Wondering how to make boring canned cranberry sauce taste homemade? Look no further! This recipe will make that canned stuff *SHINE BRIGHT* on your holiday table! Just a few simple ingredients and about ten minutes is all it takes to make a can of cranberry sauce taste fresh and homemade!
I laugh as I write this because when I first met my husband, he insisted on Ocean Spray canned jellied cranberry sauce for every Thanksgiving dinner….you know, the jellied sauce…the kind you slice that shows the outline of the can?!
His taste buds have evolved since then, but I will say I can’t go through a holiday season without buying him a can of it and putting it– straight from the can–on the holiday table!
We laugh about it, but there is really nothing wrong with canned cranberry sauce! All it needs is a little bit of doctoring up to make cranberry sauce from a can taste like homemade!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Such an EASY fix to turn canned cranberry sauce into your own special homemade sauce.
- Only uses FIVE ingredients and takes no time to make!
- The perfect complement to your holiday dinner table.
- SO many other uses for this sauce aside from the holidays!
- You can use whole-berry canned cranberry sauce or the jellied version.
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this kicked-up Canned Cranberry Sauce Recipe:
Canned Cranberry Sauce: You have two choices when you buy a can of cranberry space: Whole Cranberry Sauce and Jellied Sauce. EITHER will work in this recipe! I prefer whole berry, but honestly, there isn’t a lot of difference in taste or texture between the two! Just sayin’.
Maple Syrup: Canned cranberry sauce on its own is always sweetened. But the maple syrup adds a deeper, rich flavor. All you need is a touch!
Fresh Oranges: The juice of one big orange + the zest is the perfect tartness to balance out the sweetness of the cranberry sauce.
HOW TO MAKE CANNED CRANBERRY SAUCE TASTE BETTER: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with the exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Add canned cranberry sauce to a medium pan. Using a wooden spoon, break it up a bit. Then, add all other ingredients and stir to combine.
Step 2: Bring to a boil, then simmer 1-2 minutes, stirring, until flavors marry together. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.
⭐️ CONFIDENCE TIP ⭐️
Don’t be afraid to TASTE your homemade sauce as it cooks. Too sweet? Add a little lemon juice. Too tart? Add a bit more maple syrup. Adjust the flavors until they are just how you like! That is the beauty of cooking at home!
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: If you are making this cranberry sauce recipe ahead, store it in an air-tight container in the fridge OR cover it tightly with plastic wrap for up to 5 days. Store leftover cranberry sauce the same way.
- Reheating: If you want to reheat your cranberry sauce, place it in a saucepan over the stove and heat through.
- Freezing: Cool completely. Then transfer cranberry sauce to a large zip-top bag and freeze flat for up to 6 months.
OTHER WAYS TO MAKE CANNED CRANBERRY SAUCE TASTE BETTER
Here are a few other things you might want to add to your homemade canned cranberry sauce to doctor it up a bit:
- Chopped nuts
- Ground ginger
- Brown sugar
- Raisins/dried fruit
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This is totally a personal preference! Some people like hot cranberry sauce and others like it chilled. My personal preference is serving this cranberry sauce at room temperature.
Canned cranberry sauce is already thick on it’s own. This cranberry sauce recipe with the added ingredients will continue to thicken as it simmers on the stove. No need to do anything further.
Although cranberry sauce is a popular side dish alongside Thanksgiving turkey, you can also use it in so many other ways (not just around the holidays, either!)
* Alongside pork dishes such as pork chops or a pork roast.
* As a topping for ice cream.
* Mixed with yogurt and granola for a quick breakfast.
* A topping for pancakes, waffles, and french toast (also try my caramel apple pie filling for this too!)
* Use it to make overnight oats.
* As a topping on toast or English muffin.
* My favorite…on leftover turkey sandwiches!
TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
OTHER FAVORITE RECIPES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Canned Cranberry Sauce That Tastes Homemade
- 2 14 oz. cans cranberry sauce Jellied or whole berry cranberry sauce are both fine! You can also use a mix of the two.
- 2-3 tbsp orange juice (juice of one orange) + 2-3 tsp orange zest (zest from one orange)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (See Note 1) you can also use brown sugar
- In a medium saucepan or skillet over medium heat, combine canned cranberry sauce and all other ingredients. Stir well to combine. You can use a wooden spoon to break up the canned sauce or use a whisk if you want more of a smooth cranberry sauce.
- Bring to a boil, then let the sauce simmer 1-2 minutes over low heat. Serve warm or transfer to a serving dish and chill until you are ready to enjoy.