This Cranberry Smoothie with sweet juicy oranges is a natural Vitamin C powerhouse. The cranberry orange flavor combo is a favorite by everyone that’s tried it, and it’s also a dairy-free and banana-free smoothie as well! It’s all pure fruity flavor, but there’s also a creamy variation as well you can try. This smoothie is sure to be a bright spot straight through the winter months.
This simple smoothie is an all-around favorite absolutely loaded with vitamin C. It’s easy to make and is especially good in the winter months when citrus is in season.
We’ve been crazy about this smoothie for years, and I know you’ll enjoy it as well. It went viral on Pinterest over 8 years ago now, and it’s still one of our most popular smoothie recipes.
Cranberries are often overlooked in my opinion and they really do have a lot to offer. Combining their tart zippy flavor with the sweetness of orange is a flavor combination everyone knows and loves.
There’s no banana in this smoothie so you get the pure cranberry-orange flavor. If your oranges are nice and sweet, you won’t even need to add any extra sweetener. But you’ll find a few options below including a creamy version as well.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Cranberries – you can use frozen or fresh cranberries, just remember you want at least 1 of your ingredients to be frozen for the best smoothie texture.
- Oranges – any kind of orange from Navel to Cara Cara works here along with tangerines and mandarin oranges. The sweeter the citrus, the better your smoothie will be.
- Orange Juice or Ginger Kombucha – I love the flavor of ginger kombucha with this smoothie, but it can be hard to find for some. Orange juice is just as good and makes a sweeter smoothie. I also recommend using orange juice if you’re serving this smoothie to kids.
- Vanilla – just a touch of vanilla extract goes a long way to making this smoothie something you want to make all the time.
- Optional Sweetener – fruit varies a lot in its natural sweetness, so taste the smoothie and if it’s too sour, add the sweetener of your choice to taste. I sometimes add 1-2 pitted dates to the blender. But a touch of maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar all work as well.
- Creamy variation – sometimes I’m craving the pure fresh smoothie and sometimes I’m all about the creamy. So in that case I’ve used Greek yogurt, cashew milk, and almond milk in the smoothie and each one is great.
Step 1: Peel the oranges, and break them into quarters. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, break them up into individual orange slices.
Tip: A good quality blender that is considered ‘high powered’ like my Vitamix blender is worth saving up for! It makes the best smoothies and I use it pretty much every day for all sorts of things in the kitchen.
Step 2: Place all the ingredients into the blender in the order listed in the recipe and blend until smooth.
Step 3: Taste to see if you need to add any additional sweetener and enjoy right away.
Ways to serve this
- We love this as an afternoon ‘pick-me-up’ snack, or as a light breakfast followed by a 2nd breakfast a couple of hours later.
- It’s also great as part of a breakfast or brunch. Try serving it with my Sausage Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole and my Paleo Cranberry Orange Muffins.
- Or try this smoothie with my Western Omelet Chaffles and Crispy Instant Pot Potatoes.
Yes, it’s a classic combination between the tart cranberry and the naturally sweet and juicy orange. They’re a perfect match and you’ll enjoy the combination in this smoothie.
There are a couple of secrets really, first up you’ll have the perfect texture in a smoothie if you use a high-powered blender. Secondly, always use at least 1 frozen ingredient for a great texture and flavor. For a full list of tips and combinations try my How to Make a Smoothie + 35 Recipes.
- To store – place any leftovers in the refrigerator and drink within 1 day. This smoothie really tastes best right away like most smoothies.
- Make ahead – try peeling the oranges and placing them in a sealed container for up to 2 days to cut down on the prep time. You can also blend this smoothie and refrigerate it for a couple of hours before serving it. Although again it really is best right away.
- Freezing – You could also make this smoothie into Make Your Own Freezer Smoothie Packs. To use the frozen smoothie pack, let it thaw in a container overnight in the fridge or for a few hours before blending. You can freeze the oranges and cranberries in individual bags, then add as much liquid as you need to blend it from frozen as well.
Tips & Tricks
- Add less liquid for a thicker smoothie, or more liquid for a thinner smoothie. The great thing about smoothies is you can adjust them to your taste.
- Taste to see if you might want to add your choice of sweetener. Oranges really vary in their sweetness, so you may need a touch. I like pitted dates or a drizzle of Grade A amber maple syrup in mine. If you oranges are nice and sweet, you won’t need any added sweeteners.
- For more tips about smoothies head over to my How to make a Smoothie + 35 Recipes.
More smoothie recipe inspiration
- Mango Madness Smoothie
- Superfood Tropical Green Smoothie
- Turmeric Morning Glory Smoothie
- Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie
- Glowing Berry Beet Smoothie
And you can find all of our smoothies in the smoothie section in the recipe index! I sure hope you get a chance to make this smoothie soon, and if you do, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below.
- 4 small oranges - about 1 1/2 pounds peeled and quartered
- 1 cup frozen cranberries
- 1 cup orange juice - or 8 oz ginger kombucha
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup yogurt, almond milk, or cashew milk
- Place all the ingredients in the order listed into the blender.
- Blend, increasing the speed to high, and blend until smooth.
- Enjoy right away or refrigerate up to one day.
This recipe was originally published in 2014 but has been updated with new photos, new information & tips in 2023.
14 thoughts on “Cranberry Smoothie”
Very delicious and refreshing! I’ve always loved the cranberry orange combo! Thanks for the recipe!
So glad you enjoyed it, I just love this combo too!
Kari, this was delicious! I didn’t have oranges so I used some little Mandarins and I also used Costco’s Ginger Lemonade kombucha… so good! So refreshing! Didn’t need any additional sweetener. Thank you.
I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, it’s definitely one of my favorites too, and Mandarins are a really good substitute for oranges! Also I need to check out the ginger lemonade kombucha you mentioned, that sounds yummy!
This was fresh and invigorating. My orange was quite tart, so I added a tsp. of coconut sugar to the recipe (I only had 1 orange, so I only made 1/4 recipe). Delicious.
So glad to know you enjoyed it! This is our favorite winter smoothie, just love the cranberry and orange together!
Have you tried this smoothie with either coconut or almond milk, instead of the kombucha? Just curious what that would do to the flavor…
I haven’t tried this smoothie with coconut or almond milk. The kombucha gives it a bright flavor with just a touch of effervescence, and I would guess that almond or coconut milk would make the smoothie creamier, but I don’t know if the flavors would be a good match. If you do end up trying it, be sure to let me know how it goes!
I know this says it makes 2 to 4 servings, but I drank it all in one go and would drink more! Just the right balance of sweet and tart. It is making my heart sing, it’s that good!
This is still one of my all time favorite smoothies, and I’m so glad it’s citrus season again!!!
This Recipe For The Smoothie looks Delicious! Please Change on Your Site Ziplist Is Not Doing this Anymore. if you want to save try epicurious.com!
Thanks for writing about the Ziplist button in the recipe, it must have escaped my attention when I went through and deleted their stuff! We’ve been looking into other possible saving options (like epicurious) but I’m not sure if we’ll add anyone’s save buttons into the site at this point. I hope you enjoy the recipe, it’s one of my all-time favorite smoothies! 🙂
I used a cranberry ginger kombucha and thought it was delicious! My family thought it needed a banana or two to cut the citrus bite ! Delicious both ways!
I’ll add a note to the recipe about additional sweetening if your citrus has a bite, sometimes it’s really sweet but other times it can be rather sour! Glad you enjoyed it!