I’ve got the perfect use for those leftover cranberries this holiday season: a Cranberry Smoothie! If you’ve never tried cranberry in a smoothie then you need to blend this recipe. It’s tart, creamy, tangy and has that classic orange and cranberry pairing.

It’s also a no-banana smoothie that’s dairy-free and can easily turn into a healthy breakfast smoothie or snack.

glass full of pink cranberry smoothie topped with fresh sliced cranberries and a sprig of rosemary, sitting on a tea towel.

Once you’ve finished prepping for your Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes or next holiday party, instead of losing those leftover cranberries in the back of the refrigerator put them in the freezer! Then you’ll be ready to enjoy this gorgeous pink berry smoothie whenever the mood strikes, especially if you need something to balance out that pan of Gluten-Free Brownies.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients for a Cranberry Smoothie
  2. Easy Swaps in your Cranberry Smoothie
  3. How to Make a Cranberry Smoothie
  4. Cranberry Smoothie FAQs
  5. More Holiday Smoothie Recipes
  6. Orange Cranberry Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients for a Cranberry Smoothie

labeled ingredients for a cranberry smoothie including chia seeds, orange juice, frozen peaches, cranberries and frozen pineapple.

This fruit smoothie is a party of flavors and hits just right for those of us who like a bit of sharpness. Here’s what I’m putting in the blender:

  • Orange juice: Use high pulp (more fiber!) and find one with no added sugar.
  • Cranberries: When this berry starts showing up in my grocery store I often grab more than one bag and freeze them to use in my Cranberry Green Smoothie as well as mixed into Steel Cut Oats and more.
  • Frozen pineapple: This is a staple in my freezer drawer since it goes in so many smoothies. It’s a great way to get more vitamin C into this smoothie as well as natural sweetness.
  • Frozen peaches: I’m adding peaches for added creaminess. Frozen ones work best, and should be easy to find in the freezer section of the grocery store.
  • Chia seeds: Since this fruit smoothie is high in natural sugar and a little on the thin side I’m tossing in chia seeds right from the get-go. Chia seeds add protein and healthy fats and turn into a gel that thickens up a smoothie easily.

Cranberries come from the same family as blueberries and have all the superfood powers, too. They have super special plant compounds that can help prevent stomach cancer as well as urinary tract infections.

Easy Swaps in your Cranberry Smoothie

Smoothies are great because you can customize them depending on your taste preferences and the time of day you’re blending. Here are a few easy swaps for this fun recipe to make it fit your nutritional needs:

If you don’t have orange juice on hand then use 1 orange (peeled) + 1/4 cup water.

To turn this smoothie into a meal replacement add Greek yogurt, vegan yogurt or homemade protein powder. Look for yogurt that is sugar-free or has a low sugar content.

Swap peaches with frozen mango. Use fresh or frozen cranberries. If you’ve got a cup of leftover cranberry sauce then you can use that, too!

How to Control the Level of Sweetness

We all have very different taste preferences, and that’s okay! People take the same smoothie and bump up the sweetness or tone it down to make sure it’s just the way they like it. Here are a few tricks to get the sweetness levels in this beverage perfect for you.

If this smoothie isn’t sweet enough for you then add in honey or maple syrup, really any natural sweetener you want. If it’s too sweet then you can swap the fresh orange juice with a whole orange instead or use 1/2 cup orange juice + 1/2 cup dairy-free milk or water.

You can also swap the orange juice with unsweetened cranberry juice and one orange (peeled). It will change the flavor yet still taste great.

How to Make a Cranberry Smoothie

This smoothie is super simple to make since it doesn’t have leafy greens.

blender container full of frozen fruits and orange juice for a smoothie.

Step 1: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed to ensure all ingredients are fully pureed.

blender container pouring pink smoothie into a glass on a tea towel.

Step 2: Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy!

Depending on the type of blender you have, you may not need to stop and scrape down the sides. If you see some ingredients not getting fully integrated, feel free to take this step. No one wants to drink a chunky smoothie.

Cranberry Smoothie FAQs

Can you eat raw cranberries in smoothies?

Raw cranberries are great in smoothies! Since they are pretty tart, pair them with sweeter fruits like oranges or bananas to help balance out the sharpness. I like to freeze leftover cranberries and then toss them in by the handful into any mixed berry smoothie I’m making.

What are the benefits of cranberries in smoothies?

Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and plant compounds that can help fight cancer, UTIs and heart disease. Adding some to your next smoothie will benefit your body in a wide variety of ways. Plus if you want to enjoy them during their fresh season, they are an inexpensive fruit to buy!

Are cranberries good for you?

Yes, cranberries are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin E, among other vitamins and minerals. They actually have unique plant compounds that help them prevent urinary tract infections. Other antioxidants and nutrients in cranberries can help prevent various cancers.

glass full of pink cranberry smoothie topped with fresh sliced cranberries and a sprig of rosemary, sitting on a tea towel.

More Holiday Smoothie Recipes

Using seasonal produce means leaning into what is already available. If you haven’t noticed, it’s hard to find cranberries outside of Autumn/Winter! So don’t be afraid to dive into some new flavors and try a Fig Smoothie or Pomegranate Smoothie, depending on what’s available at the grocery store.

If cold smoothies are hard to sip during cooler months then you can also turn to warm smoothies! My warm Apple Pie Smoothie is a welcome hug while this warm Hot Chocolate Smoothie is a great snack for the family after a chilly day outside.

