This simple cranberry sauce with orange juice has just 3 ingredients and so much flavor. Perfect for when fresh cranberries are in season.
This is my family's recipe for an easy cranberry sauce. I use this recipe during the holidays so I don't have to buy the canned cranberry sauce from the stores.
Making this 3 ingredient cranberry sauce takes just as much time as driving to the store to make but it is so much better. It is made with orange juice and is a more traditional recipe.
This classic-style cranberry sauce is so much better than canned cranberry sauce and it takes only minutes to make. It's also perfect for a make-ahead dish which is so important during the Fall holidays.
You could make this sauce any time of year if you want to use frozen cranberries. This delicious sauce is very refreshing and loaded with antioxidants from the cranberries so you can eat this and feel good about it!
If you love three-ingredient recipes, you will also love my 3 ingredient blueberry sauce!
The 3 ingredients needed for this cranberry sauce
There are not many ingredients needed to make this delicious cranberry sauce. Here is what you need (full recipe below):
- Fresh cranberries: I like to buy fresh cranberries for this recipe but you can also make this with frozen cranberries if you prefer or they are not in season.
- Orange: You will need the juice and the zest of the orange.
- Granulated Sugar: Although cranberries are so good for you and loaded with so many delicious antioxidants, you need sugar to offset the natural bitterness of cranberries. If you have tried cranberry juice that has no sugar, you will understand 🙂
How to make cranberry sauce with orange juice
Making this classic 3 ingredient cranberry sauce with orange juice is so simple. Here are the steps:
- Add ingredients to a pot: Add your fresh cranberries, orange juice, sugar, and salt to a medium saucepan.
- Simmer for 20 minutes or until the cranberries begin to burst and the sauce thickens. To test for the right thickness of the sauce, dip a spoon into the cranberry sauce and coat it well. remove the spoon from the sauce and run your finger down the back of the middle of the spoon. If the line you made through the sauce on the spoon stays and does not fill up again with the sauce from the sides then it is ready.
- Cool: Once ready, remove from the stove and allow to come to room temperature. The sauce will thicken a bit at this point.
- Refrigerate: Once it comes to room temperature, pour your sauce into a container with a lid and place it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Making this ahead of time
The classic cranberry sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. Since this is served as a side dish, that makes it an easy one to prepare during the holidays since it frees up your main day of cooking at the holidays.
Ways to enjoy this cranberry sauce all year
Now you probably already know that this classic cranberry sauce goes so well at the Thanksgiving table or any holiday table and you can easily find fresh cranberries during this time for this reason. We also enjoy making this delicious sauce throughout the year with frozen cranberries.
Here are some of our favorite ways to use cranberry sauce:
- On top of our Philadelphia cheesecake recipe or as a topping for cheesecake bites.
- As the fruit base for a shortbread tart.
- Inside of baked brie en croute.
- As a topping for whipped cottage cheese.
- We like to use it as a substitute for jam in recipes.
- On Charcuterie boards.
Get creative! Cranberry sauce is for more than just the holidays and it is so full of nutrients (even if it has lots of sugar.) Remember that this is not just for the holidays.
More 3 Ingredient Recipes
If you love this 3 ingredient cranberry sauce recipe, you may also like these:
More cranberry recipes:
3 Ingredient Cranberry Sauce
- 10 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 large orange juiced
- 1 cup sugar
- Add your fresh cranberries, orange juice, and sugar, to a medium sauce pan.10 oz fresh cranberries, 1 large orange juiced, 1 cup sugar
- Simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 20 minutes or until the cranberries begin to burst and the sauce thickens. To test for the right thickness of the sauce, dip a spoon into the cranberry sauce and coat it well. Remove the spoon from the sauce and run your finger down the back of the middle of the spoon. If the line you made through the sauce on the spoon stays and does not fill up again with the sauce from the sides then it is ready.
- Once ready, remove from the stove and allow to come to room temperature. The sauce will thicken a bit at this point.
- Once it comes to room temperature, pour your sauce into a container with a lid and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Serve chilled.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here
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