You’ll never go back to canned cranberry sauce after you’ve tried making your own! This Easy Orange Cranberry Sauce is sweetened with honey and so easy to make.

I have never understood the appeal of store bought cranberry sauce. Of course I feel that way about a lot of store bought things but really cranberry sauce has to top the list. When you serve it the stuff literally plops out of the can and then sits there in the shape of the can. This is not an exaggeration. There is an actual sucking sound and then a plop. Does this make anyone else uncomfortable? Just me?

We can do better.

On Thanksgiving and Christmas I load up my fork with turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. It’s just the absolutely perfect bite!

Most recipes for cranberry sauce will include at least a half cup of sugar. Yikes! Let’s not do that, mmmkay? Instead I use honey to add a bit of sweetness. Start with 3 tablespoons and adjust until you achieve the sweetness you want. If you like a tart sauce, you’ll be happy with 3 to 4 tablespoons but you want some more sweetness you may prefer 5 tablespoons.

For this recipe you’ll need only 5 ingredients:

  • Fresh cranberries
  • Orange juice
  • Orange zest
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey

To make this classic holiday side dish just add everything but the orange zest to a small pot. Let it simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Your cranberries will burst and the sauce will bubble up as it cooks.

Remove it from the heat when you’ve achieved the consistency you prefer. Keep in mind that it will thicken a little more as it sits. (I like to stop at 8 minutes.)

Stir in your orange zest. Taste. Add extra honey if you want it sweeter. That’s it!

More holiday side recipes:

Light & Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble

Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad

Garlic Green Beans

Easy Roasted Broccoli

Easy Orange Cranberry Sauce

This classic holiday side dish is lightly sweetened with honey, requires only 5 ingredients, and is so easy to make! You'll love this bright addition to your dinner table!


  • 12 oz cranberries
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 - 5 tbsp honey
  • orange zest, about half an orange


  • Combine cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon, and 3 tbsp of honey in a small pot on the stove. Cover. Let simmer on medium low heat for 8 to 10 minutes until cranberries burst and you achieve the thickness you prefer. (It will continue to thicken a bit after you remove it from the heat.) Watch it carefully because it cooks quickly.
  • Turn off the stove. Stir in orange zest. Taste. If you like it sweeter add more honey. I like mine a bit tart! Serve warm or cold!


Nutrition information assumes 3 tbsp honey.


Calories: 62kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 68mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 55IU, Vitamin C: 12.7mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 0.2mg
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