The tartness of fresh or frozen cranberries is mellowed out by the bright sweetness of orange in this easy cranberry sauce recipe. The orange juice and the sugar turn into a syrup that both soften and sweeten the fresh cranberries while they cook, and the dried cranberries added to the warm syrup plump up in the cooking liquid and contribute a concentrated cranberry flavor. Since orange marmalade is made from both the rind and the pulp of oranges, when it is stirred into the warm cranberry sauce, the concentrated citrus breaks down and melds with the cranberry to create a unified flavorful sauce.In addition to making the perfect tangy-sweet side to your Thanksgiving spread, this cranberry sauce can be smeared atop freshly buttered biscuits or pancakes for a delicious breakfast. For an elevated post-Thanksgiving sandwich, toast two pieces of bread in the oven with a layer of rich cheese (like Gouda or Brie) and some leftover turkey before adding a heaping spoonful of this cranberry sauce. You can also serve this sauce with an assortment of cheeses and crackers for a casual, crowd-pleasing cheese plate.

Southern Living
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Credit: Hector Sanchez

Recipe Summary test

5 mins
15 mins
20 mins
Makes about 4 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring sugar and orange juice to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often; add fresh or frozen cranberries. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 10 minutes or until cranberry skins begin to burst and mixture begins to thicken.

  • Remove from heat; stir in dried cranberries and orange marmalade. Let sauce cool; cover and chill until ready to serve.

Chef's Notes

Note: Sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.