An easy and delicious recipe for cranberry sauce is something everyone should have in their arsenal. And this Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce recipe is the one! Made with both orange juice and orange zest plus just a hint of nutmeg, it will be a hit at your holiday table year after year.
What’s in this Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
I’ve seen some recipes for cranberry sauce out there that have cinnamon in them. And don’t get me wrong, cinnamon is amazing. But if you really want to elevate your cranberry sauce to something, well, worthy of a holiday table, go with nutmeg.
We’re only using a tiny bit, but it just gives this Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce that extra special something.
Cranberry Sauce vs. Cranberry Relish
Cranberry sauce and cranberry relish are made with very similar ingredients, but have one important difference. While cranberry sauce is cooked on the stovetop until the berries begin to soften and burst open, cranberry relish is made with uncooked cranberries that have been finely chopped.
So relish has a brighter, fresher taste than cranberry sauce, which is more syrupy.
Whole Cranberry Sauce vs. Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Jellied cranberry sauce will always hold a special place in my heart, because it’s the kind that I grew up on. Jellied cranberry sauce has the solid cranberry pieces strained out and the result is a smooth, firm substance that takes on the shape of whatever container it’s in – kind of like Jell-o with less jiggle.
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce maintains the pieces of actual cranberry, and is looser in form. You can’t slice it the way you can slice jellied cranberry sauce. Both are chock full of nutrient-rich cranberries, so it comes down to preference.
How to make Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
It will thicken as it cools, so let it hang out on the stovetop after you turn off the heat until it cools down.
How to serve Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
I think we can agree that no Thanksgiving table is complete without cranberry sauce. So what happens if you have some left over? Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy it, even after Turkey Day:
- Mix it together with mayonnaise for a delicious sandwich spread
- Spread it onto a wheel of brie and bake it
- Make my favorite Cranberry Brie Tartlets for your next holiday party
- Stir it into a sauce for Sweet and Sour Meatballs
For more holiday side dish recipes, try these:
- Potatoes au Gratin with Corn & Gruyere
- Broccoli & Cheddar Bake
- Jalapeño Corn Casserole with Cheddar Cheese
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
- 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cups water
- 1 orange
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- Put water and sugar into a medium saucepan. Zest the orange and set aside the zest. Juice the orange and add it to the saucepan (you should get about 1/4 cup of juice from one orange). Bring the water, sugar and juice to a boil. Add cranberries. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. The cranberries should have started to pop by now.
- Add the orange zest and nutmeg. Smash the cranberries with a wooden spoon until about half of them are smashed and the rest are left whole. Simmer on low heat about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. It will thicken as it cools.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container.