Citrus Scented Cranberry Sauce

Citrus Cranberry Sauce

Sweet and tart cranberry sauce infused with bright citrus juice and zest, this cranberry sauce is a perfect complement to your Thanksgiving dinner. And your leftover turkey sandwich, too!

Can you feel it? I certainly can. The holidays are breathing down our necks, inching closer as we speak. No matter how eagerly I await this time of year, or how early I start listening to Christmas music (November 1, thankyouverymuch. Yes, I’m one of those people), I always find myself unprepared when the holidays actually arrive. I dreamt last night that it was Thanksgiving afternoon at 2 and my mom, sister and I had done zero prep for our Thanksgiving dinner, which was to be served at 4. Needless to say, I’ve been making lists and plans all day long. If you’re in the same anxiety-ridden boat as me, you’ll be glad to get at least one dish out of the way as soon as possible. Thus, today I bring you citrus scented cranberry sauce, to soothe your nerves and grace your Thanksgiving table. Make it over the weekend, tuck it away in the fridge and sleep a little more soundly leading up to the big day.

Citrus Cranberry Sauce

If you’ve always relied on a can of cranberry sauce to provide the obligatory pop of red on your Thanksgiving table, try making your own this year. It is incredibly delicious and really couldn’t be simpler. Of course, homemade cranberry sauce doesn’t make the same plop when it hits your serving dish, but one taste of this and you won’t even miss the sound effects. Homemade cranberry sauce is a fun way to add some variety to a table full of old stand-bys. You can make it as sweet or as tart as you like and the possibilities for add-ins are endless. I’ve experimented with adding different nuts, fruits and spices and have enjoyed just about every variation. However, I really love the simplicity of a basic cranberry sauce infused with just a little bit of citrus zest and juice. I cut back on the amount of sugar used in most recipes, less for health reasons (because, let’s be real, who’s counting calories on Thanksgiving?) and more because I really like the tartness of the cranberries to shine through. The rest of Thanksgiving dinner is very rich, so a bright, citrusy cranberry sauce provides a delightful contrast. And if you mix it with a little mayo on Black Friday (or Thanksgiving night), it makes a killer spread for your leftover turkey sandwich.

Citrus Cranberry Sauce

Citrus Scented Cranberry Sauce


  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt


In medium saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Once boiling, add cranberries, orange juice  and salt and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer about 10 minutes, until cranberries have burst and sauce has thickened. Stir in lemon and orange zest and lemon juice. Allow cranberry sauce to cool before transferring to storage container. Refrigerate until cold, up to one week.

Serves about 10



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4 thoughts on “Citrus Scented Cranberry Sauce

  1. Ahhh, someone else who’s Christmas season starts November 1st. (My Christmas playlist is over 100 songs long, don’t play with me lol) And like you, I’m also a HUGE fan of cranberry sauce, can’t wait to make my batch for Thanksgiving dinner this week. Mine also features citrus as well: such a great blend of flavors. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

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