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Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce

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    Made with just 5 ingredients, this Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce is ready after 15 minutes on the stove. Infused with fresh orange juice, sugar, ginger, and cinnamon, this homemade sauce bursts with bites of sweet, tangy cranberries!

    Cranberry sauce served in a white ceramic bowl.

    This homemade cranberry sauce is my son’s favorite and it’s perfect with Smoked Miso Butter Turkey Breast. I didn’t grow up with cranberries or cranberry sauce in Japan. However, eating sweet and tangy cranberry sauce always reminds me of the first Thanksgiving I spent with my American host family. It makes my heart warm thinking about the kind host family who welcomed me into their home.

    3 Reasons Why You Should Make This Cranberry Sauce

    If you are not into cranberry sauce, maybe because you haven’t tried the delicious homemade cranberry sauce yet.

    • Quick— only 15 minutes on the stove!
    • Easy— just throw 5 simple ingredients together in a pot!
    • Make-ahead— this “homemade” sauce can be made ahead even before you get busy with holiday meals!

    Cranberry sauce served in a white ceramic bowl.

    Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

    Let’s break it down to 5 ingredients!

    1. Cranberries: Use fresh or frozen cranberries. You don’t even need to fully thaw. Just rinse the cranberries with water before using them.
    2. Fresh Orange Juice & Orange Zest: Before you juice the orange, grate some zest off for flavoring and garnish. Then squeeze ½ cup of juice. If you don’t care for the zest, you can substitute it with orange juice (not from concentrate) instead.
    3. Sugar: For sweetening the sauce, I’ve tried white sugar, light brown sugar, a combination of white and light brown sugars, honey, and maple syrup. Each sweetener gives a different flavor profile, so choose what you like. This time, I use light brown sugar only. Mr. JOC prefers a combination of an equal part of white and light brown sugar and my kids like white sugar only.
    4. Grated Ginger: Grated ginger gives a nice kick and adds to the layers of flavor.
    5. Cinnamon Stick: We love the smell of cinnamon in the cranberry sauce. You can substitute with ground cinnamon for the stick but add to the sauce after removing from the heat.
    6. (Water): I usually add some water just to give more liquid in the sauce. If you want to increase the orange-y flavor, substitute more orange juice for water.

    Cranberry sauce served in a white ceramic bowl.

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    4.5 from 6 votes
    Cranberry sauce served in a white ceramic bowl.
    Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    10 mins
     

    Made from 5 ingredients, this Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce is ready after 15 minutes on the stove. Infused with orange juice, sugar, ginger, and cinnamon, this homemade sauce bursts with bites of sweet, tangy cranberries!

    Course: Condiments
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: cranberry
    Servings: 3 cups
    Author: Namiko Chen
    Ingredients
    • 12 oz cranberries (1 bag, 3-4 cups, fresh or frozen)
    • ¾ cup sugar (6 oz; I used light brown sugar this time. You can also use honey or a combination)
    • ½ cup orange juice (You can use orange juice (not from concentrate); I used freshly squeezed from 1 large orange but it's less sweet than orange juice)
    • ¼ cup water (Instead of water, you can use a total of ¾ cup orange juice for more intense orange flavor)
    • 2 tsp orange zest (lightly packed, from the same orange; save some for garnish)
    • 1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon
    • tsp grated ginger (You can add more if you like)
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.
      Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce Ingredients
    2. Rinse the cranberries well and drain off excess water. Pick through the cranberries and discard any squishy ones. Transfer them to a small saucepan.
      Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce 1
    3. Zest the orange (I use this Microplane) and set it aside. For ¼ of the orange, I use this citrus zester that yields ribbons for garnish.

      Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce 2
    4. Cut the orange in half. Juice until you get ½ cup juice.
      Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce 3
    5. Grate the ginger (I use the same Microplane).

      Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce 4
    6. In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and water.

      Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce 5
    7. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.
      Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce 6
    8. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have popped, about 8 minutes.

      Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce 7
    9. Add the cinnamon stick, orange zest, and grated ginger and cook until the mixture has thickened to your liking, about 1-2 minutes.
      Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce 8
    10. Remove the pot from heat. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. The sauce can be served warm or at room temperature.

      Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce 9
    To Store
    1. Cool completely. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. To freeze, cool the sauce completely and freeze for up to 3 months.

    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Nov 26, 2019. The post has been republished on November 2020.

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