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cranberry orange sauce will be a favorite for Thanksgiving. It goes great with Cornish hens!
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4.5 from 34 votes


This EFFORTLESS homemade Make Ahead Cranberry Sauce will WOW your guests! The BEST Cranberry Sauce Recipe! You'll never buy canned sauce again!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry jelly, cranberry sauce, make ahead cranberry sauce
Servings: 8 large servings
Calories: 108kcal
Cost: $5


  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup brown sugar if you like it sweeter, you can double
  • ¼ cup regular sugar
  • ¼ cup orange marmalade
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, 1 bag in the produce or frozen section


Directions for Stove Top Method:

  • Combine the orange juice, both sugars, marmalade, cinnamon, ginger, all spice and the whole cranberries in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. 
    Cranberries boiling on stovetop
  • Reduce to a gentle boil and stir for 10 minutes.
  • The berries will burst (the kiddos love this part) and will eventually break down to the sauce we love.
    cooking homemade cranberry sauce on the stovetop
  • Let cool and then refrigerate. You can serve warm if you want to, but I like to chill for at least 2 hours. 
  • ENJOY!

Directions for making cranberry sauce in an Instant Pot:

  • To make it in an Instant Pot, place all ingredients in the pan. Stir well to get the cranberries coated. 
  • Seal and set on manual high for 4 minutes.
  • Allow to naturally release (about 10-12 minutes).
  • Remove lid, and switch to saute.
  • Boil the mixture for 3-4 minutes, stirring once about every minute or so. You just want to make sure nothing gets stuck to the bottom of the pan!
  •  It will magically thicken up.
  • Serve warm, or cover and place in the fridge for about 2 hours for it to really thicken up!



In case it’s not all gone on Thanksgiving, give it a whirl on the turkey sandwich—you’ll thank me I’m sure!


Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 21.6mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.2mg