When it comes to the Thanksgiving table, foods can tend to get rather heavy. Cranberry sauce is a quick, easy dish that provides a tart bite that cuts through the heavy gravies, potatoes, and any meat on the table. Serve this side alongside your mains this holiday to lighten up the main dish. 

I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart to make it a bit less sweet and a bit more sour. I also added a drop of orange essential oil to bring even more orangey aroma to the table.

This dish makes holiday meal prep easy because it can be made up to a week in advance.  Add this to your prep list a day or two ahead of the big meal, and allow the orange undertones to become even more pronounced.  

Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

2 bags (12 ounces each) fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup sugar

4 wide strips orange zest, plus 1 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup water

Coarse salt and ground pepper

2 drops orange essential oil


  1. Zest orange and squeeze fresh juice. 
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest, and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until cranberries burst and cranberry sauce is thickened, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice and orange essential oil.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Want some amazing dishes to pair with cranberry sauce? Come check out this vegan version of Shepherd’s Pie.

Want to learn more about vegan eating? Come check out the Clean Slate Cleanse.