Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce

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Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce is absolutely the perfect addition to your holiday table.

To be honest, Wesley and I have never been a big fan of the canned cranberry sauce. I know lots of people just love it, and I can totally understand that connection. But to me, it just tastes like something, well…from a can. We were determined to step up the cranberry sauce, and we think you’ll agree, this recipe is a winner!

A white bowl containing Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce next to sliced oranges and cranberries.


Cranberry Sauce made from scratch is so simple to make!

And you can make this dish several hours, or up to 1 day, in advance!

Watch us show you how easy it is to make this classic holiday side dish!



Fresh cranberries are absolutely wonderful for this recipe and they can usually be found in plastic bags in the produce section of most well-stocked supermarkets.

But if you can’t find fresh, you can absolutely use frozen.

EXPERT TIP: Be sure to get pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup. It really makes a difference in the taste and texture of the final dish.

A white bowl holding fresh cranberries next to maple syrup and an orange.


There is so much wonderful flavor from the skin of a fresh orange.

Use a zester, or micro plane, or the fine grates on the side of a box grater to get the zest.

You’ll only need about a teaspoon, or two if desired.

One hand holding an orange while the other hand is use a zester to zest the orange.


Now, it’s time to simmer the cranberries with the maple syrup and juices.

Within a few minutes, the juices will start to simmer.

Before your very eyes, the cranberries will start to burst open and the sauce will start to thicken.

A pan holding fresh cranberries with a wooden spoon in it.
A pan of simmering cranberries with a wooden spoon in it.
A wooden spoon in a pan of maple orange cranberry sauce.


After the berries have become a beautiful sauce, simply take them off the heat and stir in the orange zest.

You’ll want to chill the homemade cranberry sauce for at least one hour, but you can make this up to a day in advance.

This is the perfect side dish to bring if you’re traveling to someone else’s home for the big feast and you’ve been tasked with bringing a traditional side.

A white bowl holding a serving of Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce with a sliced orange next to it.

We promise you…even if you’re not a fan of cranberry sauce, you’re going to love this recipe.

And, it freezes perfectly, too, so you can even make it weeks before the big feast.

No matter what, this Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce will become a staple at your Thanksgiving (and beyond) table. It’s the perfect addition to your Turkey, Dressing, Green Bean Casserole, and Pumpkin Pie!

A spoon holding homemade cranberry sauce of a bowl of cranberry sauce.

Now, go ahead and make Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce!

And when you make it, be sure to take a picture and post it on Instagram and tag @howtofeedaloon and #howtofeedaloon!

A white bowl containing homemade cranberry sauce with a sliced orange next to it.

Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce

This is not your run-of-the-mill cranberry sauce. The flavors are so bright and absolutely delicious. The Loon's not even a fan of cranberry sauce, and he couldn't stop eating this when I first made it. You can also make a day before the big feast, of weeks or a month or so, too, if you freeze it. Holiday Side Dish Perfection!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Holiday
Keyword: Cranberry Sauce, Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Thanksgiving side dish recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 184kcal


  • 12 oz. cranberries fresh or frozen, about 3 cups
  • 1 cup maple syrup pure
  • cup orange juice
  • cup cranberry juice not cocktail
  • 1 tsp orange zest plus more for garnish


  • Combine the cranberries, maple syrup, orange juice, cranberry juice and orange zest in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, just until the cranberries burst, about 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Turn down the heat to medium-low and continue cooking over lower heat until the juice is thick, about 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Allow to cool, and then chill in the fridge until ready to serve. It should have a nice jelly-like consistency.
  • Garnish with extra orange zest.


Fresh cranberries can usually be found at well-stocked supermarkets in the produce section in plastic bags.
Use additional orange zest, if desired. We usually go with about 1 tbsp. 
Be sure to use pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup!
Can be made up 1 one day in advance.  Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.  Can be frozen for up to 1 month. 


Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 207mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!


  • 5 stars
    Gosh. The photos are stunning! This cranberry sauce is so simple to make. I should definitely give it a try (hope really soon). I’ve just bookmarked the page.
    Thank you so much for sharing such a fab idea and all of your precious tips. I’m looking forward to your new awesome recipes. I’m so happy I discovered your blog a few days ago. You’re amazing! Keep up the good work!

    Best wishes,

    • Hi Ann! First, please FORGIVE our delay in responding to you! THANK YOU SO MUCH for your kind comment and the great review! We are thrilled you found us and we found YOU! Stay tuned, lots still on the way! And lots to browse through. Never hesitate to reach out with any questions or requests. Thanks again!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

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