Cranberry Sauce

Classic Cranberry Sauce simmered in orange juice together with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and raisins. It is a must-have for Thanksgiving. | RotiNRice.comCranberry Sauce is an essential part of the American Thanksgiving dinner. This sweet and tangy sauce is almost as important as the roast turkey itself and most will consider Thanksgiving dinner incomplete without it. For the uninitiated, the combination of this jam or jelly-like sauce with meats is difficult to appreciate. Over the years after several Thanksgiving dinners, I have fully come to expect it with my roast turkey. Now, I make it yearly for our Thanksgiving table.

This recipe was adapted from my trusted Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook presented to me by a friend many years back. This cookbook has gone through many editions but it is still very popular today. I love my copy and it is my constant companion for genuine, home-cooked American dishes.

Classic Cranberry Sauce simmered in orange juice together with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and raisins. It is a must-have for Thanksgiving. |

Cranberry Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
  • ½ cup (120ml) orange juice, freshly squeezed from 1 orange
  • ¼ cup (55g) sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • ½ cup (80g) golden raisins
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  1. In a saucepan combine orange juice, sugar, cinnamon stick, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves. Cook over medium heat stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. Add cranberries, raisins, and orange zest. Cook and stir for about 4 to 5 minutes till cranberries pop. Remove from heat.
  3. Remove cinnamon stick and ladle into a jar. Cover and chill for several hours before serving.


Classic Cranberry Sauce simmered in orange juice together with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and raisins. It is a must-have for Thanksgiving. |

Some of you may recognize this fun(?) activity around this time of the year. We do this as a family each year by volunteering to bell-ring for the Salvation Army – our little contribution back to the community. We normally register for four sessions of two hours each. Last Friday was our first session and it wasn’t too bad with the temperature at a little below freezing. It gets really, really, really cold in December when the temperature falls down to around -20°F…..brrrrr!

Classic Cranberry Sauce simmered in orange juice together with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and raisins. It is a must-have for Thanksgiving. |

After the two hour endurance test, it was really good to come home to a warm fire. Those little pinkies and twinkies needed toasting. 😉

Classic Cranberry Sauce simmered in orange juice together with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and raisins. It is a must-have for Thanksgiving. |

Classic Cranberry Sauce simmered in orange juice together with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and raisins. It is a must-have for Thanksgiving. |

NOTE: This post was updated on November 25th, 2013 with new pictures.


Subscribe for email updates!



  1. says

    I must admit Biren that I find turkey and cranberry sauce strange bedfellows as the assertive taste of cranberries tends to dominate over the neutral flavour of turkey. I do enjoy it with roast pork and duck though :) I wonder if the pairing is more for tradition’s sake rather than compatability?

    I love how simple your version is, and that it includes raisins – something new for me.

    Your boy is ‘towering’ over you! What do you feed him?!?! Btw, I love the the shot of toasting fingers and toes. I was expecting marshmallows ROFL

  2. Biren says

    I guess it is an acquired taste. Over the years I have come to enjoy it and I think it is really good with the turkey and the stuffing together.

    Cranberry sauce is easy to prepare and the most fun part is when the cranberries start popping. Sometimes I add more dried fruits and even nuts to make it into a relish instead.

    It must be “kacang panjang”….LOL! At least that was according to the other kids way back when I was in school 😉 Marshmallows? How about chestnuts? :)

  3. says

    Interesting addition of raisins! I actually love cranberry sauce with my turkey, but we don’t traditionally make it every year. I think we should :) This looks great!

  4. says

    Yes, this is the American traditional sauce for turkey on thanksgiving. Have yet tried this before. As you know, it’s so so expensive to get the fresh berries here. But the frozen ones are much cheaper. Funny huh! I can’t even find the frozen ones here either, I mean around my living area. Need to go to the city! Thanks for sharing. Btw, I love both chestnuts or marshmallow toasted but not fingers & toes! ha! ^_^ Hope you’re going to have a fabulous thanksgiving.
    Blessings, Kristy

  5. says

    Such a beautiful looking cranberry sauce! I love the addition of golden raisins.

