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!
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 Ingredients
Let’s break it down to 5 ingredients!
- Cranberries: Use fresh or frozen cranberries. You don’t even need to fully thaw. Just rinse the cranberries with water before using them.
- 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.
- 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.
- Grated Ginger: Grated ginger gives a nice kick and adds to the layers of flavor.
- 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.
- (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.
Easy Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce
- 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
- ⅛ tsp grated ginger (You can add more if you like)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Rinse the cranberries well and drain off excess water. Pick through the cranberries and discard any squishy ones. Transfer them to a small saucepan.
- 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.
- Cut the orange in half. Juice until you get ½ cup juice.
- Grate the ginger (I use the same Microplane).
- In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and water.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have popped, about 8 minutes.
- Add the cinnamon stick, orange zest, and grated ginger and cook until the mixture has thickened to your liking, about 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the pot from heat. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. The sauce can be served warm or at room temperature.
- Cool completely. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. To freeze, cool the sauce completely and freeze for up to 3 months.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Nov 26, 2019. The post has been republished on November 2020.