Cranberry Orange Compote

We’re well into the holiday season, and as much as I’m enjoying my pumpkin-infused recipes, as well as everyone else’s, it’s also time to start thinking about cranberries!!!

Every fall I make batches of cranberry sauces and chutneys early and freeze them, which doesn’t really make much sense. For one thing, I’m the only one who eats them in my immediate family, and so I always have leftover jars even after the holidays are over. I guess it just doesn’t seem like the holidays to me if I don’t make some kind of something with cranberries!

Today I’m making a compote. Compotes are pretty much sweetened, stewed fruits – sometimes mixtures of fruits, sometimes including dried fruits. A compote is not typically as sweet as traditional cranberry sauce. Of course you need some sweetness to offset the tart cranberries, but you don’t have to go overboard with the sugar. I mean, have you ever tasted the gelatinous stuff they sell in the can? Horrendously overly sweet!

However, if you do want a sweeter compote, just add more sugar! Or a little port! I’m not the cranberry compote police!

So here’s what I did:

Cranberry Orange Compote

2 bags cranberries
Zest of 2 oranges
Juice of 2 oranges
1/3 cup sugar

Sort through the cranberries in a colander, occasionally rinsing them with cool water as you do. Remove any discolored, rotten, or suspicious cranberries and discard.


Place the cranberries in a small pot. Add the zest, orange juice, and sugar.


Place the pot on the stove, cover it, and turn on the heat to low. You want to take your time doing this. The cranberries will slowly heat up, and along with the steam from the orange juice, and will gradually burst. This might take as long as ten minutes. At this point, remove the lid.


If much liquid remains, slowly cook it off, still keeping the heat low.


And there you have it. Let it cool, and use it as a condiment for pork or turkey, pair it with cheeses, or serve it over yogurt for breakfast. Room temperature or chilled both work depending which you prefer.

Get busy and make your cranberry condiments. They seriously take minutes to make. You’ll never buy the stuff in the can, ever again.


By Published On: November 7th, 201328 Comments on Cranberry Orange Compote

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Conor Bofin November 7, 2013 at 10:35 AM - Reply

    Beautiful Mimi. I also always admire your plates. You seem to have an endless supply of quality.

    • chef mimi November 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM - Reply

      Thank you! And thanks to my French mother, who gradually passes them on to me!

  2. {Main St. Cuisine} November 7, 2013 at 1:06 PM - Reply

    I have to admit that any type of cranberry condiment makes my heart skip a beat. I love cranberries and happily eat the leftovers after the big day. Thank you for the suggestion of serving it over yogurt. I’ve not tried that, but will!

    • chef mimi November 7, 2013 at 4:18 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome! I love cranberries, too!

  3. Judy @Savoring Today November 7, 2013 at 1:38 PM - Reply

    Love cranberry and orange together, this will be an ideal condiment for Thanksgiving or to just have around for a roasted chicken from time to time. Yummy.

    • chef mimi November 7, 2013 at 4:17 PM - Reply

      You’re right – it’s really good stuff with just about any kind of meat or poultry…

  4. ladyredspecs November 7, 2013 at 2:19 PM - Reply

    Until recent times the only whole cranberries to be found here were dried, but frozen whole berries are now available. I love their tartness and like you think a small amount of sweetening is all they need. This compote looks delicious. I think I’d enjoy it with pork!

    • chef mimi November 7, 2013 at 4:17 PM - Reply

      It is a great combination. Isn’t that funny how different countries sell such different products!

  5. lulu November 7, 2013 at 4:55 PM - Reply

    I can’t wait until Thanksgiving to have the orange/cranberry combo, one of my favorites. Wonder why I don’t do it more often.

    • chef mimi November 8, 2013 at 8:29 AM - Reply

      Maybe because you’re the only one who eats it?!!!

      • lulu November 8, 2013 at 9:14 AM

        You are close to being right!

  6. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward November 7, 2013 at 5:43 PM - Reply

    Lovely recipe. The orange zest and minimal sugar makes it super succulent and toothsome – can’t wait to try.

    • chef mimi November 8, 2013 at 8:30 AM - Reply

      I don’t like anything overly sweet.

      • Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward November 8, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        Me, neither. Great minds think alike. ;-) Hehe. Looks decadent!

  7. apuginthekitchen November 7, 2013 at 6:22 PM - Reply

    I make cranberry orange sauce every Thanksgiving, it’s funny I am the only one who eats it also but I make a ton and freeze it, I use it in apple pies also. Your compote is wonderful.

    • chef mimi November 8, 2013 at 8:30 AM - Reply

      Thank you! Isn’t is sad that they’re missing out on these lovely condiments???!!!

  8. Liz November 7, 2013 at 7:25 PM - Reply

    Am always intrigued by fresh cranberry relishes and chutneys. The canned versions don’t seem like real food, but I imagine the fresh–your version especially–would taste amazing. Thinking I would like on sandwiches. Thanks for your post!

    • chef mimi November 8, 2013 at 8:31 AM - Reply

      Canned stuff isn’t real food! I never had anything out of a can till I went to friends’ homes when I was in college! ugh!

  9. Michelle November 7, 2013 at 7:53 PM - Reply

    I make a cranberry sauce in much the same way. Love it on sandwiches after the holiday is over.

    • chef mimi November 8, 2013 at 8:31 AM - Reply

      I’ve even mixed it with mayo, which is sort of the same thing! Good stuff!

  10. ostriche November 8, 2013 at 7:17 AM - Reply

    It’a really special! Ostriche

  11. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs November 8, 2013 at 8:42 AM - Reply

    The holidays wouldn’t be the same without a beautiful cranberry compote. LOVE this. Printing the recipe as I type… Your photos are just beautiful… :-)

  12. Bluejellybeans November 8, 2013 at 11:02 AM - Reply

    Sounds delicious! I’m keeping this one for Christmas ;)

  13. November 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM - Reply

    MMMM it looks SO DELISH:) I like your blog and Im now following.

    Check out my blog….Swedish decor and yummy recipies:)

    Have a wonderful week dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis – The Swedish home decor blog

    • chef mimi November 11, 2013 at 10:53 AM - Reply

      Thank you for stopping by! I love your blog!

Leave a Reply to Shanna Koenigsdorf WardCancel reply