cranberry sauce ingredients
Ingredients for Orange and Ginger Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving countdown has officially begun, and for the first time ever, I’m making the entire dinner on my own. Eeek. There are so many things I want to make. And there are expectations, you know. A juicy, golden, magnificent bird…stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, green beans, some more obligatory vegetables, pie, pie, pie…oh yeah, and prime rib (because that is how my family rolls).

If I’m going to pull this off I know it’s going to take some planning ahead. Luckily, Melissa Clark answered my prayers with this super helpful Seven-Day Plan for Thanksgiving. With this game plan by my side, I am actually starting to think I won’t be a hot mess come Turkey Day.


First up on my list of make-ahead dishes is Cranberry Sauce. Homemade cranberry sauce is crazy easy to make. I kid you not, it is stone cold simple. Once you try it, I promise you will never buy the weird canned stuff again.

A few years ago I experimented with this recipe for Cranberry Jalapeno Relish with Lime and Cilantro. If you’re looking for not-yo-momma’s-cranberry-sauce, give this zesty little one a try. It’s got kick and is totally different. This year, however, I wanted to go with something more traditional…but not boring.

Ta-daa! This Orange and Ginger Spiced Cranberry Sauce came out exactly as I had hoped. The fragrance of the orange zest and orange juice complements the cranberries beautifully, and the warmth of the ginger, cinnamon, and cloves tones down the tartness of the sauce and spices it up a touch, while making your entire kitchen smell like the holidays!

Ok, are you ready for how easy this is to make?

cranberries in food processor
Cranberries pulsed to a coarse chop

Step 1: Coarsely chop up the cranberries in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, or prefer a chunkier cranberry sauce, you can keep the cranberries whole. I like my cranberry sauce to have more of a jammy consistency so into the food pro they go.

Step 2: Dump all the ingredients into a saucepan and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

That’s it! You’re done. Really. See? This whole Thanksgiving Feast thing is going to be totally manageable…

cranberry sauce
Orange and Ginger Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Orange and Ginger Spiced Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Homemade cranberry sauce is crazy easy to make. I mean it. It is stone cold simple. Once you try it, I promise you will never buy the weird canned stuff again. This cranberry sauce elevates the traditional version with the addition of fragrant orange zest and juice, ginger, and warm spices.

Makes: 2 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


1. Pulse the cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Be careful not to over process because you don’t want the berries pureed. If you don’t have a food processor, you can opt for a chunkier cranberry sauce and just use the cranberries whole.

2. Add all the ingredients to saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Lower heat a bit to keep it at a nice simmer for about 20 minutes, until the cranberries have softened and the liquid has reduced to create a thick compote. If you are using whole cranberries, you’ll hear them pop a bit — it’s ok, that’s what they do. Cool before serving.

(Make-ahead note: Can be made days ahead before serving, I actually think it is even better that way. Keep refrigerated in an air-tight container and either warm up or bring to room temperature before serving.)

Orange and Ginger Spiced Cranberry Sauce 28 October,2015Stephanie Hua


Stephanie Hua

Stephanie Hua is the creator of Lick My Spoon, a place for all things delicious. So far she has learned that she very much enjoys salted caramel anything, a good soup dumpling is worth a scalded tongue, and there is no room in life for non-fat cheese and crappy chocolate. Also, a barrel of cheese balls never ends well.

Stephanie has been known to choose her company based on how much they can pack it down. Ability to endure cramped quarters, sketchy back alleys, and uncharted paths to seek out that special dish is also a plus in her book. If you fit the criteria, drop a note. You’ll probably get along just fine.

Stephanie’s writing and photography have been featured in Fodor’s Travel, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Serious Eats, and Sundance Channel. Follow her on Facebook and @lickmyspoon.

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