Cranberry Sauce Freezer Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Easy healthy make ahead cranberry sauce. This fresh sauce is frozen and then cooked for the first time the day of your holiday gathering. Low in sugar and sweet so everyone can enjoy.
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Gluten FreeVegetarian

We’ve got something new for you today – a classic favorite with a twist: Cranberry sauce, but as a make-ahead freezer meal. It’s not your ordinary Thanksgiving staple, it’s a freezer meal marvel that perfectly balances tart cranberries with a flavorful sweetness, making it the perfect companion to your main dishes. It not only adds a pop of color, but its rich, tangy flavor elevates every bite, turning ordinary meals into festive feasts.

Imagine the convenience of having this at your fingertips, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. Our Cranberry Sauce Recipe transforms meal prep from a chore to a delight, guaranteeing you spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying all the things – people – you love. It’s the ultimate time-saver for busy days, holiday dinners, or whenever you have an inkling for a touch of sweetness with your meals.

Curious to see how simple gourmet can be? Grab your apron and let’s get to it!

Why you’ll love this Cranberry Sauce recipe

  • One-pot wonder
  • Cost effective
  • Versatile
  • Extended Shelf Life
Cranberry Sauce
Easy healthy make ahead cranberry sauce. This fresh sauce is frozen and then cooked for the first time the day of your holiday gathering. Low in sugar and sweet so everyone can enjoy.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 97 kcal
Equipment
  • 1 Serving Dish
  • 1 gallon freezer bag
  • 1 Large, deep saute pan OR Instant pot
Ingredients
  
  • 1 1/2 lb fresh cranberries or frozen
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cup Maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Instructions
 
Prep/Freezer Directions:
  • Prepare a gallon freezer bag, labeling according to your preferred method.
  • Add all ingredients to labeled freezer bag.
  • Seal bag, removing as much air as possible and freeze for up to three months.
Cooking directions:
  • Dump contents of gallon freezer bag into a large deep saute pan on the stovetop and set heat to medium high. (frozen cranberries will thaw quickly)
  • Bring cranberries to a boil.
  • Cover and let simmer 20-25 minutes. (Cranberries will start to pop open and mix together into a sauce when finished)
  • Once sauce comes together remove from heat and serve (If you like it warm). Or store in serving container and set into fridge to cool.
  • Serve when ready. (Sauce will thicken in fridge)
Instant Pot Directions:
  • Dump contents of gallon freezer bag into instant pot.
  • Cover with lid, be sure vent is in sealed position, and set to high pressure for 2 minutes.
  • Natural Pressure Release (NPR) for 5-10 minutes, then Quick Release (QR).
  • Stir (Adding in extra honey for added sweetness if desired) then store in fridge to cool if desired. (Sauce will thicken in fridge)

Notes

  • Make it pretty by topping off the cranberries sauce with orange zest. 

Nutrition

Calories: 97kcalCarbohydrates: 14.5gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.1gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 106mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 12.3gCalcium: 15mg
Keyword Cranberry Sauce, Freezer Recipes, Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
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Equipment needed to make this freezer friendly Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 Serving Dish
  • 1 gallon freezer bag
  • 1 Large, deep saute pan OR Instant pot

Ingredients for your Delicious Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 1/2 lb fresh cranberries or frozen
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cup Maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

How to make Family Friendly Cranberry Sauce

Prep/freezer directions:

  1. Prepare a gallon freezer bag, labeling according to your preferred method.
  2. Add all ingredients to labeled freezer bag.
  3. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible and freeze for up to three months.

Cooking directions:

  1. Dump contents of gallon freezer bag into a large deep saute pan on the stovetop and set heat to medium high. (frozen cranberries will thaw quickly)
  2. Bring cranberries to a boil.
  3. Cover and let simmer 20-25 minutes. (Cranberries will start to pop open and mix together into a sauce when finished)
  4. Once sauce comes together remove from heat and serve (If you like it warm). Or store in serving container and set into fridge to cool.
  5. Serve when ready. (Sauce will thicken in fridge)

Instant Pot Directions:

  1. Dump contents of gallon freezer bag into instant pot.
  2. Cover with lid, be sure vent is in sealed position, and set to high pressure for 2 minutes.
  3. Natural Pressure Release (NPR) for 5-10 minutes, then Quick Release (QR).
  4. Stir (Adding in extra honey for added sweetness if desired) then store in fridge to cool if desired. (Sauce will thicken in fridge)

Popular Substitutions and Additions:

Substitutions:

  • Maple Syrup: Changing out the raw honey for maple syrup brings a rich, deep sweetness.

Additions:

  • Cinnamon: Add 1 tsp of ground cinnamon for a comforting, spiced depth of flavor.
  • Ginger: Add 1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger for a warm, spicy kick.

How to Reheat and Store Cranberry Sauce

Best way to store leftover Cranberry Sauce?

Cranberry sauce is best stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Make sure to allow the cranberry sauce to completely cool to room temperature before storing.

How long will Cranberry Sauce last in the fridge?

When the cranberry sauce has properly been allowed to cool to room temperature, and the proper storage containers have been used, your leftovers will remain fresh for 3-5 days.

Can I freeze Cranberry Sauce?

We always recommend freezing before cooking. Freezing after cooking has the potential to chance the texture of food, and the flavor profile may also be impacted by repeated freezing and thawing. To make this recipe into a raw freezer meal, add all ingredients into a freezer bag, remove excess air, seal and store for up to 3 months.

How to reheat Easy Cranberry Sauce

This is best reheated on the stovetop, but you could also choose to reheat in the oven or microwave as well. To reheat on the stovetop, place the leftovers in a saucepan, with a splash of water to prevent sticking. Then stir occasionally until desired temperature has been reached.

Cranberry Sauce FAQs

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Don’t forget to come back and let me know how your Cranberry Sauce turned out!

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