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Cranberry Sauce with Orange, Ginger, and Thyme

Scptt Phillips

Servings: 8

Aromatic notes from fresh herbs and ginger, plus a little heat from cayenne, add excitement to a holiday favorite. Plus, you can do most of the work in advance (see Make-Ahead Tips, below), then fold in the fresh orange segments on Thanksgiving day.


  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (1 medium)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 10-oz. bags fresh or frozen cranberries, picked through and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup packed dark or light brown sugar; more to taste
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2-inch slice fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
  • 1 3-inch sprig fresh thyme
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 large navel orange

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 150
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 5
  • Fat (g): 0.5
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 5
  • Carbohydrates (g): 39
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 1


  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, brown and granulated sugars, ginger, thyme, cayenne, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the sauce has thickened a bit and most of the cranberries have popped open, about 15 minutes (the sauce won’t fully thicken until it cools). Cool the sauce completely, and remove the ginger and thyme.
  • Cut off enough of the top and bottom of the orange to reveal a circle of orange flesh. Cut away the peel following the contours of the orange. Working over a bowl to catch the juice, cut the segments free from the membranes, and then cut each segment in thirds. Add the segments to the bowl and squeeze the empty membranes to get the rest of the of the juice.
  • Just before serving, fold in the orange segments and the reserved juice. Season to taste with more salt, cayenne, or brown sugar.

Make Ahead Tips

The sauce can be made (minus the orange segments) up to 1 month ahead. Cool completely, then seal the sauce in a zip-top freezer bag or other airtight container, and freeze. Thaw the sauce overnight in the refrigerator. About one hour before you plan to serve it, let the cranberry sauce warm at room temperature before adding the orange segments..

The orange can be cut into segments up to 1 day ahead. Cover the bowl of segments and juice and refrigerate.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • Nickels | 05/05/2016

    I've made this two Thanksgivings in a row because I love it so. If these are flavors that sound good to you (especially the ginger and the touch of heat), you will love it. I always have a few guests who love it and a few guests who aren't so sure about it and stick to the canned stuff. I never mind because it means I have more leftovers for myself. The only part of this recipe that I found a little tricky was segmenting the orange. It was very messy and I wasn't good at it. My oranges definitely don't look like the oranges in the beautiful photo, but the cranberries do.

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