Homemade cranberry sauce is a versatile and delicious sauce that’s typically enjoyed during the holiday season, but can really be enjoyed year round. With the perfect balance of tart and sweet, this flavorful, vibrant cranberry sauce is sure to be a hit. It only requires 3 simple ingredients and can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes.
As a Registered Dietitian, I love creating something from scratch that can be batch prepped and stored in the fridge or freezer so I can enjoy it with all kinds of dishes. Made from 3 simple ingredients – cranberries, oranges and brown sugar, and packed full of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C, this homemade cranberry sauce checks all the boxes.
Cranberry sauce traditionally makes an appearance on the dinner table during the fall and winter holidays, often showing up as turkey’s sidekick. But did you know it can be enjoyed year round? Whether you’re a fan of a cranberry’s sweet and tart flavor of or just looking for a new sauce to add to your repertoire, there are plenty of ways to enjoy cranberry sauce beyond the holiday season. Add it to these baked cranberry oatmeal bars, as a tasty addition to a wrap or sandwich, on the side with sage and apricot sourdough stuffing or as a topping to this gluten-free cheesecake.
How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
This simple recipe requires only 3 simple ingredients and takes only minutes to make.
What you need:
- Fresh cranberries (canned will work too!)
- Orange (you will need the zest & juice)
- Brown sugar
Add the cranberries, orange zest and juice, brown sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. You will hear the cranberries start to make a popping sound as they expand through their skin and release their yummy juices. Stir the cranberries occasionally for 5 minutes or until all of the cranberries have burst. Turn down to a simmer and let the sauce thicken up for 3-5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Serve right away or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
Cranberries pack a powerful, nutritious punch and may have potential benefits for the urinary tract, immune and cardiovascular systems.
High in antioxidants: Cranberries are a good source of antioxidants, which help protect your cells from free radicals and may have anti-inflammatory properties.
High in fiber: Cranberries are a great source of fiber which is key for maintaining a healthy digestive system and helping keep our blood sugars balanced.
Good source of vitamin C: Cranberries are packed full of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important nutrient which helps maintain our immune system (something we all need a little extra of during the cold months).
How to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce
Have you ever hosted a holiday dinner and had a ton of cranberry sauce leftover? You are not alone. I think this sauce tends to be one of the most wasted condiments. But don’t throw it out! Store it in the refrigerator or freezer, and use it to add a touch of flavor into your next meal or snack.
Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Use it as a filling: Add leftover cranberry sauce as a filling to these delicious Baked Cranberry Oatmeal Bars.
Add it to sandwiches: Spread leftover cranberry sauce on a slice of bread or a roll, and use it as a condiment for sandwiches. It pairs particularly well with turkey, ham, or roast beef.
Use it as a topping: Pour leftover cranberry sauce onto some brie cheese or serve as a jam on your next charcuterie platter.
Stir it into oatmeal: Add a spoonful of leftover cranberry sauce to your bowl of oatmeal or yogurt for a touch of sweetness and tartness.
Use it as a topping for pancakes or waffles: Spread a spoonful of leftover cranberry sauce on top of these banana oat pancakes or any waffle recipe for a delicious addition to your breakfast or brunch.
Use it as a sauce for ice cream or cheesecake: Top a bowl of ice cream or spoon some over this delicious vegan coconut cheesecake for an extra burst of flavor!
If your looking to add an extra boost of flavor to your cranberry sauce, try these simple modificiations!
Use a variety of sweeteners: Experiment with different sweeteners to find the perfect balance of tart and sweet. You can use granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup in your cranberry sauce. Mix and match to create a unique flavor.
Add spices: Certain spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, can add some depth and warmth to your sauce. Try adding a pinch of these spices for a yummy twist.
Add a touch of heat: A pinch of cayenne pepper or a splash of hot sauce can kick this tart sauce up a notch. Just remember to add sparingly! A little can go a long way.
Add a splash of liqueur: A splash of liqueur can add a burst of flavor to this homemade cranberry sauce. Try Grand Marnier or Cointreau if you have any hiding in your liquor cabinet.
By experimenting with different ingredients and flavors, you can easily customize your cranberry sauce to suit your taste buds.
If you make this tangy homemade cranberry sauce, be sure to upload a photo and tag me on Instagram @lindsaypleskot so I can see your versions! It makes me so happy to see these recipes come to life in your kitchens!
And if you enjoy the recipe, it would make my day if you would leave a comment and star rating below—I love hearing your feedback and answering your questions! xoPrint
10 Minute Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
This homemade cranberry sauce is the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Paked full of flavor, this sauce requires 3 simple ingredients, takes less than 10 minutes to whip up and is packed full of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C.
- 4 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- Zest of 1 orange
- Juice of 1/2 orange
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- In a saucepan, bring cranberries, orange zest and juice, brown sugar and water to a boil. Cook until the cranberries have burst through their skin and released their juices, approximately 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until the sauce is desired consistency. Remove from heat and serve as is or store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
- Cook Time: 10
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