Cranberry sauce with orange and ginger

Cranberry sauce is such a classic with holiday meals, but I have always known of it as something that came in a jar. In fact, where I come from I’ve only really come across cranberry in a juice or dried or jarred form that I was so fascinated to find fresh cranberries pop up everywhere in our first holiday season in the States. This is a slightly adapted version of the recipe by Oh My Veggies, just a few tweaks in the sugar and amount of orange zest. I reduced the sugar because I like a bit of the sourness of the berries to come through.

This is a chunky sauce almost like a jam, and the ginger and orange make for a versatile base with that little bit of zing. The ginger flavor is pretty subtle if you use a regular soft drink type ginger ale, but it can be amped up by using an organic or gutsier ginger ale, or adding fresh ginger to the mix.


1 ½ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest (about half an orange)
1 cup ginger ale
1/3 cup white sugar

Here are the fresh cranberries. They are quite firm and light, quite unlike any other berries. They don’t taste like much when they’re fresh, but release a little tartness and the unique cranberry flavor when cooked.


This recipe makes just over a cup of sauce. Sterilize any jars you want to use to store the sauce by pouring boiling water over the jar and lid and dry them faced down on a tea towel.


Put the berries in a saucepan and add about a teaspoon (or half an orange) of zest.


Squeeze ¼ cup of orange juice and add it to the pan, along with the sugar and ginger ale.


Keep the sauce on medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. The cranberries will start to make a popping sound!


Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, the mixture will turn bright red. Press the berries with the back of a spatula or spoon to help break them down.


Leave the sauce to cool before pouring it into jars.


The sauce thickens quite a bit on cooling. Serve the sauce with turkey and white meats of course, and works great in desserts, dressings and cocktails too. Happy holidays!

Open printable recipe here