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The Best Homemade Canned Cranberry Sauce Recipe

There’s nothing like tart cranberries on the side of your holiday plate. Served up alongside roast Thanksgiving turkey, it tends to make the holiday season more complete. 

But most people grimace when you mention canned sauce. However, I’ve got the best recipe to make your own cranberry sauce with canned sauce, which is better than all the rest.

The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce on a plate with turkey and mashed potatoes.

To cut down on the fuss, a lot of people just pour out canned cranberry sauce and call it a day.

But that canned stuff always seems like it’s missing something. That’s why I’ve doctored it up to make the best homemade canned cranberry sauce recipe.

It starts with canned cranberry sauce and comes out so aromatic and flavorful everyone thinks you started with fresh cranberries and cooked it completely from scratch.

Put this time-saver in your recipe box today!

Cranberry sauce on a plate with turkey and mashed potatoes.

An Easy Recipe for the Holiday Season

For Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner, I am busy enough with the turkey, ham, beef roasts, side dishes, and desserts. But to me, these holiday meals just aren’t complete without whole-berry sauce. 

Fresh cranberry sauce is wonderful, but it takes time to make.

And while that’s not usually a problem, when you’re juggling tons of other dishes in the kitchen, it seems silly not to find a loophole. And boy, have I found it! 

Instead of using whole berries from fresh, you’ll use a can of cranberry sauce, the kind with the whole berries and another can of jellied sauce, to make this perfect complement to your Thanksgiving meal. 


  • Can of whole berry cranberry sauce
  • Can of jellied cranberry sauce
  • Orange juice
  • Orange zest
  • Crushed pineapple
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Brown sugar
Cranberry sauce on a Christmas plate with mashed potatoes and turkey.

My Favorite Way to Make Any Holiday Dinner Complete

It’s just 10 minutes on the stovetop until it’s ready, so much easier than using fresh whole berries. These simple ingredients may even be in your kitchen already. 

And who says you have to wait for those fall and winter holidays to make this side dish?

Serve it with pork chops, pork roast, roast beef, chicken, ham, or anything else. And don’t forget the mashed potatoes.

Also, if you’re doing leftover turkey sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy, adding a little dollop of this tangy cranberry sauce gives it that extra special something to really knock your socks off. 

Step-By-Step Instructions

If this is your first time making cranberry sauce, trust me, you will love this recipe.

A can of jellied cranberry sauce in a saucepan.

Start by adding the cranberry sauce to a medium saucepan. I mash it up a little bit so it will be easier to mix with the other ingredients.

Whole berry canned cranberry sauce in a saucepan.

Next, add the whole-berry canned cranberry sauce to the saucepan.

Crushed pineapple in a saucepan with cranberry sauce.

Drain the juice off of the can of crushed pineapple. Add the crushed pineapple to the saucepan.

Pouring orange juice into a saucepan with cranberry sauce.

Next, pour fresh orange juice into the pan.

For this recipe, I squeezed the juice from an orange. I also got the orange zest from the same orange. If you don’t have an orange, just use bottled juice.

If you have a citrus juicer, that will help you get quite a bit of juice. If not, you should be able to squeeze out about 1/3 of a cup.

Orange zest on top of crushed pineapple  and cranberry sauce.

Add the zest of an orange to the saucepan.

The orange zest will add a ton of flavor and pop to the dish.

Ingredients for cranberry sauce in a saucepan.

Next, add the cinnamon and brown sugar and stir the ingredients.

Cooking canned cranberry sauce in a saucepan.

Cook the cranberry sauce for about 10-15 minutes to let all the flavors meld together.

You can either serve hot cranberry sauce or place it in the refrigerator to eat it cold. You can make it ahead of time and serve it the next day on your holiday table.

Cranberry sauce on a Christmas plate with mashed potatoes and turkey.

How To Store The Cranberry Sauce

You can store leftover cranberry sauce in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated.

More Delicious Holiday Recipes

The Best Homemade Canned Cranberry Sauce Recipe

The traditional way of making cranberry sauce can take a while. But if you want to make fresh homemade cranberry sauce, using this doctored-up canned hack strikes the perfect balance of flavor.

Everyone will think you let it simmer all day, and you’ll be smirking while you hide the cans and hide your secret. Go for it and easily feed everyone at any large family gathering with this tasty cranberry sauce!

Cranberry sauce on a Christmas plate with mashed potatoes and turkey.

The Best Homemade Canned Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Homemade canned cranberry sauce is a great recipe for those that want delicious and easy. The popular side dish for the holidays creates a homemade sauce that rivals any other recipe.


  • 14 ounce can of whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 14 ounce can of jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1/3 cup of orange juice (squeezed from a fresh orange)
  • 1 Tablespoon of orange zest
  • 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple (in pineapple juice), drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar


  1. Add the cans of cranberry sauce to a medium saucepan and mix.
  2. Next, add the orange juice and zest.
  3. Drain the juice from the crushed pineapple and add the pineapple to the pan.
  4. Add the cinnamon and brown sugar and mix.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes on medium heat to meld the flavors.
  6. Serve or refrigerate for later.


If you want the cranberry sauce cold, you will need to refrigerate it for at least three hours.

Get the crushed pineapple in pineapple juice, not syrup.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 85gFiber: 9gSugar: 64gProtein: 3g

Nutrition is approximate.

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