Our “Famous” Cranberry Sauce

Fresh plump cranberries, lots of orange zest and the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Our “Famous” Cranberry Sauce

A holiday must have!

No Thanksgiving feast is complete without CRANBERRY SAUCE and this homemade version with lots of ORANGE ZEST will be the surprise hit of the table.

I’ve been bringing this to Thanksgiving for 20 years. True story— I grew up on the canned cranberry sauce and was asked to make this recipe one year “just to try something new”. It was such a hit, I owned it from then on! Now, I’m not sure I’d be allowed at the table if I were to show up without it. It is THAT good.

Fresh plump cranberries, chopped walnuts, lots of orange zest and the perfect balance of sweet & tart.

I’d like to say it’s some sort of magic that makes it so good, but it is really the easiest recipe ever.

So go ahead and make- you’ll be a rockstar at Thanksgiving. But be forewarned, you’ll be asked to make it again, year after year…

Scroll down to see the recipe.


Famous Cranberry Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lots of fresh, plump cranberries, lots of orange zest, and the perfect balance of sweet & tart. Recipe from a family friend, this has been a most requested side dish at our Thanksgiving table for years! Recipe doubles easily and freezes well.
Recipe type: Holidays, Sides
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1½ cups sugar (original recipe calls for 2 cups, I've cut back over the years) (NOTE: I've made it using ½ coconut sugar/ ½ cane sugar and it tastes good but the color is more brown, less bright)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
  • ½ cup raisins (feel free to use less if you want a tarter sauce or are not a fan or raisins)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp orange rind (or more to taste)
  1. In a large saucepan, add orange and cranberry juices, and sugar. Dissolve sugar in juices while bringing to a boil.
  2. Add cranberries and cook until the berries start popping (generally medium low flame, stir frequently)
  3. Add raisins, nuts and orange rind
  4. Continue heating on low for 20-30 minutes
  5. The sauce will thicken while cooling.
  6. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Extras freezes well too.

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