Cranberry-Orange Sauce with Fresh Mint

Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Recipe by Katie Mae
Although cranberry sauce was always at the Thanksgiving table when I was a kid, it never ended up on my plate. It usually came out of a can and to me, it just looked like an ugly colored gel. Years later we started making cranberry sauce from scratch, but the recipe called for a lot of sugar. No problem for most people, but now I know better. Yes, plain cranberries are very tart and not very tasty without a sweetener. After cooking at TrueNorth Health for 2 years, I know that: 1) I do not want white sugar in my food and 2) there’s so many whole food options for sweetening a dish. This recipe still has sugar, but it is from a whole food! This is what we want because the sugar comes packaged with lots of other nutrients and doesn’t go through the destructive refining process.

So here my sweetener of choice are oranges and dates. The last orange cut into bite size pieces is optional. When I serve the sauce as a side I stir in the orange bites at the end. However, sometimes I incorporate the sauce into another dish, such as my Roasted Squash with Cranberry Sauce and Mint (see photo below). In this case I leave the 3rd orange out because I don’t want the extra chunks.

Serve over mashed potatoes, stuffing or baked squash. On top of a yummy field roast would also be delicious. Note that field roast is mostly gluten and not oil-free.
Makes six ½-cup servings
Ready in 30 minutes
Stores 7 days in fridge



  • ½ cup water
  • 12 oz package of fresh cranberries (about 3 cups), stem removed
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted and diced
  • 3 oranges (2 juiced)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoons fresh mint, minced + a few for garnish

Cranberry-Orange Sauce


1. In a medium saucepan, combine water, cranberries, dates, juice of 2 oranges and 2 cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Sauce will begin to thicken as it cooks.

2. Segment the remaining orange by cutting off the top and bottom of the fruit then cutting away the peel and pith of the fruit. Slice in-between the segments or split them up by hand. Remove any of the white skin in the middle of the fruit. Cut the segments in ½ inch pieces.

3. Once the sauce has cooked with most or all of the cranberries broken down, remove from heat. Gently mix in orange segments and fresh mint.

4. Cool in a jar or bowl in the fridge. Sauce will thicken more as it cools. Remove the cinnamon sticks before serving. Garnish with a few mint leaves, whole or minced.

pom roasted squash with cranberry sauce

Roasted squash with cranberry sauce and fresh mint


Did you like this recipe? If so, please share it. Your voice matters in spreading the plant-based message and transforming our food system. Salud!


  1. Caroline
    November 23, 2014

    Do you use Medjool dates or smaller ones like Deglet Noor?

    • Katie Mae
      Katie Mae
      November 23, 2014

      Good question Caroline! I like to use Medjool dates because they’re sweeter, moister and bigger. They tend to be slightly more expensive, but I find that it evens out since you’d have to use more deglets to get the same affect.

  2. barbara richard
    November 23, 2014

    many thanks…def going to make this!

  3. Martine
    December 21, 2014

    Hey Katie! I am making the cranberry sauce. How do you make the roasted squash in the photo?

    • Katie Mae
      Katie Mae
      December 21, 2014

      Hi Martine! I sliced a delicata squash in half length-wise and scooped out the seeds. Then, unless you started with a very thin squash, I recommend cutting each half in half again so you have 4 long pieces. Cut each strip into 2-inch pieces, they should be curved like a rainbow so the sauce will fit nicely. Put the squash pieces onto baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and bake. However, I’m not sure of the exact temperature and time I used. I would try 375-400 degrees and check them occasionally until they’re fully cooked. Enjoy! I’d love to see a picture in the facebook group :)

  4. Terrie
    November 18, 2015

    Thanks for wonderful cranberry sauce recipe. Terrie

  5. Kathy
    December 29, 2015

    Hi Katie,
    I made this recipe and froze it in an ice cube tray. That way, I can easily get a small amount out whenever I want some with chicken or turkey. Very tasty,
    love it :) Thank you.