If you find yourself making sweet potatoes on repeat this time of year, then use the leftovers for a Sweet Potato Smoothie. Sometimes the most unique ingredients make the best smoothies.

Will you rate + review this Cranberry Smoothie once you try it? And let me know if you make any swaps!

4.40 from 96 votes

Orange Cranberry Smoothie

This Cranberry Smoothie is bursting with citrus flavor. It's got cranberries, pineapple and peaches and uses fresh orange juice as the liquid base, creating the perfect blend of tart, sweet and delicious. Try this refreshing smoothie as is, or jazz it up with a sprig of rosemary + slices of cranberry and pineapple.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Smoothie
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Serves: 1

Equipment

  • blender

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup orange juice high pulp, no added sugar
  • 1 cup cranberries frozen
  • ½ cup pineapple frozen
  • ½ cup peaches frozen
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

For Garnish:

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • cranberries sliced
  • pineapple sliced

Instructions 

  • Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender as needed.
  • Pour into a glass and enjoy! Top with any ingredients you want for a more elevated finish.

Notes

  • For lower natural sugar, use 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup water or sparkling water. 
  • Swap peaches with nectarines or mango.
  • Use at least 1 frozen fruit for a refreshingly cool smoothie.
  • Feel free to add 1 cup of leafy greens per serving.
  • Swap chia seeds with hemp hearts or homemade protein powder.

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal, Carbohydrates: 61g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Sodium: 17mg, Potassium: 809mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 40g, Vitamin A: 861IU, Vitamin C: 181mg, Calcium: 125mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

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Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was a little watery when I made it (I think my orange had a LOT of water in it), so I added in 2 scoops of homemade protein powder, and it blended up + thickened nicely. Good smoothie!

  2. 5 stars
    I love this smoothie! I had it for breakfast so added whey protein powder, oats soaked overnight in almond milk and for my healthy fats I added 18g almonds. This made it super creamy and filling!

  3. 4 stars
    This one is interesting, I think cranberries will take some getting used to but it not bad.

    1. Hey Nicole,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this smoothie recipe. If it was too tart you can always add in some extra all natural sweeteners, like dates, honey, or maple syrup!

  4. 4 stars
    My cranberry skins didn’t all blend so well, but i was surprised how good it was. Next fall I will for sure buy extra fresh cranberries to freeze for smoothies!!!

    1. Hey Jessica,

      If your cranberries didn’t blend so well, I would try blending that first with your liquid and then add the other ingredients in.

    1. Hey Sam,

      You can totally add some dried cranberries instead. I would probably add a couple teaspoons of water since they do not have any liquid in them.

      Enjoy!

    2. I saw that it’s okay to use dried cranberries you advised a couple teaspoons of water but the recipe calls for 1 cup of water so if we are using dried do you suggest 1/2 Cup of cranberries and 2 tsp of water of 1 cup of water +2tsp pls advise!

    3. Yes I would add the 2 tsp of water in addition to the 1 cup of water. That way your smoothie is not too thick with the dried cranberries.

  5. 4 stars
    While I was excited about the orange-cranberry combo, I was also a little hesitant about it being in smoothie form. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was! It was quite tart, and I considered adding some agave nectar or honey, but really didn’t want to add the sugar and made it through just fine. haha I actually had cranberries and an orange leftover from Christmas, so this was a perfect way to use them up!

    1. Hey Dawn,

      I am so happy that you still gave this recipe a try and enjoyed it! Don’t ever feel guilty about adding in some extra sweeteners. Sometimes the fruits we use are not fully ripe so they are not as sweet which will make your smoothie not as enjoyable. So feel free to add in some dates, honey, or maple syrup!

  6. We loved this one! We added a tbsp of chia seeds and a scoop of vegan protein powder. It was great! My kids loved it too!

    1. Hey Kim,

      That sounds so delicious! Way to make it into a meal!!

  7. 5 stars
    Day 5. Made this with a small change. Couldn’t find cranberries so I used “lingonberries” instead. So good! #simplegreensmoothies #simplegreensmoothies30daychallenge

    1. Hey Anette,

      That is a really great substitute! So glad you were able to make this smoothie work for you.

  8. Love the ideas on how to boost or alter smoothie. Very helpful. The tang of cranberries, while tasty, doesn’t always set well with my belly so sometimes I do use one of the change up ideas! Thanks!

    1. Hey Jennifer,

      Thanks for sharing! That is why we love this challenge because you get to really know what works for you and what doesn’t.

  9. Not my favorite b/c I am not huge on cranberries nor orange, but still good to try new things and would be loved by others, I bet.

    1. Hey Martianne,

      That is why we love this challenge because you get to really know what works for you and what doesn’t.

  10. 5 stars
    Love The cranberries! This will definitely go into the permanent rotation 🙂

  11. 4 stars
    I used raspberry instead since I couldn’t find any cranberry. I like the slight tartness from the raspberry.

    1. Hey Sheera,

      Love that substitute option. So awesome you made this smoothie work for you!

  12. 5 stars
    This was my first time using cranberries in a smoothie, and I am now a huge fan. The orange and cranberry combo is a winner.

    1. Hey Elizabeth,

      Thank you for sharing how much you loved this recipe!

  13. 5 stars
    First time I ever use cranberries in my smoothies and I L O V E them now!!!!

    1. Hey Carmen,

      That is so awesome that you loved it so much! Cranberries for the win!!

  14. I love cranberries so I loved this smoothie. It was very tart and sweet at the same time.