Ready for the best Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce Ever? Whole cranberries sweetened with honey and brought to a jammy boil with Late Harvest Riesling and pinch or two of fresh orange zest.
Cranberry sauce is super easy to make and honestly, once you have made homemade cranberry sauce there is no chance you will ever eat that goo that comes out of a can again! For this recipe, I used a Late Harvest Riesling to help sweeten the tart cranberries.
Late Riesling wines are on the sweeter side. Not as sweet as an ice wine but much sweeter than a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
This Cranberry Sauce isn’t just for turkey dinner… Oh no! Add it to turkey sandwiches, baked brie, over turkey meatballs or a charcuterie board spread.
what is a late harvest riesling?
Late Riesling wines are characterized by having a much more golden colour than a regular Riesling with notes of apricots, pears, apples and honey. This type of wine is not usually served with dinner but is more of an aperitif served with dessert or a nice cheese board after dinner.
Inniskilin is one of my favourite Late Harvest Rieslings out of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
The flavor of the Late Harvest Riesling and the bit of orange zest in this recipe highlight the honey that has been added and mellows the tartness of the cranberries. This creates the perfect sweet and tart balance in this cranberry sauce to go with your holiday meal!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Whole cranberries – fresh or frozen cranberries
- Late harvest riesling – A slightly sweet fruity wine that pairs perfectly with tart cranberries. However, any riesling will work well too. Just stick with a light white wine and it will work.
- Orange zest – adds amazing flavour and a beautiful aroma.
- Honey – to balance out the tartness of the cranberries as well as thicken the sauce. Liquid honey is what I typically use but creamed honey will work just as well because it will melt when heated.
How to Make Cranberry Orange Sauce
In a large saucepan add the cranberries, honey, Late Harvest Riesling and orange zest.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat until cranberries start to burst. Then reduce to medium-low heat and let simmer for the remaining time stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat once the mixture has thickened. Let cool completely for about 1 hour before serving. The cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Can Cranberry sauce be made in advance?
You bet! You actually should make this recipe in advance because it needs time to chill. Cranberry sauce should be served cold if used for a turkey dinner, on sandwiches or as a dip.
And the longer it sits the better it gets… just like shortbread! Come to think of it this sauce would go awesome thinly spread on a buttery shortbread cookie!
How Do you Store Homemade Cranberry Sauce?
Wait until the sauce has completely cooled (about an hour) then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I like to keep old clean jam jars to store sauces like this for later.
Can you freeze cranberry sauce?
Yes, you can freeze this sauce in an airtight container after it has cooled completely. This sauce can be frozen for up to 2 months.
I like to make a double batch of this cranberry sauce and then freeze half so that I have it for appetizers, a weekend charcuterie board or a delicious turkey, brie and cranberry sandwich.
Some other Thanksgiving Meal faves…
- Simple Oven Roasted Turkey
- Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
- Baked Acorn Squash
- Tuscan Kale & Fennel Dressing
- Pan-Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Leeks
- Parsnip Puree
- Healthy Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
- Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie
Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe with Late Harvest Riesling & Orange
- Large Sauce Pan
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Lemon Zester
- 2 cups whole cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2/3 cup Late Harvest Riesling Wine
- 1 tsp orange zest
- In a large saucepan add the cranberries, honey, Late Harvest Riesling and orange zest.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat until cranberries start to burst. Then reduce to medium-low heat and let simmer for remaining time stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat once the mixture has thickened. Let cool completely for about 1 hour before serving or make ahead and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How to Make Cranberry Orange Sauce with Riesling Story.