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cranberry sauce with oj

Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce

This sweet and incredibly flavorful Fresh Cranberry Sauce made with fresh orange juice and Grand Marnier is a must have Thanksgiving side dish.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 17 mins
Servings 12 servings
Calories 87


  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup golden brown sugar
  • zest from one orange
  • ¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice ((equivalent to the juice from about 2 large Valencia oranges))
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or substitute with cinnamon)
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries (rinsed)
  • 2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier


  • Dissolve sugars: In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugars, the orange juice with the orange zest, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir well to dissolve the sugars. This has to be what heaven smells like.
    pouring orange juice into pan
  • Cook cranberries: Still cooking over medium heat, stir in the cranberries. Cook, while stirring frequently, until the cranberries pop and the mixture turns into a sauce. This should take about 10 minutes and there will likely still be some cranberries that haven't popped.
    whole cranberries cooking in orange juice
  • Add Grand Marnier: Turn heat to low and add Grand Marnier. Stir well and cook for another minute or so.
    adding Grand Marnier to homemade cranberry sauce
  • Serve: Remove from heat. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
    cranberry sauce cooking on stove


Recipe makes 2-3 cups, nutritional information based on a serving size of about 3 Tablespoons.

Recipe tips:

  • My preference is to use fresh cranberries, but you can also use frozen cranberries and it will turn out the same. I just have a preference for watching the fresh cranberries burst as they cook.
  • I also recommend using freshly squeezed orange juice instead of OJ from a bottle. The recipe calls for the zest from an orange, so you might as well squeeze the juice out of it. The flavors of orange and cranberry go hand in hand.
  • I prefer to add the Grand Marnier, which is a lovely orange liqueur, at the end of the cooking process and only allow a little of the alcohol to burn off.
  • You can then serve your homemade cranberry sauce slightly warm, at room temperature, or even chilled. The taste will blow your mind!


Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 3.8mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.1mg