Wake up your tastebuds with this easy Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce. Not only is it deliciously tart with a touch of sweet but the aromas that fill your house are seasonally warm and inviting.
This homemade cranberry orange sauce has a delightful zesty flavor full of the perfect balance of tart cranberries and sweet oranges. It takes less than 25 minutes to make so you'll love cooking it as much as you enjoy eating it.
Table of contents
- Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce
- What Makes This Cranberry Orange Sauce So Good
- Why Make Cranberry Sauce From Scratch?
- What is Grand Marnier?
- Will Alcohol Burn Off While Cooking?
- How to Make Cranberry Sauce with Grand Marnier
- Recipe Tips
- Make Ahead
- How to Store
- What To Do With Leftover Cranberry Sauce
- More Cranberry Recipes
Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce
This recipe elevates the typical orange cranberry sauce that usually sits on Thanksgiving tables. This cranberry sauce with orange juice tastes amazing with or without the liquor. Adding orange liqueur makes it richer with smoky flavors, but you can make it without it too.
If you're looking for more food to make over the holidays, check out this list of more than 50 Thanksgiving recipes. As a fun treat, serve some cranberry mimosas with your dinner. And when it comes to leftovers, make this turkey pasta with cranberry cream sauce for something totally brand new.
What Makes This Cranberry Orange Sauce So Good
This cranberry orange sauce stands apart from other recipes because it's homemade with fresh cranberries. The orange juice, orange zest, orange liqueur, and a touch of cinnamon will tempt your senses and make you crave dinnertime so you can eat it!
Why Make Cranberry Sauce From Scratch?
- Homemade fresh cranberry sauce tastes so much better than canned.
- You can control the sweetness. Enjoy tart cranberry sauce? Use less sugar. Prefer sweet cranberry sauce? Increase the sugar.
- You can change the texture. Don't want whole cranberries? Pulse the cranberries with sugar in a food processor to chop them up.
- You can customize the flavor. Add some ginger, jalapeno, or other spices to make spiced cranberry sauce.
- You can switch up the liquor. Keep it a spiked cranberry sauce and substitute the Grand Marnier orange liqueur with bourbon or vodka.
What is Grand Marnier?
Grand Marnier is an orange-flavored liqueur created by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle. It is a blend of Cognac, the essence of bitter orange, and sugar.
If you don't have it and wonder what is similar or what you can substitute for it, a good replacement for Grand Marnier is either Cointreau, Orange Curacao, or Triple Sec.
Will Alcohol Burn Off While Cooking?
No, there will be some alcohol left in the sauce, about 60%. If you want non-alcoholic orange cranberry sauce, replace the Grand Mariner with orange juice concentrate.
- Fresh Cranberries - fresh is best but frozen can also be used.
- Orange Juice and Zest - fresh is the most flavorful but bottled juice can also be used.
- Cinnamon Stick
- Grand Marnier Orange Liqueur - use additional orange juice if you don't want the alcohol.
How to Make Cranberry Sauce with Grand Marnier
- Place fresh cranberries, sugar, and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Pour in orange juice and stir.
- Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Stir in orange peel and Grand Marnier. Turn the heat up to medium and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- You will know it is done when the mixture thickens.
Discard the cinnamon stick, pour the fresh cranberry sauce into a bowl, then garnish with orange slices or orange peel. Enjoy!
- You can use fresh or frozen whole cranberries. You do not have to thaw frozen ones before making the sauce.
- Use a deep saucepan because as the cranberries cook they can pop and splatter.
- For a less chunky sauce, use a potato masher to smash the berries.
- Cranberry sauce is best served chilled. Be sure to make it at least several hours in advance to give it time to cool in the fridge.
Homemade orange cranberry sauce actually tastes better when made in advance. This is a cranberry side dish you can make several days before you are planning to serve it.
How to Store
Allow the cranberry sauce to cool to room temperature. Transfer it to a glass airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
To Freeze: Place the cooled cranberry sauce in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to 4 months. Thaw the sauce in the refrigerator overnight prior to serving.
What To Do With Leftover Cranberry Sauce
There are many uses for cranberry sauce other than being a side for turkey or ham. Here are some ideas:
More Cranberry Recipes
- Cranberry Orange Energy Balls with oats, almonds, orange juice, and protein powder.
- Cranberry Orange Relish for a no-cook side dish.
- Cranberry Mimosa is so festive and great for holiday entertaining.
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies with macadamia nuts.
Find lots of delicious and easy Thanksgiving dinner recipes here on 2CM!
Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
- Place cranberries, sugar, orange juice and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Stir in orange zest and Grand Marnier and cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes. It is done when you see the mixture begin to thicken or get syrupy.
- Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick. It will continue to gel as it cools.
- Chill. When ready to serve, garnish with additional orange zest, orange peel, or slice of orange.