Orange Cranberry Sauce with Pecans Recipe

Our first Thanksgiving in the Okanagan, my in-laws were at our place and my BIL helped cook a turkey dinner.  It was from watching him that I learned to make cranberry sauce from scratch.  Over the years, I have tweaked his recipe and added a few flavours to match our Citrus, Herb and Garlic Turkey.  I was surprised at how amazingly simple it is to make cranberry sauce.

Orange Cranberry Sauce with Pecans Ingredients:

  • 1 package of fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange, zested and de-veined
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tbsp chopped pecans
  • water
Cranberries, orange zest and oranges in the pot.

Preparing the ingredients:

  1. Wash the entire package of cranberries and pick out any bad ones (I always find rotten ones in the bag) and add to a medium pot.
  2. Zest and juice the lemon and add to the pot.
  3. Zest one of the oranges and juice the other one and add to the pot.
  4. With the orange that was zested, cut about a half inch off the top and bottom.  Then cut what is left of the peel from around the outside, exposing the orange flesh.  De-vein the orange by cutting the orange flesh out from the skin by slicing just on either side of the skin for each piece (as shown below) and add to the pot.De-veining an Orange
  5. Give the pecans a rough chop to about 1/4″ sized pieces and set aside.
  6. Measure out the brown sugar and honey and set aside.

How to make Orange Cranberry Sauce with Pecans:

  1. Add the cranberries, orange zest, lemon zest, orange juice, lemon juice and orange pieces to a medium sized pot and fill with just enough water to cover the cranberries (see first photo above).
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high to get the water boiling.  As the cranberries cook down, they will literally “pop” and it will start to thicken and look like it does in the photo below.
  3. Once the cranberries have cooked down, add the pecans, sugar and honey.
  4. Boil down for a further 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. If you find the sauce too thick for your liking, add more water to thin it out.
  6. If you find the sauce to tart, add more sweetener (brown sugar and/or honey.
Cooked Orange Cranberry Sauce with Pecans


If you plan on canning the cranberry sauce, citrus is needed to ensure the jars seal.

We had toasted almonds in our house when I made the sauce the last time and added them.  You could toast the pecans and could substitute the pecans for other nuts.

You can add more or less sweeteners and use different types to your liking:  honey, white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, fruit juices, etc.  Once you add sweetness, it cannot be taken out!

Do not buy cranberries during turkey season (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter) when they cost a premium.  Cranberries freeze very well.  I wanted to purchase a package at Thanksgiving and they were “on sale” for $2.49 a package.  I did not buy them knowing I usually pay $1.25 or less.  At the end of October, I bought four packages at .99 cents each and they were regularly priced at $3.99 a package.