Easy Mandarin Orange Cranberry Sauce – a family recipe!

This cranberry sauce was always a staple at holiday meals when I was a kid, and this year I grilled my pops for the recipe!

New addiction: orange cranberry sauce mixed into my morning yogurt!

This orange cranberry sauce was always a staple at holiday meals when I was a kid, and this year I grilled my pops for the recipe!

I know: it’s the beginning of February, and I’m sharing a recipe from our holiday cooking! To be honest, I wasn’t planning to post this cranberry sauce recipe. It’s not from scratch, and it’s super simple. In fact, I completely forgot to put the bowl of sauce out at Christmas supper in all of the food-prepping chaos!

My mother-in-law, Lynn, was under the weather on Christmas, and since I’m pregnant, she stayed at the hotel rather than risk giving me a stomach bug. I was bummed that she couldn’t make it, so we sent my father-in-law, Denis, back with lots of leftovers, so at least she’d get a proper meal when she was feeling better, and this time we didn’t forget the cranberry sauce.

We saw both of them the next day. Lynn was feeling better, and Denis could not stop talking about the orange cranberry sauce! Apparently, his sick wife hardly got a bite, because he devoured the whole container that we sent home with him, and he plowed through most of the leftover sauce that evening. He asked for the recipe, and I thought that if Denis loved it this much, maybe some of you guys would like to try it, too!

Of course, this is yummy alongside traditional holiday food, but I stirred a couple of big spoonfuls of the leftovers into my morning yogurt instead of my usual mix-ins. Recommended!

Mandarin Orange Cranberry Sauce


  • 2 cans whole bean cranberry sauce  – I recommend the sort sweetened with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. HFCS makes the sauce too sweet and syrupy.
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/4-1/2 cup currants  – You can also use raisins, chopped dried apricots, or whatever other dried fruit you like!
  • juice of 1/4 of a large lemon, about 2 tablespoons  – My pops really waned me to use triple sec, but we settled on lemon juice as a sub, since I’m pregnant.
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts – optional

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl you’re going to use for serving, stirring gently so you don’t break up the orange pieces too much.
  2. Chill for at least an hour before serving, so the dried fruit can soak up the lemon juice and the juice from the sauce. You can make this a couple of days ahead if you like – it keeps beautifully for up to a week. I didn’t put walnuts in mine, but my pops always did when we were kids. If you’re using them, add the walnuts just before serving.
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4 comments on “Easy Mandarin Orange Cranberry Sauce – a family recipe!
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    • It is so good. I definitely want to make some with the Triple Sec once this baby gets here and I can have a bit of booze again!

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