and started making the fresh stuff! SO MUCH BETTER!

  16. #
    Carlas Confections — November 20, 2012 at 11:54 am

    When I saw how easy it is to make it homemade, it really made me wonder why people use the canned stuff. So crazy. I made Julies version yesterday. So good (except I did have to add more sugar bc I cant handle all that bitterness haha) Your version looks amazing though too! I am baffled at why people eat the canned stuff…

  17. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — November 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    That pictyre is making me hungry. For Thanksgiving. :(

Leave a Comment