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Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce

Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Ginger Orange Cranberry SauceRecipe by me, photos by Rikki Snyder.

I know this is very uncool of me, but I love canned cranberry sauce. Love it! When Thanksgiving is over and it’s on clearance, I always buy a few cans. I love the satisfying PLLLLOP! it makes as it comes out of the can and I love how it stands up on its own and how you can carve it up into slices, just like a turkey. It is a thing of beauty, cranberry sauce is.

Frozen Cranberries
But just because I enjoy the canned stuff, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate homemade cranberry sauce too. It’s kind of like apples and oranges, though. Two different things! And I love them for different reasons!

Now, if you haven’t made your own cranberry sauce before, you might be thinking that it’s really complicated and not something you’d be able to do in your own kitchen. That’s what I used to think, anyway. But cranberry sauce is one of those magical things that seems like it should be really difficult, but it’s way easier than you’d think. Seriously, guys, if you have the skillset required to open up a can of soup and heat it on the stove, you can make cranberry sauce. I’m pretty sure if he had thumbs, my one-eyed cat could make cranberry sauce.

Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce Ingredients
So make your own cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving this year!

I got the idea for this recipe from Smedette’s Amaretto Cranberry Sauce. Amaretto is not something I usually have on hand and, being cheap, I didn’t want to buy it just for one recipe. But she mentioned that you could use ginger ale instead and since I’m a big fan of ginger, that seemed like a good idea to me.

Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce
The best part about making your own cranberry sauce is the cranberries popping as you cook them. Yes, they pop! And if you think the PLLLLOP! of cranberry sauce exiting a can is satisfying, just wait till you hear cranberries burst open! Because cranberries are naturally full of pectin (which is released when they pop), you don’t need to add anything to make the sauce jelly-like–it happens on its own.

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Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce

Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Homemade cranberry sauce is so easy to make! This recipe is flavored with ginger beer and fresh orange juice.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. ginger beer or ale
  • 1/4 c. freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often and using the back of a wooden spoon to smash cranberries against side of pan. Remove from heat; sauce will thicken as it cools.

Notes

For a strong ginger flavor, use an extra-spicy ginger ale or beer. Alternately, you can use a weaker ginger ale and throw in a few slices of ginger as the sauce cooks. Be sure to remove them before serving, though!

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43 Comments

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    November 15, 2012 at 8:17 am

    This looks delish and especially on a…um…”leftover” sandwich. 😉

    I’ve gotta ask because I’m a texture weirdo and haven’t cooked with cranberries before, are the flecks that look like raspberry seeds, seeds of some kind or zest? I’m praying you’re going to say zest.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm

      There’s orange zest in there and also cranberry seeds. Now, you could probably pour this through a fine mesh sieve to catch the skin and seeds, but I’ve never tried it myself…

  • Reply
    Michelle
    November 15, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I love the idea of ginger beer! We’ve been making a similar cranberry sauce for years for our vegan Thanksgiving get-togethers (couldn’t find it online, though I could have sworn it comes from Vegetarian Times).

    Cranberries, thin-skinned orange, sliced into wedges, skin left on but seeds removed, sugar. Toss it through the food processor, stick it in a jar, and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days. Science happens, and after two days you have an amazingly delicious and easy sauce.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      So you don’t even cook the sauce?! Very interesting! I’m going to have to try that…

      • Reply
        Michelle
        November 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm

        Right! I still can’t find the original recipe, but it looks like this person has it right. We usually halve the recipe and it still makes plenty for 10 people.

        http://thatrecipe.com/recipes/relishes/cranberry_orange.htm

      • Reply
        Jeanne D
        December 21, 2012 at 8:03 am

        No Cook Sauce. My boys always made this in elementary school for the holidays as a bring home to mom project. Looking forward to passing it on to the grand children !

  • Reply
    Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)
    November 15, 2012 at 9:39 am

    This is going to be my first year making homemade cranberry sauce – I don’t know why I always thought it was so much work- hah! I bet this flavor combination is out of this world and I love that you can add ginger beer! Yum =)

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      I always thought it was a lot of work too. In fact, I was talking to my mom on the phone over the weekend and she couldn’t believe it was so easy to make either!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    November 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I can accept the can sauce if it’s good enough 😉
    This cranberry sauce with ginger and orange looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Cat Davis - Food Family Finds
    November 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    THIS is going on my Thanksgiving menu. My dad loves a fresh cranberry sauce.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      I hope your family likes it!

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    November 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    This is very similar to how I make it, minus the ginger. But I might just try that little add-in. And I always look forward to the popping too.

    But not the canned stuff. It’s ok as a spread on rolls, etc. but with the holiday dinner..no stinkin’ way.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      The popping is the best part, right? Oh, and eating it. That too.

  • Reply
    Jackie @ The Beeroness
    November 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    The canned stuff sort of freaks me out. But I DO understand the love of nostalgic foods, which is why I am no stranger to the Thanksgiving jell-o/whipped cream/marshmallow salad. This sauce looks beautiful, I’ll take it over the canned stuff every day.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      It just kind of fascinates me. It’s the fact that it can be sliced, I think. And that it’s the shape of the can. That is also kind of awesome.

