Out of all the delicious food served for Thanksgiving my absolute favorite is cranberry sauce. I’ve been making this variation for years and it was inspired by my grandma’s recipe. You only need 4 ingredients to make it and it’s one of the easiest things to make for such a food-centric holiday.


I smother most of my food in this orange-cranberry sauce but I really load it up on my mashed potatoes. Does anyone else eat their mashed potatoes with cranberry sauce?! I seriously recommend it.


The other reason to make orange cranberry sauce it because it’s so so good on panini made with all the leftovers from Thanksgiving. My husband and I agreed that we like leftover panini even better than the full Thanksgiving meal! That is really saying something.


My mom started the tradition of making panini with leftovers years ago and there is nothing more disappointing than not having enough leftovers to make a grilled sandwich filled with a bite of everything! You can make them with any leftovers, orange cranberry sauce of course, turkey, mashed, potatoes, stuffing, brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, gravy, anything.


For ours I used Jewish Rye bread but any good, crusty bread will work. I layered cranberry sauce on one side of the bread and gravy on the other.


Then I added some shredded Fontina cheese leftover from making my green bean casserole. Finally I layered turkey, that I shredded with a fork, and some sautéed brussels sprouts and put the whole thing together. Such an explosion of flavor and a ton of texture


Orange Cranberry Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Only 4 ingredients come together to make a flavorful sauce prefect for your Thanksgiving table, and delicious enough to make year-round.
  • 1 lb. fresh cranberries
  • 1 navel orange
  • ¾ c sugar
  • ¾ c water
  1. Using a vegetable peeler peel large strips from the navel orange, removing most of the peel. After peeling, halve and juice the orange.
  2. Add the cranberries, orange peel and juice, sugar, and water to a large sauce pan, turn heat to medium.
  3. Bring the cranberry mixture to a boil then reduce to simmer until at least half of the berries have burst and the mixture has formed a sauce, about 35 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool and remove the strips of orange peel, then add the sauce to a glass container and store in the fridge until ready to serve, preferably at least 2 hours. Time in the fridge will allow the sauce to thicken.


What do you like to do with Thanksgiving leftovers?!

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