    I also love that you volunteer to ring bells for the Salvation Army. I always leave a little gift the bell ringers :)

    It must have felt nice to warm up by that fire. I wish I had a fireplace!

  6. says

    Biren, Thanks for showing us how to make cranberry sauce. I must try this using frozen cranberries for Christmas as I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but I still bake turkey almost every year.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. says

    Hi biren,

    I love that you guys volunteer for the salvation army! Such a great way to give back to the community. Plus, you get to spend family time together. Definitely something I’d love to teach my kids. For now they’re still too young, but to start them out we will be buying toys to donate so they know there are less fortunate kids. Also teaches them to give rather than always take take take. Love the picture of the pinkies and twinkies…teehee.

    I’ve never had cranberry sauce with raisins before. Must add a very unique taste and help take away the tartness of the cranberries. Wonderful recipe, Biren. Your sauce turned out perfect :-P. Hope you and your family have a ver Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. says

    Hi Biren, thanks for passing on your cranberry sauce recipe, I love it spread on turkey sandwiches after the holiday. I enjoyed seeing the family photo and I think that I might get too close to the fire(like jump in it!) after freezing conditions like you all experienced;)

  9. says

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family :)
    I really enjoy cranberry sauce and love this one…
    How fun to volunteer by ringing the bell, I bet you do need some toasting up after. We help at the food bank every year :)

    • Biren says

      Thanks Alisha and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too. It is really cold to be standing out there but it is good to give a little something back to the community.

  10. says

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING BIREN – Now, I must go and cook up my own batch of cranberries….can’t wait for the feast (once I get all the cooking done) on Thursday and can’t believe it’s nearly here!

    GORGEOUS Cranberry sauce!

    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  11. says

    Look at those cute pinkies and twinkies! That’s a really cool holiday tradition. Your cranberry sauce looks delightful!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

  12. says

    Love the picture of the toes in front of the fireplace! It’s getting real cold here. We are facing Arctic blast this week. Weather report….will be -9 deg Celsius here in Northern Scotland. It just wipes all smiles from my face! I need a bigger fire 😛 Love your cranberry sauce. I can imagine how delicious it is with roasted Turkey. I have to try making one day.

    • Biren says

      Oh you poor thing…the cold can be hard to bear. A fireplace is great but wearing layers help. Do stay warm. I like to do a lot of baking and roasting as the oven helps to keep the kitchen warm. :)

  13. says

    Hi Biren,
    What I like about browsing your blog are all the pictures you took. They’re gorgeous, so right and so colourful. May I ask what camera do you use?

    Yep, it’s getting really cold here in Belgium, too. We’re expecting snow this weekend. Hopefully will have a white christmas this year :-)

    • Biren says

      Thanks Nasifriet for your compliments. I use the Panasonic DMC-FZ35 and Canon Rebel XT. I am just a beginner and there is much to learn.

      It’s really cold here now and our highs are only in the 20’s fahrenheit (about -3C). There will be more snow next week. I hope you get your white Christmas :)


  1. […] Cranberry Sauce is one of those dishes you would most likely have some left over in the refrigerator after Thanksgiving. It is a must-have for the Thanksgiving feast but estimating the amount to cook is almost impossible. Most people will just make using the entire bag of cranberries just in case and left over is inevitable. Over the next few weeks, it will get pushed further and further back in the refrigerator and eventually be forgotten. Do not let that happen as I have this easy and delicious scones recipe you can use for the gatherings coming up in the following weeks. These fuss free Cranberry Sauce Skillet Scones can be put together in no time at all. There is no need to mess up the counter or use a cookie cutter. Mixing the dough in the food processor makes it really, really easy. Then, simply pour the dough into a bowl and fold in the cranberry sauce. Finally, transfer to a cast iron skillet and you are all done! This works out well as you do not want to handle the dough too much or you would end up with tough scones. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: