Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe for Turkey at Christmas or Thanksgiving

This is 100% the best Cranberry Sauce recipe to serve with turkey at Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Forget about adding apple or spiced rum, the harmony of orange, cranberry, port and cinnamon will perfectly compliment the rich, bold flavours of turkey meat.

Best Cranberry Sauce for Thankgiving or Christmas
Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey

Best Cranberry Sauce Recipe for Turkey at Christmas or Thanksgiving

The wonderful taste of sweet but sour cranberries pairs particularly well with the bittersweet taste of orange zest, the sweet alcoholic flavours of port, and the heady spiciness of cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Add in the slightly sweet sourness of apple cider vinegar and you know you have created the best cranberry sauce to serve with your Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey.

Recipe for Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

  • 500g fresh cranberries
  • 225g light brown sugar
  • Finely grated orange zest and juice of whole 1 orange
  • 50ml good quality port
  • 50ml apple cider vinegar
  • One stick of cinnamon broken in two
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise

Add all the ingredients to a medium hot pan, except the apple cider vinegar.

Heat until the sugar has dissolved and the ingredients are incorporated – around 10 minutes.

Now add the apple cider vinegar, heat for a minute or so, and then remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Serve as an accompaniment to your Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe with Honey

Many people prefer to substitute honey for refined sugar and if that’s the case for you use about 2 tablespoonfuls of honey good quality honey instead of sugar.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe Without Sugar

If you want to avoid refined sugar in your Thanksgiving or Christmas Cranberry sauce you can either use honey or a sugar substitute like Xylitol or Stevia Extract Powder. Bear in mind that there will naturally occuring sugar (fructose) in the cranberries and orange. The port obviously contains fermented sugar also.

Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice

You can obviously use orange juice from a carton instead of the zest and juice of a fresh orange, however the taste will be different. Cooking with fresh ingredients always leads to a different outcome, and as far as we are concerned a better outcome.

If you enjoyed this recipe you might also like our Thanksgiving Smoked Turkey article.

Or perhaps our ‘Top 10 Recipes for Thanksgiving Turkey.’

Can I Use Frozen Cranberries for Cranberry Sauce?

Yes you can of course use frozen cranberries for making Cranberry Sauce. Just keep in mind that you will have to cook them in the pan for a little longer than fresh ones to break them down to your desired texture for the sauce.

Can Cranberry Sauce be Made Ahead?

You can definitely make your homemade Cranberry Sauce in advance, in fact it’s a very good idea. If your sauce container has a tight lid, it will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Apple cider vinegar is a natural preservative which helps to keep the sauce fresh for longer.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe with Grand Marnier

You can definitely substitute port for Grand Marnier. Grand Marnier is an orange flavoured liqueur which definitely works well with Cranberry Sauce. We prefer to use port because of its sweetness and how it balances the tartness of the cranberries. The fresh flavour of orange zest and juice makes Grand Marnier unnecessary in this case.

For another great Cranberry sauce recipe try here:

Related article – Thanksgiving Recipes Collection.

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