Cran-Orange Sauce

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    Why anyone would buy canned cranberry sauce is beyond me. You must try this cran-orange sauce as it's super easy to make and I love the contrasting flavors of cranberry and orange. It's a sweet and tart flavor that go very well together!

    My whole life, I never understood why people would opt for the canned cranberry crap as opposed to making your own cranberry sauce. I mean, it really makes me wonder what people think when buying the canned stuff. Yeah, I get it takes like 10 seconds to open a can of cranberry sauce – which, I don’t know if you can even call that sauce since it plops down onto the platter like congealed gelatin, but tack on maybe 5 more minutes to that 10 seconds and you can make FRESH and UNPROCESSED cranberry sauce from scratch. You can taste the freshness too. And the possibilities of flavors are endless!

    I made this cranberry sauce last year for Thanksgiving and I made it again this year because it’s just that good. I love the contrasting flavors of cranberry and orange. It’s a sweet and tart flavor that go very well together. It’s super easy to throw together and it makes plenty for those who love to smear it all over their turkey! It’s great to use for those leftover turkey sandwiches too :)

    Cran-Orange Sauce

    Do yourself and your guests a favor and make this cran-orange sauce instead of using the canned stuff. You won't regret it!
    Prep Time: 2 mins
    Cook Time: 10 mins
    Total Time: 12 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 2
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    • 1: 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
    • Zest of 1 orange
    • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 3 tbsp granulated sugar


    • In a medium stockpot, add cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, water, and sugar. Bring to boil then turn heat down and let it simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • When mixture is done, it should be nice and thick. If you feel that you need to add more sugar, add more, a tbsp. at a time.
    • Serve warm.
    • Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.


    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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  • Kathryn says:

    Cranberry and orange is such a perfect combo and I can imagine this would be totally epic on turkey sandwiches. I so want to come to your house for a thanksgiving meal!

  • CJ at Food Stories says:

    I love this simple, classic sauce :-)

  • [email protected] Mama says:

    LOVE this, such pretty colors. I agree…. I have never understood the appeal of the canned crap!

  • Mai-Lis @ A Sunshiny Day says:

    I agree, who wants to serve something where you can literally see the rings from the can in the sauce. My grandmother makes a killer homemade cranberry sauce but we’re doing Thanksgiving without them this year so maybe I’ll whip up a batch up this stuff :) Thanks!

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist says:

    I made some cranberry sauce yesterday and in true claire fashion, added booze. Yours is so pretty!

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    O M G how is is possible we both shared an orange cranberry sauce today?! lol I think we’re spending too much e-time together ha ;)

  • Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats says:

    I used to loove canned cranberry sauce! haha This fresh one sounds much better though!

  • Erin | The Law Student's Wife says:

    YES to homemade cranberry sauce and down with the can! I never really understood the canned stuff either–I mean, you can still see the LINES.
    This looks so simple, bright, and delicious. Love cranberry + orange together-it’s a royal holiday combo!
    Thanks for the recipe Julie!

    • Julie says:

      AGREED. The lines are what KILLS me. It’s so disgusting!!

  • Carla's Confections says:

    I have never understood why people like the cranberry sauce at all, but thats because my family has only ever gotten the canned crap! I have never even seen homemade… how sad is that?? Maybe this year I will make it homemade to see if I like it haha. It does look so good this way!! It looks like something I could actually eat. I love the addition of the orange too. Sounds really good!

  • Mackenzie {SusieFreakingHomemaker} says:

    The stuff in a can is sacred to some people – I don’t get it either. I’ve actually never even had it. Hilarious, hilarious, hilarious. Love this recipe my dear – keep those Thanksgiving posts coming!! :-)

  • Cassie | Bake Your Day says:

    Homemade is for sure the way to go. I love the orange…I usually add a little Bourbon :)

  • Nicole @ Lapetitebaker says:

    Homemade cranberry sauce is so much better then canned. People for some reason think taking the easy route is quicker but really, homemade only takes you 10 min tops.

  • amanda @ fake ginger says:

    I freakin’ love the canned cranberry sauce! I guess I’m a weirdo. :P I wanna make my own this year – maybe for Christmas since the hubby won’t be here for TGiving.

  • Ashley - Baker by Nature says:

    I love this, Julie! So fresh, bright, and utterly gorgeous!

  • Katie @ Blonde Ambition says:

    The orange-cranberry combo sounds so tasty!

    I actually didn’t like fresh cranberry sauce as a kid because I’ve always had this weird thing where I don’t like warm or cooked fruit. The canned stuff was more like cranberry jello so I loved it, haha. I’ve started to warm up to the good stuff though!

  • Danica says:

    there’s a restaurant in texas that my family always orders from for thanksgiving, and they have an amazing cranberry-orange sauce. so i’ll definitely have to try this. thanks for sharing this recipe! :)

  • Brenna McKinnon says:

    So… Any harm in using a red zin instead of the water? The recipe I’ve always used for cranberry sauce turns out runny every time. I’m looking forward to using this amazing looking one instead, but don’t want to lose the wine aspect.

    • Julie says:

      Nope, no harm! Enjoy :)

  • Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} says:

    I’m about to do a very similar post today… great minds think alike! Love your recipe! :)

  • Nicole @ The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie says:

    Mmmm I love cranberry sauce with orange (I always throw a little Grand Marnier in mine hehe) – but I am right there with you…why the heck are people still buying that freaky stuff in the can??! It weirds me out!

  • Tracey says:

    I’ve made homemade versions of cranberry sauce in years past, but I’ll confess to loving the canned stuff. It’s one of the few canned foods I can’t quit :) Love the orange zest in yours, so pretty!

  • Ross | TheFaceBaby says:

    This looks dee.lish!! Once again, my family was guilty of serving up the canned variety when I was growing up. Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, pies and other desserts … all the “big ticket” dishes … made from scratch and heavenly. The “little things” like cranberry sauce must’ve been an afterthought. Oh well, I am making this this year!!

    • Julie says:

      Good! Transform them from canned to fab :)

  • Diane says:

    THANK YOU for this recipe!! I made it for our Thanksgiving and it was a major hit! I served it warm for the main meal, but we had some cold later in the day; either way, it’s now a permanent part of my Thanksgiving menu!!

    • Julie says:

      Awesome! So glad it was a hit! :)

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