Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest is a classic holiday side dish. Cranberries are cooked into a sweet relish with a hint of orange zest and cinnamon.
Homemade cranberry sauce is a must at the holiday dinner table. My cranberry sauce with orange zest recipe is so incredibly easy, you’ll never reach for the canned stuff again.
You’ll love the dash of cinnamon as well as orange zest – it has the perfect balance of tart and sweet flavors.
Cranberry sauce is served in the United States, Canada, and the UK, with varying degrees of sweetness.
Popular for Thanksgiving and Christmas, this sauce is ready in just 15 minutes on the stove top – making it one of the easiest holiday dishes to prepare.
How to Make Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest
Cranberry sauce is prepared on the stove top. You’ll need a medium sized sauce pan for this recipe.
The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, and orange, granulated sugar and brown sugar, and cinnamon.
To zest your orange, I recommend using a microplane – this is the exact model that I use. Not only can it be used for zesting citrus, but I also like using it to grate hard cheeses, like parmesan.
Over medium heat, add all of your ingredients to a saucepan and stir to combine. The cranberry skins will begin to crack – this is normal.
Eventually your sauce will come to a boil. Your cranberries may get foamy when boiling, but will eventually burst and develop into a thick and shiny cranberry sauce.
Cranberry Sauce Variations
As with any dish, there are many variations. Many families stick with one traditional recipe, and sometimes feel strongly about using particular ingredients.
Cranberry sauce, in it’s simplest form, can be made with just cranberries and sugar. Anything extra should be there to add flavor. I like my cranberry sauce with the addition of orange zest and cinnamon.
While orange juice can add some flavor, the flavor is much more intense in the zest of the orange.
Ground ginger can also be used instead of, or in addition to, the ground cinnamon.
More Holiday Side Dish Recipes
Try more of my holiday dish dish recipes – popular for Thanksgiving and Christmas!
- Green Bean Casserole From Scratch
- Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
- How To Make Gravy Without Drippings
- Green Beans and Onions
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- In a saucepan over medium-low heat, add cranberries, sugars, orange zest, cinnamon, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Cook cranberries over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, until cranberries burst and sauce begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and pour into serving bowl. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Ground ginger can be used in addition to, or instead of, ground cinnamon.
- Cranberry sauce can be served warm, room temperature, or cold. Keep in mind the sauce may thicken substantially if refrigerated.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.