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.
Ingredients and substitutions
Fresh cranberries can be substituted with frozen cranberries.
Cinnamon is optional but adds extra depth of flavor and warmth to your cranberry sauce that is perfect for the holidays.
All granulated sugar can be used for this recipe, but I like the combination of granulated and brown sugars.
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.
What to serve with cranberry sauce
Cranberry sauce is traditionally served at holiday meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here are a few other recipes to make a complete holiday menu:
- Marmalade Glazed Ham
- Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
- Green Bean Casserole From Scratch
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Easy Pecan Pie
Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon ground 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. Optionally, gently mash cranberries with the back of a spoon as they cook.
- Remove from heat and pour into serving bowl. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Sauce can be served warm, room temperature, or cold.
- 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.