Learn how using fresh cranberries with orange zest makes a delicious homemade holiday side dish that goes perfectly with turkey and stuffing.
My husband loves to cook at Thanksgiving. He is the one who makes the turkey, the stuffing, pan dripping gravy, and a delicious cranberry sauce.
What You'll Need
- Fresh Cranberries
- An Orange
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Cloves
Cranberry Sauce vs Cranberry Relish
Cranberry sauce and cranberry relish are two very different things. Cranberry sauce is cooked with sugar and spices where cranberry relish is typically raw and made in a food processer usually with much less sugar so it's very tart. In my opinion, both are delicious.
Can You Make Cranberry Sauce Ahead?
Yes, in fact, that's one of the great things about this dish. It actually needs a couple of hours to set up in the refrigerator so making it the day before Thanksgiving is a good idea. In fact, you could make it a few days ahead of time.
Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?
I wouldn't. More than likely it will get watery when you thaw it. However, you can keep leftovers in the fridge for a week or two, and chances are they will get eaten well before then.
Other Uses for Cranberry Sauce
Of course, it's one of the best side dishes for turkey during the holidays but you can also use it for the following:
- As a topping for a leftover turkey sandwich
- With yogurt or ice cream
- As a side with other protein, in particular pork.
- As a filling for baked goods, pies, muffins etc.
Sometimes homemade is best and since you can make this ahead there's really no reason why you can't add a homemade fresh cranberry sauce to the menu.
More Great Fresh Cranberry Recipes
Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe with Orange Zest
- 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
- 1.5 cups water
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- Rinse cranberries. Pick over and throw away any unsightly berries.
- In a large pot heat water, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add orange zest and reduce heat.
- Add berries and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the skin pops and the berries look translucent.
- Skim and discard any foam.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate to chill for 2 hours before serving.
Hi! I am new to your blog and really enjoying what I have seen so far. I am also a PA lady (living in VA now by way of South Carolina). I think cranberry sauce is my favorite Thanksgiving dish ( ok I eat too much pumpkin pie and a lot of mashed potatoes too!). I make my own but I use maple syrup instead of the sugar and oj instead of water and it is delicious! Peace.
Hi Cindi! That sounds really good too. We'll have to try it. Thanks for sharing.