A fun spin on the traditional Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. You will never want any other kind of cranberry sauce again.
Okay, confession time. I actually like the cranberry sauce that comes in a can. You know what I am talking about, that jelly consistency, that cylindrical shape. If I am being completely honest, I never once ate any cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving before I got married. I never knew what it was for.
Is it for the rolls? Do you eat it like Jello? Do you put it on something? I was clueless. And no one in my family ate it either. I am pretty sure my mom could have skipped a step and saved a dish just by throwing the whole can straight in the trash, as that is usually where it ended up after dinner.
Click here to get great tips for using and storing your Thanksgiving leftovers.
BUT THEN… okay, tangent for a second, I feel like this “but then” should have some sort of sound track to it, a “duh, dun, dun” or something to show its significance! Tangent now over…But then, I was at my in-laws, enjoying my first Thanksgiving as a married person, a whole 12 years ago, and woah, people were spreading that stuff on their turkey. Like it was NBD. Like that is how it has always been meant to be. Almost like it had a purpose.
What, it wasn’t meant to smooth the way in the garbage can for the scraping of the plates? I mean, here I was thinking it was some kind of festive trash liner lubricant. Yeah…go with me here… that could be a thing.
Anywho…And so 12 years ago I was introduced to the wonderful world of the tart, sweet, flavors of cranberry sauce on turkey.
I slowly learned it had a lot of uses, and some great leftovers applications, like adding it to a turkey, brie sandwich. Uh hello most amazing thing ever! And after that a world of possibilities opened, including a world that involved thinking beyond the can to a fresher, homemade version of the stuff.
My mom is and was a great cook, but she never made homemade cranberry sauce because she simply had too many other pots, pans, and dishes going. So we opened a can, slopped it onto a dish, and set it on the table. But you guys, the beautiful thing about homemade cranberry sauce is that with the help of an awesome freezer bag, you can make it ahead, freeze it, and just defrost on Thanksgiving, sparing yourself the dishes and time.
I have learned there are several things you can make ahead of time and freeze to lighten the load, and make Thanksgiving far more family oriented and enjoyable on the day of. You can get a whole host of ideas and tips from Hefty here.
Cranberry Orange Sauce
- One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
- 2 large oranges
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- a pinch of nutmeg
- Rinse the cranberries under cold water.
- Zest the oranges, into a medium sized, heavy bottom saucepan.
- Add the cranberries into the same saucepan as the orange zest.
- Juice your oranges, and add the juice into that pan.
- Add in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and turn saucepan on to medium heat.
- Bring to a gentle boil, give it a few stirs.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until thick.
- Simmer longer if needed to reach your desired consistency.
- Pour into a dish, cover, and store in fridge for at least 2 hours to cool.
- Transfer to Hefty bags and put in the freezer until the day before you want to use it, at which time, put it in the fridge and let it defrost overnight.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.