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes
    November 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I’ve never made cranberry sauce before but I’d love to give this a try! Thanks for the warning about the “popping” 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      You should totally try it–it is easy and it’s really satisfying too! And then everyone will be totally impressed that you made your own cranberry sauce.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving
    November 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I love hearing that popping sound when making cranberry sauce 🙂 Another amazing recipe Kiersten 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      Yeah, I kind of nerd out about it. But I nerd out about everything…

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    November 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Oh my goodness this sounds SO close to what I make except with the addition of ginger ale. I’m trying the addition this year and going to wow the fam with the change!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      I hope they like it! And if they don’t, you can blame me!

      • Reply
        Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
        November 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm

        I totally spaced picking up the ginger ale before Thanksgiving so didn’t give this recipe a try on the big day. But coincidentally my grandma ended up running out of sugar and I had to substitute 7-Up for a little sweetness and it totally worked. I also added in a few cinnamon sticks and that had great flavor too. Since we didn’t have any leftovers, I’m preparing Thanksgiving Part Deux right now. I’m making your recipe as posted right now. And I still have some leftover cranberries, so will definitely be using your suggestions for the leftover cranberries/cranberry sauce.

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          November 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm

          I love the idea of adding 7-Up! I hope the sauce turned out well. 🙂 Definitely make some muffins with the leftovers–I had the last of the ones I made for breakfast this morning and I’m sad they’re all gone now because they were so good!

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    November 16, 2012 at 12:36 am

    http://www.itstaylormade.com/2011/11/cranberry-chutney-recipe.html
    Hope you can open this…Taylor Made had and awesome cranberry chutney recipe that is out of this world good. We put on cream cheese and served with Ritz crackers. Yum.

    I love your recipe and I love cranberry sauce too.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      I want to try making a relish or chutney with cranberries while they are in season! Thanks for sharing this recipe. 🙂

  • Reply
    Robin
    November 16, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I always buy my cranberry sauce in a can – it’s embarrassing because my town’s claim to fame is that it’s the cranberry capital of the world and the Ocean Spray HQ/Corporate office is literally about a mile from my house. I should be making my own cranberry sauce and this recipe really sounds good.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Ha! That is so funny. Well, I hope at the very least you’re buying Ocean Spray cranberry sauce!

  • Reply
    marla
    November 16, 2012 at 10:23 am

    A beautiful cranberry collaboration. You and Rikki are a fab team 🙂

  • Reply
    Shirley
    November 16, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Me too! Me too! Years ago I made my own cranberry sauce, but nobody in my family liked it as much as the canned stuff (including me). We always needed at least 2 cans for Thanksgiving dinner. My coworker makes this awesome cranberry apple relish and gave me the recipe, and I’m hoping to tinker with it if I have time or make it on the big day. I feel the same about stuff like amaretto, so when I bought amaretto for a cookie recipe I bought one of those airplane-sized bottles. But I’d much prefer your ginger ale version anyway.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      I just saw a recipe on FoodGawker this morning for homemade jellied cranberry sauce (the kind that plops out and retains the shape of the can!), so I might have to give that a try. It looked exactly like the canned kind–I was impressed!

      • Reply
        Shirley
        November 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm

        That’s too funny! Does the recipe call for gelatin? Now I’m wondering, does the Ocean Spray variety use gelatin? I’d still eat it though. 🙂

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          November 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm

          Nope, you just put a little extra pectin in to gel it up. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley - Baker by Nature
    November 16, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I love homemade cranberry sauce! So bright and beautiful with all it’s festive red color – and the ginger and orange make this a for sure winner!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      I made it again this week and spent about an hour photographing the cranberries and then the sauce when it was finished, just for practice. You’re right, it really is beautiful! 🙂

  • Reply
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious
    November 17, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Ginger ale in cranberry sauce? That is pure genius! Can’t wait to give this a try!

  • Reply
    nicole @nicky_olea
    November 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Nice. I make a ginger cranberry sauce too!

  • Reply
    debra pearlstein
    November 18, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Three of my favorite things, cranberries, ginger and oranges! The photos are gorgeous as well. I’d love to try this.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    November 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    so I decided (yes a day before Thanksgiving) that I am making this. Can I make it today and it still be good tomorrow? Should it be served hot or cold?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Yes, you can definitely make it in advance. It gets more jelly-like as it cools, so it’s best served either room temperature or chilled. I hope your family likes it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Casey
    December 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    This was AMAZING! The whole family loved it! It was easy to make and taste great! Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks for letting me know–I’m so glad your family enjoyed it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Casey
    November 12, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Greatest cranberry sauce EVER! I am allergic to gluten so I used omission lager in mine and also added zested some ginger in it. It’s so good! I would drink it if I could….and everyday.

  • Reply
    Aarti
    May 12, 2017 at 3:41 am

    YUM! Sounds and looks delicious! Thank you for sharing!

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