Ginger Spiced Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Orange

This homemade ginger orange cranberry sauce recipe is a holiday favorite. The recipe calls for orange juice & ginger to make a sweet and zingy side dish.

This post was originally published in November 2015; it has been updated.

white bowl full of orange cranberry sauce from above.

Even if you’re a fan of the canned cranberry sauce that graces so many of our holiday tables, try serving this recipe alongside the jellied version. You might just like both!

Over the years, my son has tweaked this orange ginger cranberry sauce recipe to create a lower sugar version of a recipe passed along years ago by my friend Rene. It was stellar. He was pleased with himself. And so it became his signature holiday dish. We all love it.

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce 

Cranberries are far from local for us — duly noted. But if given the choice between a canned, BPA-laden tradition, or one homemade from the heart, we’ll take this one every time. This homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice and ginger graces our table at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This is truly one of the easiest recipes you can make for your holiday table, and it can be made a few days ahead. It’s a sanity saver, too!

ingredients for making cranberry sauce on a marble background.


CranberriesI like to use fresh here, and you can also buy extra bags to freeze them for later!

Sugar — Use your favorite brand of granulated cane sugar. I prefer organic. Would brown sugar or maple syrup be an okay substitute? Certainly! 

Orange JuiceWhile we can all agree that fresh orange juice tastes best, in the busyness of the holidays OJ concentrate is just fine.

Ginger — Choose fresh knobs of ginger and peel if desired, though it’s not necessary. If you opt not to peel, just be sure you wash them well.

4 panel showing process of making whole cranberry sauce: cranberries in pot, sugar added, mashed, spooning some out.

How to Make Cranberry Sauce

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan on the stove.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Listen for the pops!

Cool to room temperature.

Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for several days. Garnish with orange zest for serving if you like.

spoon full of whole cranberry sauce.


What texture is best for homemade cranberry sauce?

It seems that everyone has a strong opinion about the texture of their cranberry sauce. This recipe starts with fresh, whole cranberries. As they cook, the berries pop and break down, but chunks of berry remain in the sauce. 

If the flavor of a ginger orange cranberry sauce sounds delicious (it is!) but you don’t like the chunks, simply press the cooked sauce through a sieve or food mill. Or use an immersion blender to process into a finer texture.

How do I thicken my cranberry sauce?

Just keep simmering! Cranberries naturally contain a lot of pectin so the sauce should reduce and thicken on its own. No need for a cornstarch slurry here.

How do I store cranberry sauce?

Keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks. And yup, you can absolutely freeze the finished product for up to 3 months! Feel free to make it ahead so that’s one last thing to do on the day you are hosting. Simply thaw and serve at room temperature.

Related: Christmas Dinner Ideas: Supermarket Products You Can Make at Home

white bowl full of cranberry sauce with a spoon sticking out of it.

★ Did you make this homemade cranberry sauce recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

white bowl full of orange cranberry sauce from above.

Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice and Ginger

This cranberry sauce with orange juice and ginger will rock your holiday table! It's easy to make with just four ingredients.
4.49 from 27 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Kris Bordessa


  • 3 cups fresh cranberries (1-12 ounce bags)
  • 1 cup granulated organic cane sugar
  • 1 cups orange juice
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons finely grated ginger


  • Measure all ingredients together into a medium sized saucepan.
    3 cups fresh cranberries, 1 cup granulated organic cane sugar, 1 cups orange juice, 1 - 2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
  • Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use the back of a spoon to smash the berries a bit. If you prefer a finer texture, press through a sieve, use an immersion blender to process the cranberry sauce, or transfer it to a blender to make more of a puree.
  • Cool to room temperature.
  • Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for several days.


  • You can make this homemade cranberry sauce recipe a few days before serving it. Allow it to cool before storing in the fridge. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  • If you like a less-sweet cranberry sauce, you can cut back a bit on the sugar. If you like it more sweet, sample the recipe as written and add more sugar to reach desired sweetness.


Serving: 0.66cup | Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.05g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 113IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @attainablesustainable or tag #attainablesustainable!

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. Read more about Kris and how she got started with this site here. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

2 comments… add one
  • Cindy Fullmer Nov 22, 2018 @ 10:35

    Very good and easy. For a 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries, I used 3/4 Cups of water, 1/4 Cup of fresh orange juice, 1 Tbs grated orange rind, 1 Cup white sugar, 3 cinnamon sticks, 6 thinly slices ginger root and 1 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries. Combine ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil for 20 minute or until the cranberries have popped. Transfer to a bowl until room temperature. Remove ginger slices. I served it in a glass serving bowl and arranged the cinnamon sticks into a star. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serves 6-8.

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018 @ 19:22

    Delicious recipe and simple to make.

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