Don’t serve canned cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving. This easy homemade honey orange cranberry sauce is the best I’ve tried and it’s refined sugar free. It will convert any cranberry sauce hater to a lover!
Growing up, I was never a fan of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, my understanding was that cranberry sauce was a super sweet, squishy, processed goo that came out of a can that I wanted nowhere near my turkey and mashed potatoes. Yuck!
Then I tasted homemade cranberry sauce one year and I was pleasantly surprised that it was nothing like the stuff that oozed out of the can when I was a kid. However, it was still sweeter than I preferred.
We try not to use processed sugar whenever possible. I do still use it baking, but I try to use local honey and maple syrup whenever it makes sense. And to me, homemade cranberry sauce was just begging to be made with honey!
After I experimented a bit, I came up with a ratio of fresh cranberries to honey that gives just the right level of sweetness for Thanksgiving dinner. Then I added some orange extract and that just took it over the edge. You could also just use some orange zest while cooking the sauce to get an orange burst of flavor if you don’t have the extract on hand.
This honey sweetened cranberry recipe is sure to convert even the most dug-in cranberry sauce hater out there. The flavor pairs perfectly with turkey, chicken and other poultry. And if you have leftovers, it works perfectly as a jam!
Honey Orange Cranberry Sauce
- Place cranberries, water and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- When most of the cranberries have popped, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the cranberry sauce is reduced to your desired consistency.
- Once it's done simmering, add the orange extract and stir well to combine. Taste and see if you need one more.