Best Cranberry Ginger Sauce Recipe

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 18/11/2023 Updated: 28/11/2023
Prep 4 minutes
Cook 11 minutes
Total 15 minutes
Elevate your holidays with the best cranberry ginger sauce recipe! Made with fresh cranberries, oranges, and ginger this easy homemade cranberry sauce is ready to eat within 15 minutes.
Best Cranberry Ginger Sauce Recipe

Elevate your holidays with the best cranberry ginger sauce recipe! Made with fresh cranberries, oranges, and ginger this easy homemade cranberry sauce is ready to eat within 15 minutes.

A bowl of ginger cranberry sauce on a counter.

This is the best cranberry ginger sauce recipe that is ready in under 15 minutes! Homemade cranberry sauce is a must-have when it comes to Thanksgiving. This cranberry ginger sauce is tart and has a bright acidity that cuts through all the heavy turkey, gravy, stuffing, and mashed potato flavors. It is the perfect finishing touch to the most delicious meal of the year.

A bowl of fresh cranberry ginger orange sauce would be a subtle yet deliciously surprising addition to your Thanksgiving roster. The tartness of cranberries combined with the warmth of ginger and the brightness from the oranges creates the most irresistible combination. If you are looking for more Thanksgiving dinner inspiration, check out our miso scalloped potatoes, sticky rice stuffing, and sweet potato pie!

A spoonful of cranberry ginger sauce lifted from a bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This is the best cranberry ginger sauce recipe and here are the top three reasons why you should try it!

  • Quick and Easy. This ginger cranberry sauce only needs a handful of ingredients and can be ready in less than 15 minutes!
  • Make ahead. You can easily make this cranberry sauce with ginger recipe at least 5 days in advance.
  • Perfectly balanced. The tartness of the cranberries mixed with the warmth of ginger, and the acidic brightness of the oranges and sugar create an angelic harmony of flavors.
A bowl of cranberry ginger sauce with a spoon and cranberries nearby.

Kitchen Equipment

All you will need for this cranberry ginger orange sauce recipe are the following items of kitchen equipment.

  • Small Saucepan: you can cook this homemade cranberry sauce in a small saucepan.
  • Fine Grater: you will need a grater to finely zest your oranges and grate your ginger to avoid any large clumps in the Thanksgiving cranberry sauce.
  • Skimmer or Spoon: you will need a skimmer or a spoon to skim the foam off the top of the cranberry ginger sauce.

Ingredients

You can find all of the ingredients for this homemade cranberry sauce with ginger at your local grocery store.

A pile of fresh cranberries up close.
  • Cranberries: You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries.
  • Light Brown Sugar: light brown sugar is the main sweetener in this fresh cranberry sauce recipe.
  • Oranges: orange juice and orange zest will be needed to add a sweet brightness that complements the tartness of cranberries.
  • Water: a touch of water adds more liquid to the sauce and dilutes the strong tart cranberry flavor.
  • Cinnamon Stick: a fresh cinnamon stick adds a layer of cinnamon spice to the cranberry ginger orange sauce.
  • Salt: a pinch of salt helps balance out and enhance all the other flavors.
  • Ginger: grated ginger adds a nice spicy kick that adds extra layers of warmth.
  • Vanilla Extract (optional): vanilla extract adds a hint of vanilla flavor that gently sweetens and flavors the fresh cranberry sauce recipe.
All the ingredients to make cranberry ginger sauce.

Substitutions and Additions

You can easily customize your own Thanksgiving cranberry sauce with the following substitutions or additions.

Substitutions

  • Maple Syrup: Maple syrup can be substituted for brown sugar
  • Honey: for a more floral-forward cranberry sauce, substitute honey for brown sugar.
  • Sugar: if you don’t have brown sugar regular sugar works as well.
  • Cinnamon powder: instead of a cinnamon stick you can use a pinch of cinnamon powder.

Additions

  • Nutmeg: for more fall spices go ahead and add a pinch of nutmeg.
  • Chopped pecans: for more of a crunch go ahead and add some chopped pecans.
  • Orange liqueur: for added sophistication add a splash of orange liqueur.

