Let's take a classic Thanksgiving side dish up a notch with this gourmet cranberry sauce with Grand Marnier orange liquor! This cranberry sauce recipe is full of holiday flavors, like cinnamon, allspice, and freshly squeezed orange. Elevate your Thanksgiving dinner menu with a splash of Grand Marnier!
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A few years ago, my mom found a Thanksgiving recipe in the newspaper for a homemade cranberry sauce and she decided to give it a go. Every year, the recipe changes with a little more of this and a little pinch of that. This year, I’ve added some flare to the dish with a unique cranberry sauce twist. Orange liquor really makes this recipe feel fun and fancy, elevating your entire holiday menu.
This super easy gourmet cranberry sauce takes only 35 minutes to prepare. Having a no-fuss cranberry side dish recipe on the menu frees you up, giving you more time to focus on other, more complicated Thanksgiving recipes.
Check out the recipe card below for more details but to make this Grand Marnier cranberry sauce recipe on the stovetop, you just lightly simmer cranberries, sugar, water, juice from an orange, and a cinnamon stick. After 15 minutes, add orange zest, Grand Marnier, and allspice, then continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Lastly, take out the cinnamon stick and chill before serving. Yes, this fancy cranberry sauce is that easy!
And guess what?! This gourmet cranberry sauce recipe just got even easier. If you are running low on stovetop space (because.. Thanksgiving!), I added slow cooker instructions to the recipe card below! The slow cooker recipe card instructions are very similar to the stovetop instructions, just with modified times and temperatures.
- SAUCE TEXTURE: If you want a sauce with more texture and semi-intact cranberries, keep the simmer low. The more aggressive the simmer, the higher the likelihood your cranberries will burst.
- STORING: This Grand Marnier cranberry sauce recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. When storing, make sure the cranberry sauce is properly sealed, dated, and labeled. All cranberry sauces should be stored in a non-metallic glass container.
- FREEZING: Yes, can freeze homemade cranberry sauce! This homemade cranberry sauce can last up to 3 months in the freezer, just let thaw in the refrigerator before using. You can also freeze any leftover fresh cranberries for up to 18 months. Just place in a label and dated sealable bag, then lay flat in the freezer until fully frozen. When you are ready to use your frozen cranberries, just pop them into the recipe - no need to defrost.
Will the alcohol burn off after cooking?
To put it simply, when fully prepared, there will be some alcohol left in this cranberry sauce recipe. For measuring heat and alcohol evaporation, there isn't really an exact formula but the higher the temperature and the longer something cooks, the higher the rate of alcohol evaporation. Based on USDA research, I can estimate that about 60% of alcohol in this recipe will burn off if prepared on a stovetop and even more alcohol will evaporate if prepared in the slow cooker.
Stovetop vs. Slow Cooker - Which method is best?
Cooking this Grand Marnier cranberry sauce on the stove creates a more congealed jam, while the slow cooker makes a more loose sauce. The slow cooker is also better able to keep the shape of the whole cranberries, which tend to burst if on too high of a heat on the stove. Having whole cranberries in your sauce really makes the dish feel very gourmet and fancy! Whichever cooking method you choose, your cranberry sauce will taste the same.
Is this cranberry sauce healthy?
This Grand Marnier cranberry sauce recipe has cranberries and oranges, both of which are full of inflammation-flighting antioxidants. The specific antioxidants found in cranberries also have the unique ability to stop harmful bacteria and fight infections, which can be helpful during cold and flu season.
Worried about gaining a few extra pounds during the holiday season? Cranberries can also trigger your fullness cues, signaling to your brain that you are no longer hungry. Cranberries won't stop you from indulging in your favorite holiday dishes (which you should shamelessly enjoy!), but they might stop you from overeating or taking one too many second helpings. (Source 1, Source 2)
For this particular cranberry sauce recipe, I only added the minimum amount of sugar needed to take away the bitter cranberry taste without overloading the sweetness. This healthy cranberry sauce recipe is also sweetened with a freshly squeezed orange, which adds even more beneficial nutrients to this cranberry sauce recipe.
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If you made this Grand Marnier cranberry sauce recipe, let me know in the comments section below or tag me on Instagram @mymillennialkitchen. I’d love to see your pictures, comments, or recipe questions!Print
Cranberry Sauce with Grand Marnier
Let’s take a classic Thanksgiving side dish up a notch with this easy homemade cranberry sauce with Grand Marnier! This side dish is full of holiday flavors like cinnamon, allspice, splashes of citrus, and elevated with a little orange liquor. This homemade cranberry sauce with Grand Marnier recipe is perfect for a stress-free Thanksgiving.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 1 ¾ cup (serves about 10-14 people) 1x
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 3 cups fresh cranberries (about one 12 oz. package)
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 medium orange (preferably Naval or Cara Cara)
- 1 cinnamon stick (can substitute with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon)
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- Zest the outside of the orange until you have 1 tablespoon of zest. While zesting, make sure to avoid the bitter white pith under the orange peel. Cut the orange in half and squeeze until you have about ¼ cup juice.
- In a medium sauce pot, add cranberries, sugar, water, freshly squeezed orange juice, and cinnamon stick, then stir. Slowly bring the pot to a simmer uncovered on medium heat and let cook for 15 minutes.
- Add orange zest, Grand Marnier, and ground allspice to the pot and continue to slowly simmer uncovered for another 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and transfer to a heat-safe glass container and cool in the refrigerator before serving.
(slow cooker alternative instructions below)
Alternative Slow Cooker Instructions:
1. Add cranberries, sugar, water, freshly squeezed orange juice, and cinnamon stick to a slow cooker. Cover, set to low heat and let cook for 5 hours.
2. Stir in the orange zest, Grand Marnier, and ground allspice, then cover and continue to cook for another hour.
3. Cool in the refrigerator before serving.
- STOVETOP VS. SLOW COOKER – The flavor of the dish will be the same no matter the cooking method. With the stovetop, the cranberry sauce will be more jammy and congealed, while the slow cooker cranberry sauce is more loose and is able to better maintain the whole cranberry shape.
- STOVETOP TIP - On the stove, slowly simmering instead of boiling will prevent the cranberries from bursting and loosing their shape.
- MAKE AHEAD – This cranberry sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- STORAGE - Always store your cranberry sauce in a non-metallic container. I use these these glass containers.
- FREEZING - You can freeze this recipe for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use your frozen cranberry sauce, just thaw in the refrigerator. You can also freeze any leftover whole, fresh cranberries, which can last in the freezer for up to 18 months!
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
- Calories: 62
- Sugar: 12
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 13 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: cranberry sauce with Grand Marnier