It’s so easy to make canned cranberry sauce taste like homemade with a few ingredients!

When fresh cranberries aren’t available, make this doctored cranberry sauce recipe to save the day! Cinnamon and a secret ingredient make this sauce taste fantastic.

It’s the perfect tangy and sweet addition to any holiday spread!

close up of Better Canned Cranberry Sauce in a bowl with a spoon full beside it

A Better Canned Cranberry Sauce!

  • It only takes 3 ingredients and 3 minutes to create a better cranberry sauce to use in all your holiday recipes!
  • Simple & delish! This canned cranberry sauce recipe delivers all the full-bodied flavor of freshly made cranberry sauce without the extended prep or cooking time!
  • Why wait until festive holidays to make homemade cranberry sauce? Serve it with an Easter ham or use it as a dip with meatballs for a fun appetizer.
cranberry sauce , cinnamon , orange and grand mariner with labels to make Better Canned Cranberry Sauce

Just 3 Ingredients!

Canned Cranberry Sauce – Look for the whole cranberry sauce instead of the jelly variety, which will make a sauce with a different texture! You can also add leftover cranberry sauce to this recipe as well.

Liquid – Orange juice can be switched out with apple or pineapple juice, but a liquid is needed to loosen the sauce before it cooks down. If using fresh orange juice, zest a little rind to add to the pot! If juice isn’t available, use the same amount in water and add a teaspoon of brown sugar or honey.

Spices – Cinnamon or cinnamon sticks infuse their warm flavor and fragrance into cranberry sauce. A dash of nutmeg, allspice, or cloves will work, too!

Variations – Really dress up your cranberry sauce by adding some chopped apples, pears, or chopped pecans. A splash of Amaretto, Grand Marnier, rum, or brandy adds a depth of flavor but is totally optional.

adding ingredients together to make Better Canned Cranberry Sauce

How to Make Canned Cranberry Sauce Better?

  1. Make this better cranberry sauce in minutes that’s as good as homemade!
  2. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer.
  3. Break up the mixture with a spoon and simmer until thickened.

Serving and Storage Ideas!

Leftover cranberry sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Smear it on a turkey sandwich or use it to make cranberry turkey pinwheels. Mix it with some cream cheese for a tangy, festive dip, add some to whipped butter, and use it to top muffins, or add this cranberry shortcake to your round-up of holiday recipes.

Make batches of this canned cranberry sauce recipe up to a month ahead of time and freeze in quart-sized freezer bags. Thaw portions in the fridge overnight and use as a dessert topping, a dip, or as a spread on a turkey sandwich!

bowl of Better Canned Cranberry Sauce with a spoon

More Tasty Holiday Sides!

Have you tried this Canned Cranberry Sauce Recipe? Leave a comment and rating below!

close up of Better Canned Cranberry Sauce in a bowl with a spoon full beside it
5 from 3 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Canned Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Use this simple recipe to 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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