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Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 5 mins
Total time 23 mins

Serves 8 (serving size: about 3 tbsp.)

What makes this sauce extraordinary isn’t the orange liqueur, though it rounds out the tart and sweet flavors beautifully. It’s the whole fresh cranberries reserved before cooking and stirred in just before serving. You might think the fresh berries would be too tart without simmering—we did too—but the result is simply outstanding: jammy sauce punctuated by pops of tart, juicy berries. If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can substitute fresh orange juice. Double the batch and use as a breakfast jam or sandwich spread, or spoon warm sauce over frozen yogurt.


  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. fresh cranberries, divided
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Nutrition Information

  • calories 98
  • fat 0.1 g
  • satfat 0.0 g
  • monofat 0.0 g
  • polyfat 0.0 g
  • protein 0.0 g
  • carbohydrate 25 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 0.0 mg
  • sodium 121 mg
  • calcium 5 mg
  • sugars 21 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 19 g

How to Make It

  1. Reserve 1/2 cup cranberries. Place the remaining cranberries, sugar, 2 1/2 tablespoons water, and rind in a saucepan over medium-low. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Increase heat to medium-high; stir in orange liqueur. Cook 8 minutes or until juices begin to thicken. Remove pan from heat; stir in reserved 1/2 cup cranberries, salt, and pepper.

  3. Variation Spiced Apple-Cranberry Sauce Active: 8 min. Total: 26 min. Omit water and orange liqueur from main above recipe. Sub 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar for granulated sugar. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg to cranberries and sugar in pan; cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in 1 cup chopped apple and 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Cook 8 minutes. Stir in reserved cranberries, salt, and pepper. SERVES 8 (serving size: about 1/4 cup) CALORIES 85; FAT 0.1g (sat 0g, mono 0g, poly 0g); PROTEIN 0g; CARB 22g; FIBER 2g; SUGARS 17g (est. added sugars 14g); CHOL 0mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 125mg; CALC 19mg

  4. Variation White Balsamic and Rosemary Cranberry Sauce Active: 5 min. Total: 23 min. Omit orange liqueur from main above recipe. Add 2 rosemary sprigs to pan with sugar, water, and cranberries. Stir in 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar with reserved uncooked cranberries, salt, and pepper. SERVES 8 (serving size: about 3 Tbsp.) CALORIES 95; FAT 0.1g (sat 0g, mono 0g, poly 0g); PROTEIN 0g; CARB 25g; FIBER 2g; SUGARS 21g (est. added sugars 19g); CHOL 0mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 122mg; CALC 6mg