Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Give your holiday cranberry sauce a fresh makeover this Thanksgiving with this tasty - and surprisingly easy – citrus variation. Cranberries are high in pectin and will thicken themselves, so all you need to do is add sugar and water and let them cook.


  • Juice and zest of 1 medium orange
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 bag (12 oz.) whole fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp. marmalade (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur (optional)
  • TIPS:
  • For a more potent orange flavor, add a tablespoon of frozen orange juice concentrate to the saucepan while it simmers.
  • Customize the basic recipe even further by adding cinnamon sticks, whole cloves or other spices to the pot, then removing them once the sauce is ready.


  1. Combine the orange juice, orange zest, water and sugar in a saucepan, and bring them to a boil. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved, and then add the cranberries.

  2. Cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, until the berries have begun to pop and the sauce thickens noticeably. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes, then stir in the marmalade and/or the orange liqueur if you’re using them.

  3. Scoop the sauce into a serving dish – or an airtight container, if you’re making it a few days ahead – and refrigerate until dinner.