Maple- Tangerine Fresh Cranberry Sauce

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You’ve probably had it before, and more than likely it’s typical Thanksgiving fare in your house. You know… the cranberry sauce that you pry open with a can opener and then attempt to nudge it out carefully so it slithers into the serving bowl in one large, cylindrical, gelatinous blob. I grew up with the stuff, and admittedly I loved it. Mom bought the jellied kind- the kind you can slice up and slide in easily next to the turkey and mashed potatoes. Our family went through at least a couple of cans of it during dinner. The next day, another can was always popped open to slice up and include on leftover turkey sandwiches.

When I left home for college, I continued to buy and eat the canned cranberry sauce creation. And when I got married and had a family to cook for, of course I included the canned stuff in my own Thanksgiving menu. It wasn’t until years later, when I became more interested in cooking, that I would attempt a homemade version. If you try homemade- and it’s one with flavors that really appeal to you- you’re going to have a tough time going back to the canned version. In fact, the canned version may very well begin to taste more like the can than cranberry sauce. This version that I made for our pre-Thanksgiving dinner impressed me and wooed my family: Maple- Tangerine Cranberry Sauce.

Here’s the How-To (very easy):
You’ll need 2 cups of tangerine juice (squeeze it yourself for the freshest flavor- get a bag of tangerines at Costco!). I actually used 1 cup of tangerine and 1 cup of orange juice. You’ll also need a bag of cranberries, brown sugar, maple syrup (the real stuff), a cinnamon stick & a sprinkle of kosher salt.
All ingredients are mixed in a skillet…
…brought to a bubble, and then reduced to simmer.  I put a lid on my pan (loosely, not tightly covered) because I was being hit by exploding cranberries.
It’s done when the liquid begins to get a bit syrupy. The heat is turned off, and the mixture is left to cool. As it cools, the syrupy liquid will begin to thicken.
Once it’s cooled, your cranberry sauce is done!  Scoop it into a bowl, cover it and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve.

You can make this up a couple of days before Thanksgiving and it will be a-okay to serve fresh-as-can-be for your Thanksgiving dinner.  And won’t your guests be impressed that you made it homemade?

I don’t blog about recipes that I don’t like, so it’s safe to say that I liked this one.  I can go further than that though and tell you that my family was crazy about this cranberry sauce.  It was the stand-out recipe of our dinner!  So tell me… will you be making some homemade cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving?

This recipe can be found here:  Maple Tangerine Cranberry Sauce

Other delicious-sounding cranberry sauce recipes from the blogs:
Fresh Cranberry Sauce w/ Rosemary & Persimmon by What We’re Eating
Blackberry Cranberry Sauce by Baking Bites
Cranberry Sauce w/ Pears & Ginger by A Mingling of Tastes
Crockpot Cranberry Sauce by A Year of Slow Cooking
Cranberry Sauce w/ Pinot Noir by Closet Cooking

Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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  • JoAnn wrote:

    We all loved this! I’ll be making this again. Thanks!

  • Ange wrote:

    I’m making this as I type. Excited to try this tomorrow for Thanksgiving.

  • Liz wrote:

    Great, thank you so much! Is there an easy way to thicken it up a little bit?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Not sure. If I recall, I think it thickens a bit as it chills.

  • Liz wrote:

    I was just about to make this, and I noticed the quantities for brown sugar and maple syrup were missing! How much of each of these do I use?

  • Lazzy wrote:

    I just finished making this and it tastes amazing! I can’t wait to try it with my turkey tomorrow!

  • noble pig wrote:

    Fresh is the only way to go!!

  • Mrs. L wrote:

    This sounds like a great version of just the standard sauce. I’ll have to give it a try to use with any leftover turkey we might score).

  • Barbara wrote:

    Great idea- think I will change from my boring old standby cranberry sauce!

  • Gera @ SweetsFoods wrote:

    How impressive this is fresh sauce! A bright red color that impose presence onto every dish 🙂



  • ingrid wrote:

    Like you I grew up eating (& lovin’) canned cranberry. Last year I decided to try making “real” cranberry sauce and am not looking back. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  • Carol, Simply…Glut wrote:

    I’m a little ashamed to say it but I do love that gloopy stuff out of a can however I always make some fresh too, your recipe looks great!

  • Jen Schall wrote:

    So beautiful! I adore cranberry sauce. Yours looks amazing. Unfortunately, despite my efforts, my husband still believes that the canned junk is best. And my mom prefers the cranberry relish stuff (recipe on the bag), so I end up serving 3 types of cranberry sauce each year!!

  • The Duo Dishes wrote:

    No way…no more canned cranberry sauce. There should be a LAW! This is much better.

  • VeggieGirl wrote:

    My favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast!! Love your recipe 🙂

  • nina wrote:

    100% improvement on the gelatinous slice of gunk!!! The color is vibrant and beautiful!!!

  • cookiepie wrote:

    I always make my own cranberry sauce — the canned stuff is fine for baking, but not eating! LOVE your recipe — I bet the maple in there is divine, and I love the tangerine instead of plain orange. Yummy!

  • Tracy wrote:

    Wow, what a great combination of flavors! I’m so excited to make fresh cranberry sauce this year!

  • Ben wrote:

    I just had canned cranberry sauce last year for the very first time and I must admit that I was in shock when the gelatinous stuff came out of the can LOL. I like your homemade version better. I bet the tangerine juice gave it an amazing flavor.

  • Sophie wrote:

    A lovely, ruby red cranberry sauce!

  • Daily Spud wrote:

    Two thumbs up for homemade cranberry sauce, a winner every time!