This Cranberry Sauce Recipe with Orange and Pomegranate is the easiest Thanksgiving side to make. Prepared with a handful of ingredients in just 20 minutes, this recipe will have everyone scraping the bowl.
Any leftovers, if there are any, taste great with some brie, on a sandwich, or as part of a charcuterie board! We love this recipe so much in our house that I always make extra and freeze it.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy Recipe - This recipe is so easy you'll wonder why you never attempted to make homemade cranberry sauce before.
- Perfect to batch and freeze - This is a great recipe to batch and freeze. It takes no extra time and is very freezer-friendly. In my family, we enjoy it well past the holidays.
- Versatile recipe - There are many ways to enjoy this sauce beyond Turkey. As a sandwich or burger topping, part of a cheese board, or as an accompaniment for roasted meats.
- Diet-friendly - This sauce can be enjoyed by vegans, vegetarians, and people on a dairy-free or gluten-free diet. That makes it perfect for your Thanksgiving meal.
- Cranberries - For best results, use fresh seasonal cranberries for this recipe.
- Oranges - Cuties are my go-to when I'm making my cranberry sauce. Since they're seedless, it's easier to juice them directly into the sauce.
- Pomegranate - Fresh pomegranate seeds are easy to source and are available at all grocery stores.
- Apple cider - Apple cider helps balance the other ingredients' acidity with its sweet and earthy flavor.
- Sugar - I use sugar in order to make the cranberry sauce vegan-friendly.
- Allspice - Adding this spice is the equivalent of adding cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It adds subtle flavor and that perfect holiday aroma to this sauce.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
Substitutions & variations
- Use a different sweetener - Honey, Maple Syrup, brown sugar, and monk fruit sweetener are good options instead of regular sugar. Maple syrup and brown sugar will alter the taste a little bit but are perfect vegan options, while monk fruit sweetener is a great option if you're avoiding sugar.
- Use store-bought orange juice - This is a quick option for when you're in a rush. If you opt for this, omit the zest or add ⅛ tsp of dried orange peel.
- Add nuts - Add some walnuts or pecans for a little texture and crunch to your cranberry sauce recipe.
Step 1 - Add all ingredients except the pomegranate seeds and the allspice to a saucepan and cook on high.
Step 2 - Once the mixture is boiling, turn the heat down and cook until you hear the berries popping. This is a sign that the pectin is being released.
Step 3 - As the sauce thickens, it will turn glossy, usually in about 10 minutes. At this point, add the pomegranate seeds and the allspice.
Step 4 - After 5 minutes, the sauce should be ready. As soon as it coats the spoon, stop cooking, as it will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Use a heavy-bottomed pan - Using the right pan is important as the juices in the sauce will scorch if exposed to too much heat.
- Make sure there's no pith in the zest - When zesting the oranges, make sure that none of the white parts, known as 'pith', end up in the sauce, as they will make it bitter.
- Use water or juice to adjust consistency - If the sauce ends up getting too thick, reheat it with a little bit of juice or water to perfect the consistency.
Once the sauce is ready, it can be stored in the fridge for 10-14 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost it, put it in the fridge 48 hours before you plan to serve it.
Frozen cranberries work just as well as fresh ones do. In fact, cranberry season is so short I often freeze a few packets to use later in the year. Just add the frozen berries directly to your pot to cook.
Cranberry relish is made from raw berries that are coarsely chopped in a food processor. Although sugar is added to the berries, relish is not as sweet as cranberry sauce and has a completely different texture.
Other recipes you may like
For more Pakistani recipes like this, check out 20 popular Pakistani recipes. If you decide to try this recipe, Please don't forget to leave a rating and comment below! If you take a picture then tag me on Instagram! Thank You!
Cranberry Sauce Recipe with Orange and Pomegranate
- 2 cups cranberries (see notes)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup apple cider (see notes)
- 2 cuties (juiced)
- 1 ½ tsp cutie zest
- 1 ¼ cups sugar (see notes)
- pinch salt (see notes)
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ tsp allspice (see notes)
- Zest and juice the cuties. (see notes)
- Deseed the pomegranate. (see notes)
- Mix the cranberries, water, apple cider, juice from the cuties, sugar, one teaspoon zest, allspice, and salt in a pot and cook till the mixture reaches a boil.
- Once you see foam on the surface reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Simmer till the berries start popping. (about 10 minutes)
- Stir and add all but two tablespoons of the pomegranate seeds and cook another 5 minutes till the mixture starts to turn glossy.
- Once the mixture coats your spoon, your cranberry sauce is ready.
- Once the sauce cools, garnish it with the two tablespoons of reserved pomegranate seeds and the ½ teaspoon of the zest and serve.