Orange Cranberry Sauce with Whole Berries is sweet, tart and incredibly easy to make. If you want to spice up your holiday table try this bright and flavorful homemade cranberry sauce recipe with orange.
I come from an ethnic family where Thanksgiving dinner always had an Italian influence. Turkey and cranberry sauce were not the highlight of the meal. And as a kid, I never understood why cranberry sauce was served with turkey and stuffing. I thought it was more of a dessert than part of the main dish.
In my house, we looked forward to the antipasto, tortellini soup, bottomless lasagna and stuffing made with Italian sausage. By the time the turkey was placed on the table, no one was hungry. But the leftover sandwiches were great and there were lots of them. Because of this I often cook just a turkey breast in my oven and I make lots of sides to go with it. It's perfect for a smaller family or if you are having lots of other food besides turkey.
The cranberry sauce was also an afterthought.
I don't remember anyone really liking cranberry sauce except for one of my brothers and my sister. Someone always bought a can just for them and I recall it being slid onto the plate still in the shape of a can!
I have nothing against people that love canned cranberry sauce and I know there are many out there. Actually, my husband is one of them. Sorry hubby, now you must eat the real thing.
Once I tried homemade cranberry sauce, my whole attitude changed. Now I make sure we always have some fresh sauce on the table.
I have made homemade cranberry sauce different ways but this cranberry sauce recipe with orange is my favorite. I also use just a touch of vanilla bean paste for flavor.
Ingredients Needed for Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Whole Cranberries – Look for the bags of fresh whole cranberries to appear in your grocery store's produce section sometime in October. Cranberries will stay fresh in the fridge for a month or longer. They can be frozen for up to 12 months.
- Orange – Since we need both the juice and the zest, spring for a fresh orange. Look for a large one for the most orange flavor.
- Sugar – I like my cranberry sauce tart so it doesn't contain as much sugar as some other recipes. You can always add a bit more sugar if you like it sweeter.
- Water – Water will get everything stewing away. As you cook the cranberry sauce the water will cook off and as the sauce cools it will thicken.
- Vanilla Bean Paste – Vanilla bean paste adds a fragrant vanilla flavor and the little flecks of vanilla beans. You can substitute some scraped vanilla beans or even vanilla extract.
- Feel free to leave out the orange and vanilla flavors if you want straight up cranberry sauce.
- You can see some of the whole berries in my cranberry sauce but if you like it smoother, cook it longer.
- Add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to make a spiced cranberry sauce.
- Add some fresh grated ginger for a new flavored cranberry sauce.
- Substitute half of the water for red wine to make red wine cranberry sauce.
- You can always add extra sugar if you like a sweeter sauce.
How Long Does Cranberry Sauce With Whole Berries Last?
This recipe is perfect to make a few days in advance and I think it is better after it sits in the refrigerator. Once it has cooled, store it in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Can Cranberry Sauce Be Frozen?
Yes! You can place cranberry sauce with whole berries into freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to a year. I do find that it tastes best if consumed within three months.
To defrost, place the container in the fridge overnight.
More Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Roasted Cranberry Glazed Brussels Sprouts
- Gluten Free Turkey Gravy
- Oven Roasted Baby Potatoes
- Beet And Goat Cheese Salad with Toasted Walnuts
- Italian Suffing via Aggie's Kitchen
If you like this Cranberry Sauce Recipe with Orange, please leave a 5-star rating.
Orange Vanilla Cranberry Sauce
- 1 - 12 ounce bag cranberries
- 1 Orange large, juice and zest
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Put all the ingredients in a medium size sauce pan.
- Over medium heat, bring contents to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes or until berries pop, stirring occasionally.
- Sauce will thicken as it cools.
First Published November 2011 ; Updated October 2021
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