Two quilted half-pint jars of home canned cranberry stand on a wooden board with fresh cranberries and oranges slices around.

Homemade canned cranberry sauce is packed with sweet-tart flavor that is so much better than the store-bought stuff, and with just four ingredients, it couldn’t be simpler to can at home!

Of course, this whole berry Cranberry Sauce recipe directly from the makers of Ball® home canning products is great to put out on your Thanksgiving table (and it takes a dish off your turkey day to-do list), but once you have it stashed in your pantry, you’ll be amazed at how many uses you’ll find for cranberry sauce.

Serve it as a condiment to roasted pork or roasted chicken. Slather it onto a turkey sandwich. Pour it onto brie or softened goat cheese for a speedy appetizer. It’s so versatile! Let’s get canning.

Top view of a wooden spoon scooping into an open jar of home canned cranberry sauce.

What ingredients will I need?

This canned cranberry sauce only needs four ingredients—all of which are readily available at your local grocery store. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sugar—just regular granulated sugar
  • Water
  • Fresh cranberries—you can get these in most grocery stores during the fall months
  • Orange zest

A wooden spoon scoops from an open jar of homemade jellied cranberry.

Don’t I need pectin?

Nope! Even though cranberry sauce is basically just cranberry jam, you don’t need added pectin to get a good gel. That’s because cranberries are naturally rich in pectin—heating the sauce will activate the pectin and cause the cranberry sauce to thicken.

What are the best jars in which to can this cranberry sauce?

We like putting this cranberry sauce in Ball® Half-Pint Jars—it’s the perfect size to serve cranberry sauce as a condiment for a meal. If you need more for a larger gathering (like Thanksgiving), just open a couple of jars!

Top view of a spoonful of cranberry sauce resting across the top of an open canning jar.

How do you serve canned cranberry?

Yes, cranberry sauce can be eaten alone, but we think it really shines as a condiment to roasted meat like roasted turkeyroasted chicken, or roasted pork

A serving of cranberry sauce on a plate with slices of turkey breast, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

Do you heat up canned cranberry sauce?

Nope! Serve cranberry sauce cold or at room temperature. If you heat up cranberry sauce, it will lose some of its gel and become too thin to be enjoyable.

How long is canned cranberry sauce good for?

When properly canned and stored in a cool dark place, cranberry sauce will last indefinitely as long as the seal is intact. However, the flavor, nutritional density, and color will start to decline past the one-year mark, so both Ball® and the USDA recommend eating the cranberry sauce within a year.

A small wooden spoon with a scoop of sauce rests atop an open quilted half-pint jar.

How long can cranberry sauce last in the fridge?

Once opened, we recommend storing your cranberry sauce in the fridge and eating it within one week.

 
Two quilted half-pint jars of home canned cranberry stand on a wooden board with fresh cranberries and oranges slices around.

Homemade Canned Cranberry Sauce

Yield: About 8 half-pint (8-ounce) jars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Canning cranberry sauce is one of the easiest canning jobs – once you know how. Make homemade canned cranberry sauce with these step by step instructions.

Recipe provided by the makers of Ball canning products.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 8 cups fresh cranberries (about 2 pounds)
  • Grated zest of 1 large orange, optional

Instructions

  1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil hard for 5 minutes.  Add cranberries and  return mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until all berries burst, and liquid  begins to sheet from a metal spoon, about 15 minutes. Stir in orange zest, if using, during the last few minutes of cooking
  3. Ladle hot cranberry sauce into hot jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  4. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 128 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 28Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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