Orange Cranberry Sauce

I grew up eating the canned cranberry sauce, or canned cranberry jelly that everyone else did.  You know the kind.. you open both ends of the can and the wiggle the jelly out — it keeps it’s can shape, and you cut a slice to serve it – looks like this??. Sort of sweet, sort of tart, with an underlying metallic taste to it? Never one of my favorite things.  And that says a lot, because cranberries are one of my all time favorite foods.

So..lets get everyone we know, including you ;) away from the canned version of cranberry sauce/jelly.  This is an incredibly easy and simple recipe, and one you can easily make the day before, or the morning of Thanksgiving or Christmas, or whenever you are going to serve it.

I can’t even say or express to you how incredibly simple this recipe is — you’ll be amazed.

Orange Cranberry Sauce with Cinnamon and Pecans

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 (12 ounce bag) fresh cranberries
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

In a medium saucepan, dissolve the sugars in the orange juice over medium heat.  Stir well until the sugars are completely dissolved.

Stir in the orange zest, cinnamon and cranberries, and still over medium heat, cook until the cranberries start to split or pop – between 10-12 minutes, usually.

Remove from the heat, and allow to cool slightly.  Remove about 1/2 of the mixture to a large bowl, and using a potato masher, mash the cranberries.  Mix together with the un-mashed portion, and refrigerate for about 2 hours.  To serve, sprinkle the pecans over top.


This recipe is so versatile – the bare minimum you need is the cranberries, sugar, and orange juice – so, you can, if you want:

  • Leave out the orange zest, cinnamon and pecans
  • Don’t have brown sugar?  Use all regular white sugar
  • Don’t have a potato masher?  Don’t mash the cranberries.


  1. Great minds must think alike! I just wrote about horrors of canned cranberry sauce a few days ago. I love the idea of adding pecans – I’ll have to try it next time I make a batch.

  2. Woot!! Another person who feels the way I do about that canned cranberry “sauce”. I’d love to see what you wrote about, if you feel like sharing the link.

    It is such a neat idea, adding the pecans. The first time I added them, it was really a mistake. I was making cranberry bread at the same time, and, as can happen, I put the pecans in with the cranberry sauce, instead of the bread batter. But since I love pecans, I figured it’d be okay. It was more than okay — it was just the right addition to the sauce, and I’ve done it that way ever since.

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