Cranberry Compote is a lighter and quicker version of the traditional holiday sauce that can be used as a Christmas dinner condiment or topping for savory foods and even desserts. Whip it up in under 10 minutes using just 5 simple ingredients!
Cranberry Compote is a quick, easy and lighter version of cranberry sauce! Use it as a Christmas dinner condiment or try it on pancakes, oatmeal, or desserts!
Cranberries are in season right now, so there's no better time than now to try out this recipe.
All you need is fresh cranberries, sugar, vanilla extract, and orange juice – simple ingredients that come together in just 10 minutes to create an amazing homemade condiment everyone will enjoy!
This Orange and Cranberry Compote recipe is a great accompaniment to poultry and pork dishes, but can also be used as a side dish for many meals.
Its unique tart and sweet flavor pairs well with most meats and vegetables and gives them a pop of color that looks and tastes amazing. You can even use it to top off desserts like ice cream!
This was inspired by my other compote recipes on this site, and pairs well with this vegan stuffing, balsamic roasted brussels sprouts, garlic mashed poatatoes and stuffed butternut squash for a vegan Christmas dinner.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
It has a lighter texture and flavor than traditional cranberry sauce making it easy to pair with foods.
You can use it on both sweet and savory dishes.
Use fresh or frozen cranberries to make this dish any time of the year.
This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make and uses 5 simple ingredients.
- Fresh or Frozen Cranberries - This berry has a unique sweet and tart tangy flavor that enhances as it cooks down with other ingredients. You can use fresh cranberries in season, or purchase a bag of frozen cranberries to use year-round.
- Sugar - Helps balance out the tart flavor of the cranberries with sweetness.
- Orange Juice & Zest - Adding citrus acidity to the cranberry compote gives it a balanced level of flavor. Orange pairs very well with the fresh flavor of cranberries.
- Vanilla Extract - A light infusion of vanilla gives this cranberry compote a layer of warming flavor.
Please see the recipe card below for quantities.
Wondering how to make this cranberry compote recipe? It's easy! Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare the cranberries: If you’re using fresh cranberries, be sure to rinse them thoroughly to remove any dirt or impurities. If you are using frozen cranberries, make sure they are thawed completely before using.
Boil: Add all of the ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir everything together, then bring the mixture to a boil.
Simmer: Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the cranberries have popped and broken down into the sauce.
Cool and store: Remove the cranberry compote from the heat, then transfer it to a sealed jar, bowl, or airtight container. Store it in the fridge and serve while warm, cool, or at room temperature.
When cooking fruit and sugar, the mixture will become very hot and bubbly. Make sure you are protecting yourself as the hot sugar mixture can cause serious burns.
Let the mixture cool before adding it to containers to prevent the hot liquid from splashing and causing injury.
Always use a sanitized jar or container when storing compote to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Frozen cranberries need to be fully thawed before making homemade cranberry compote.
This cranberry compote is perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners as a tasty condiment.
Serve it along with these Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes.
Enjoy it along with these other holiday condiments and sauces: Vegan Gravy, Mushroom Gravy, Bread Sauce, Apple Sauce, Horseradish Sauce.
For something different, try a little on pancakes, waffles, oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast!
Spoon a little into muffins or vegan banana bread for a burst of festive flavor.
Give this cranberry compote some natural spice by adding a tablespoon of grated ginger to the mix.
Add grated apple or diced apple, for an apple cranberry compote.
Warming spices like clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg can be added to create a Fall layer of flavor.
Add blackberries or raspberries to the mix to add more levels of fresh berry flavor.
Instead of orange juice, use the zest and juice of one lemon to create an even more tart and fresh flavor.
Storing: Tightly sealed cranberry compote in a sterilized container will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Give it a good stir before serving each time.
Freezing: Add fully cooled cranberry compote to a freezer-safe bag or an airtight container with as much air removed as possible. Store in the freezer for up to 4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.
You can enjoy cranberry compote on top of poultry such as chicken, duck, or turkey. Scoop it on top of soft cheeses, or add to yogurt, oatmeal, or as a topping for pancakes.
Compote uses less sugar and no thickening agents except the pectin that naturally occurs in the fruit. Cranberry sauce can contain added thickeners.
More fruit compote recipes
I hope you love the cranberry compote recipe as much as we do. Be sure to also try these other fruit compote recipes too!
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- 2 cups (200g) fresh cranberries or thawed frozen cranberries
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons orange juice
- Zest of ½ an orange
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Wash the cranberries.
- Stir all the ingredients together in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens.
- Allow to cool slightly and transfer to a bowl or jar and allow to cool.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container and serve warm, cold or at room temperature.
- When cooking fruit and sugar, the mixture will become very hot and bubbly. Make sure you are protecting yourself as the mixture can cause serious burns.
- Let the mixture cool before adding it to containers to prevent the hot liquid from splashing and causing injury.
- Always use a sanitized jar or container when storing compote to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Frozen cranberries need to be fully thawed before making homemade cranberry compote.
- Give this cranberry compote some natural spice by adding a tablespoon of grated ginger to the mix.
- Warming spices like clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg can be added to create a Fall layer of flavor.
- Add blackberries or raspberries to the mix to add more levels of fresh berry flavor.
- Instead of orange juice, use the zest and juice of one lemon to create an even more tart and fresh flavor.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.
I'm making this all season long and put it on practically everything! Sometimes I completely omit the sugar and just use a touch of maple syrup instead. It's so great on meats!
Lauren Michael Harris
The cranberry sauce or compote is my favorite side dish at holiday dinners. I love the orange in this one - yum!
I have a bag of unused frozen cranberries, leftovers from Thanksgiving. I wasn't sure what to do with it. Now I know! This compote looks amazing. Perfect for topping Christmas Cheesecake. Thanks!
I wish I'd seen this recipe a week or so ago! I didn't have cranberry sauce on hand at Thanksgiving but did have berries, this recipe would have saved the day!
What a gorgeous quick and easy cranberry sauce for Christmas - lovely with a cheeseboard and crackers too!