Originally published November 21, 2011, Updated on 10/4/20
So I was reading a story last week, about how BPA - a toxin - was found in cans of cranberry sauce.
My first reaction was "Whatever!", seeing as how I learned the joy of homemade cranberry sauce YEARS ago. I've been making my own since... jeez, maybe age 16? Once you've had homemade, you just can't bring yourself to eat the canned stuff.
Then I thought something along the lines of "OMG... people still eat canned?!". After I mentally smacked myself for thinking so elitist and snotty, I realized that this would be a great subject for a blog entry!
Cranberry sauce is super easy to make. If you follow the basic recipe on most bags of cranberries, it only costs about $1 more than canned, and takes less than 10 minutes of active work. Trust me, TOTALLY worth the effort!
My recipe takes only slightly longer than the basic recipe, and an extra dollar or two in ingredients. Again, that slight investment is a HUGE improvement, even over basic homemade sauce! If you haven't tried making your own yet, maybe this is the year?
Cranberry Sauce Variations
Orange Cranberry Sauce
Sometimes, the ginger doesn’t necessarily fit in with the rest of the menu. That’s OK - just skip it! Orange Cranberry Sauce is something I’ve been making for a couple decades now - before I ever started adding ginger.
To make this variation, simply skip the ginger, and the steeping step - go straight to boiling it.
Ginger Lime Cranberry Sauce
Ginger Lime Cranberry is a fun variation, and works well on chicken, turkey, pork, and duck. I suppose all of these variations would, but the ginger lime is particularly nice on duck, FWIW.
For this variation, zest and juice 2 limes. Measure ⅓ cup lime juice into the pot, along with ⅔ cup water and all of the zest. This is in place of the orange juice and zest.
Honey Cranberry Sauce
To make a paleo version of this cranberry sauce - or any of the variations - skip the granulated sugar, and use about ½ cup of honey instead. Taste a little as the cranberries are breaking down, add more honey to taste.
Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Not a fan of whole berry sauce? You can make homemade jellied cranberry sauce!
Follow the recipe right to the end, but transfer the sauce to a fine mesh wire strainer, placed over another bowl.
Use a spoon or spatula to work the sauce through the sieve and into the bowl beneath. I basically just scrape it back and forth until there’s nothing but cranberry skin left in the sieve.
Once you’ve got all of the sauce strained through the sieve, you can transfer it to a serving bowl, and chill until use.
Cranberry Sauce Serving Suggestions
You’re probably here looking to serve this alongside a roasted turkey... but that’s not the only use for this Orange-Ginger cranberry sauce!
A few other serving ideas:
- Use it as a spread on leftover turkey sandwiches
- Include a small bowl of Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce on charcuterie platters. I love it on top of crackers with cream cheese or brie.
- Use as a glaze for a roast duck.
- Thin some down with a small amount of water, use as a glaze for meatballs.
- Brie and Cranberry Sauce sandwiches. Finish it off by panini grilling it - we use the 5-in-1 Griddler.
- Swirl some into a serving of yogurt. If you’d like, top it with granola or Porter’s Yogurt Topping.
More Holiday Recipes
Looking for more inspiration for your holiday spread? Whether Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any of the other holidays, here's a few ideas for you!
Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brandied Apple Upside Down Cake
Chicken Based Potato Sausage Recipe - Potatiskorv
Egg Nog Sticky Buns
Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
Savoury Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing
Southern Comfort Glazed Ham
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Now, on to that Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce recipe!
Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce
- 2 oranges
- 2 inch ‘finger’ of fresh ginger root
- 1 cup sugar
- 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries washed and picked through
- Use a grater or zesting plane to remove all of the zest from both oranges. Peel ginger and slice into a few thin disks.
- Juice both oranges into a measuring cup – you’ll want about 1 cup of fresh juice. If you don’t get 1 cup of juice, top up with water or Grand Marnier.
- Combine zest, juice, ginger slices and sugar in pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, allow mixture to steep for 30 minutes.
- Once mixture has steeped, remove ginger from the pot and discard. Add cranberries, bring mixture to a boil.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until all of the cranberries have rendered down into a thick sauce.
- Remove from heat, cool to room temperature.
- Chill until serving.
- Garnish bowl of cranberry sauce with a little curl of orange peel, if you want to be even fancier about it!