How to Make the Best Cranberry Ginger Sauce

Here are the instructions on how to make the best cranberry sauce recipe.

  1. Combine. Set aside 1/2 cup of cranberries for later. Combine the remaining cranberries, brown sugar, orange juice, water, cinnamon, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture reaches a simmer and the berries pop open, about 8 minutes.
Cranberries cooking and popping in a sauce pan.
  1. Add the 1/2 cup cranberries. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the 1/2 cup reserved cranberries, orange zest, and grated ginger. Cook for an additional 3 minutes or until softened.
Cranberry ginger sauce cooking in a sauce pan.
  1. Clean the surface. Remove from the heat. Skim the foam from the surface and discard. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tips for the Best Cranberry Ginger Sauce

  • Fresh is best. The best cranberries to use are fresh ones. Make sure to sift through and pick out all the smushed cranberries and wash them before cooking.
  • Taste to adjust! The results will inevitably vary depending on the cranberries that you will use. So if you need more sweetness add more sugar or if you need more acidity add more orange juice or orange zest!
  • Simmer on medium heat. Make sure to watch the cranberries closely over medium heat while stirring continuously. The cranberries can burst really quickly and overcook if left unattended.
  • Skim the foam. Skimming the foam from the cranberry sauce with ginger will make your sauce more clear, and glossy.
  • Make ahead! This cranberry ginger sauce recipe tastes even better after one or two days so the flavors have time to meld and blend together.

Storage Instructions

You can store this ginger cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Freeze: you can also freeze your cranberry ginger orange sauce in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

Can I add less sugar to this cranberry sauce recipe?

Yes! You can use less sugar but that will yield a more tart and tangy cranberry ginger sauce. I recommend starting with 1/2 cup of brown sugar and add more to taste.

Why is my cranberry sauce runny?

Cranberries release pectin which is a thickener when they are cooked. If your sauce is runny, you may simply need to heat your sauce for a little longer.

Will homemade cranberry sauce thicken in the refrigerator?

Yes! Once the fresh cranberry sauce chills in the refrigerator it will thicken up.

Can I make fresh cranberry sauce ahead of time?

Yes! In fact, it is better to make this sauce at least one or two days in advance to allow the flavor to fully blend together. You can store your sauce in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

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Best Cranberry Ginger Sauce Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Elevate your holidays with the best cranberry ginger sauce recipe! Made with fresh cranberries, oranges, and ginger this easy homemade cranberry sauce is ready to eat within 15 minutes.
Servings: 12 servings
Print Recipe

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 12 oz cranberries rinsed and divided.
  • 1 cup (170 g) brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup (120 ml) orange juice freshly squeezed about 1-2 oranges
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional

Instructions

  • Combine. Set aside 1/2 cup of cranberries for later. Combine the remaining cranberries, brown sugar, orange juice, water, cinnamon, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture reaches a simmer and the berries pop open, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the 1/2 cup cranberries. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the 1/2 cup reserved cranberries, orange zest, and grated ginger. Cook for an additional 3 minutes or until softened.
  • Clean the surface. Remove from the heat. Skim the foam from the surface and discard. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Fresh is best. The best cranberries to use are fresh ones. Make sure to sift through and pick out all the smushed cranberries and wash them before cooking.
  • Taste to adjust! The results will inevitably vary depending on the cranberries that you will use. So if you need more sweetness add more sugar or if you need more acidity add more orange juice or orange zest!
  • Simmer on medium heat. Make sure to watch the cranberries closely over medium heat while stirring continuously. The cranberries can burst really quickly and overcook if left unattended.
  • Skim the foam. Skimming the foam from the cranberry sauce with ginger will make your sauce more clear, and glossy.
  • Make ahead! This cranberry ginger sauce recipe tastes even better after one or two days so the flavors have time to meld and blend together.
  • Storage Instructions: You can store this ginger cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
  • Freeze: you can also freeze your cranberry ginger orange sauce in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Nutrition:

Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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