Canned cranberry sauce can taste just as good as homemade with a little bit of doctoring! 

With just 3 added ingredients, a can of cranberry sauce can be transformed into something that tastes ah-mazing! And it can be used in so many recipes, not just turkey dinner. So be sure to file this better canned cranberry sauce recipe along with all those favorite holiday recipes and tips, because everyone will want it!

bowl of Better Canned Cranberry Sauce with cinnamon sticks

Easy Doctored Canned Cranberry Sauce

  • With just three added ingredients and 3 steps, a better canned cranberry sauce can be made and used in so many ways!
  • Learning how to make canned cranberry sauce taste homemade is easy with this doctored recipe. And it’s so good, no one will suspect it’s not homemade!
  • Make this sauce in advance and freeze it until ready to thaw, heat, and serve! Double the recipe and store in the freezer for future recipe ideas.

cranberry sauce , cinnamon , orange and grand mariner with labels to make Better Canned Cranberry Sauce

Just 3 Ingredients!

CRANBERRY SAUCE: Choose any brand of whole berry cranberry sauce in the can. The jellied variety can be used but will produce a different texture.

ADD-INS: A splash of orange juice and some ground cinnamon is all it takes! Feel free to add a pinch of allspice, nutmeg, orange zest, or even a pumpkin pie spice blend.

EXTRAS: For an extra depth of flavor, add a splash of amaretto or Grand Marnier (the alcohol cooks out leaving behind the flavor).

How to Make Canned Cranberry Sauce Taste Homemade

This recipe is as easy as 1, 2, 3! 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Gently break up the mixture with a spoon.
  3. Simmer until thickened and cool before serving.

adding ingredients together to make Better Canned Cranberry Sauce

Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

Make doctored cranberry sauce and freeze it for up to a month in zippered bags. Or freeze in ice cube trays and pop one or two out to swirl into overnight oats or into sour cream for a tangy dip! 

Serving Suggestions & Tips

Why wait until the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays to make homemade cranberry sauce? Serve it at Easter with ham or use it as a dip with meatballs for a fun appetizer. Leftover cranberry sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

plated Better Canned Cranberry Sauce

More Leftover Ideas for Cranberry Sauce

bowl of Better Canned Cranberry Sauce with cinnamon sticks
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Better Canned Cranberry Sauce

Make a better canned cranberry sauce that tastes just as delicious as homemade.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 6
Author Holly



  • 14 ounces canned whole berry cranberry sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto or Grand mariner optional, to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  • Use a spoon to gently break up the mixture and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Simmer 3 minutes. Cool completely before serving.


  • This recipe can be doubled, and it can be made ahead. Refrigerate for up to 5 days in a covered container.
  • Freeze leftover cranberry sauce for up to a month in a zippered bag. Alternately, freeze in ice cube trays, then transfer to a zippered bag for long term storage. These frozen cranberry cubes are perfect added to smoothies, yogurt or overnight oats.  
5 from 3 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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