Fresh cranberries aren't always available, and when they aren't you can make Cranberry Sauce with Dried Cranberries! It is so easy to make and can be enjoyed throughout the year on your English muffin, swirled into oatmeal, or added to vanilla ice cream.
This delicious homemade cranberry sauce is a perfect addition to any holiday table! But if it's not the time of year when cranberries are readily available, use dried cranberries instead! The tartness of the cranberries go well with turkey, but also with vanilla ice cream, oatmeal, or even slathered on a cranberry muffin!
If you do have fresh cranberries on hand, give this pressure cooker cranberry sauce a try too!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This simple recipe is made with only a few ingredients! You can find all of these ingredients all year round at your local grocery store!
- It can be made ahead of time! This can be made 3-4 days ahead of time or 3 months ahead of time and frozen until ready to serve.
- You can control the ingredients! Sometimes, that canned cranberry jelly has lots of added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other weird ingredients. Not this one though!
You only need a few basic ingredients for this easy recipe.
- Dried cranberries. You will need 2 cups, or a little more than one of those 12-ounce bags.
- Sugar. To make this sweet sauce, we need some sugar.
- Water. You can also use your favorite fruit juice here.
- Clementine. Cut in half.
- Cinnamon. Ground cinnamon will make sure the cinnamon is incorporated into the sauce.
Why Use Dried Cranberries?
Fresh cranberries are one of my favorite fruit. The only problem is they have a very short ripe season window. Usually around the holidays is the only time you can grab a bag of fresh cranberries.
Dried cranberries on the other hand are available year round. I love baking with them and use them in cranberry walnut muffins and oatmeal craisin cookies, as well as snacks for my kids and chicken salad lunches for me. This sauce can be made year round when you use dried cranberries.
Let's Make Cranberry Sauce With Dried Cranberries
Cut the clementine in half. Add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan. Turn the stove on medium heat and cook for 8-10 minutes to thicken the mixture. The dried cranberries will plump up and rehydrate.
Remove the clementine from the pan, discard, and blend the sauce. You can either use a hand blender or a food processor. Blend until the consistency is of a smooth sauce.
Allow the sauce to come to room temperature before refrigerating. As the sauce cools, it will thicken.
Lynn's Tip! Since this is a dried cranberry recipe, the texture will be more like a cranberry relish instead of the jelly-like consistency you get out of a can.
- Change up the liquid! If you prefer an even more intense flavor, instead of a cup of water, you can use apple juice, bottled orange juice, cranberry juice, or your favorite fruit juices to cook the dried cranberries in. You can even add a splash of orange liqueur for even more intensity!
- Change up the spices! I always have ground cinnamon on hand, but if you have cinnamon sticks or ginger root feel free to add that. You can also use a strip of orange zest instead of a small clementine if that is what you have on hand.
- Change up the sugar! I used white sugar, or granulated sugar, but you can use brown sugar, maple syrup, or a combination of the two. If you prefer a sauce that is not very sweet, reduce the amount of sugar to ¼ cup.
Store leftover cranberry sauce in an airtight container. It will stay fresh up to 4 days in the refrigerator. A mason jar is a great place to keep the cranberry sauce and can placed right on your holiday table right in the mason jar.
This cranberry sauce can be made well ahead of your holiday meal and frozen. Make this easy cranberry sauce up to 3 months before you need it. Freeze it in an airtight container that is freezer safe.
To defrost it, place the frozen cranberry sauce in the refrigerator and let it defrost for 24 hours before serving.
How To Serve Cranberry Sauce with Dried Cranberries
- At your Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner on your roast turkey. No Thanksgiving feast is complete without cranberry sauce!
- On your Instant Pot Turkey Tenderloin for a simple dinner idea.
- In leftover turkey sandwiches.
- In breakfast fruit bowls, loaded with oatmeal, fresh fruit, and cranberry sauce swirled in.
- Leftover cranberry sauce can be used to make this cranberry jalapeno dip! Perfect for the weekend after Thanksgiving and watching the games!
Frequently Asked Questions
No! If you prefer a cranberry sauce that is more chunky and has more texture, feel free to leave it! This would make the texture equivalent to a whole berry cranberry sauce instead of a cranberry relish.
Yes! Craisins are the same as dried cranberries. Ocean Spray cranberries came up with the name "Craisins", so usually only cranberries from Ocean Spray are called craisins.
I like to be able to control the sugar content in this homemade cranberry sauce recipe, so I used unsweetened cranberries. If you do choose to use sweetened dried cranberries, adjust the amount of sugar you use and use ¼ cup of white sugar instead of ½ cup.
More Holiday Recipes
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Sourdough Stuffing
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnuts
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Rice Dressing with Bacon
- Italian Stuffed Mushrooms
Cranberry Sauce With Dried Cranberries
- 2 cups Dried Cranberries
- ½ cup Sugar
- 1 ½ cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Clementine Cut in half
- Cut the clementine in half. Add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan. Turn the stove on medium heat and cook for 8-10 minutes to thicken the mixture. The dried cranberries will plump up and rehydrate.
- Remove the clementine from the pan, discard, and blend the sauce. You can either use a hand blender or a food processor. Blend until the consistency is of a smooth sauce. Remove the sauce from the food processor and place it in a serving bowl or an airtight container to cool.
- Allow the sauce to come to room temperature before refrigerating. As the sauce cools, it will thicken.
- Since this is a dried cranberry recipe, the texture will be more like a cranberry relish instead of the jelly-like consistency you get out of a can.
- See blog post above for storage tips and variations.