This lightly-spiced cranberry sauce is a fresh take on a common holiday classic. It’s easy to prepare and bursting with fruit flavor thanks to the addition of crunchy apples and sweet orange juice — It’s chunky texture makes it really more like a relish than a sauce. And its natural sugar content means that this cranberry sauce freezes well, too, so you can make this recipe up to a month in advance. Just seal in an airtight container. Allow 24 hours to defrost before serving.

I spring for Granny Smith apples in this recipe, but any fresh, firm apple will do. The whole recipe only takes about 20 minutes to prepare. It goes great on top of turkey or as a side dish to pretty much anything.

Cranberry, apple, orange sauce recipe

Makes about 3 cups/6 servings


  • 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • 2 medium oranges, squeezed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. In a large saucepan, add cranberries, apples, orange juice, brown sugar, syrup, cinnamon stick, water and orange zest and bring to boil over medium heat.
  2. Stir occasionally and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Sauce is finished when the sound of the cranberries bursting has stopped and the sauce achieves a nice, thick texture.
  3. Taste test the sauce and add more brown sugar if it’s not sweet enough enough for your liking.
  4. Remove from heat. Sauce can be either served immediately, hot. Or let it cool and serve chilled. Sauce can also be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag.




Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.