Dairy Free/ Gluten-Free/ Sauces, Dips & Dressings/ Vegetarian & Vegan

Cranberry Sauce with Dried Cranberries

Make up a batch of homemade cranberry sauce using dried cranberries. Simple and quick to make and just as tasty as fresh!
Overhead shot of cranberry sauce in a glass jar.

Last Updated on December 7, 2021 by Betty Davies

If you can’t get hold of fresh cranberries this Thanksgiving or Christmas, don’t fret, you can still make a delicious homemade cranberry sauce with dried cranberries. Simple and easy to make in a matter of minutes, it’s perfectly sweet and tangy and is a great alternative to canned.

Cranberry sauce in a glass jar on a cutting board.

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When it comes to cranberry sauce, homemade wins hands down every single time! Super quick and easy to make and the flavors are so much fresher and brighter.

If you are having trouble sourcing fresh cranberries this year, then this cranberry sauce made with dried cranberries is a great option. You still get that homemade great taste, but it also means you can make it any time of year!

Be sure to try check out my brown sugar cranberry sauce and whiskey cranberry sauce too!

Why you will love this recipe!

  • Simple ingredients: You only need four simple ingredients to make this festive recipe, all easy to source and likely to have to hand already.
  • Quick and easy: Just add everything to a pot and let simmer. Making your own cranberry sauce is so easy so ditch the canned jelly!
  • Make ahead: This holiday condiment can be made way ahead of time and it freezes well too.
  • Dietary info: This dried cranberry sauce is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
Cranberry sauce served in a green pot with curled orange peel.

Ingredients

  • Cranberries: This recipe uses dried rather than fresh or frozen cranberries. It’s perfectly convenient and tastes just as good!
  • Cranberry juice: Because dried cranberries are dehydrated, we want to add some of that liquid back into the fruits, so as well as water add in a little cranberry juice.
  • Sugar: I like to use a mix of white and brown sugar in this recipe. The brown sugar adds a nice complex sweetness while the white helps to cut through the tartness of the cranberries.
  • Orange juice: I like to add in a little fresh orange juice to my cranberry sauce, it’s optional but adds a great flavor.

How to make cranberry sauce with dried cranberries

Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe!

  • Add all of the ingredients to a pot (photo 1).
  • Simmer until the cranberries plump and the sauce has thickened (photo 2).
Two step by step photos to show how to make the recipe.

Recipe Variations

This dried cranberry sauce is pretty delicious as it is, though you can easily make it your own. Try swapping out the cranberry juice for apple juice, or add in a little cinnamon or nutmeg.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make this sauce with fresh cranberries?

This recipe contains more liquid compared to a sauce made with fresh or frozen cranberries. You can adapt this recipe though to make it work for either of these options, simply skip the added in cranberry juice. Simmer the pot until the cranberries start to pop, then take it off of the heat and let it cool.

How long does it keep?

This dried cranberry sauce will keep well for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Let the sauce fully cool before transferring it to an airtight container or sealable jar. It can be used straight out of the fridge, or you can heat it gently on the stovetop if you prefer.

Can you freeze it?

Yes! This freezes really well and will keep for up to 3 months. Let cool before freezing in an airtight container. Thaw the sauce at room temperature or in the fridge overnight to use.

A jar of dried cranberry sauce with some on a teaspoon next to it.

Serving Suggestions

This cranberry sauce with dried cranberries is great to serve as part of your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner alongside your turkey, and the leftovers are perfect to use in other recipes like my cranberry baked chicken breasts or brie cranberry crostini.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Compared to making this sauce with fresh cranberries, the simmering time will take a little longer to allow the cranberries to plump up. About 10 to 15 minutes, rather than 5 minutes, are required.
  • The sauce will thicken as it cools thanks to the pectin in the cranberries. To loosen it back up, you can reheat it and add in a little water.
  • I think this has cranberry sauce has the perfect balance of sweetness. Taste it when it’s done and add a little honey, maple syrup or other liquid sweetener if you prefer it sweeter. If you add granulated sugar you can end up with a grainy sauce.
Dried cranberry sauce on a spoon.

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Overhead shot of cranberry sauce in a glass jar.

Cranberry Sauce with Dried Cranberries

Make up a batch of homemade cranberry sauce using dried cranberries. Simple and quick to make and just as tasty as fresh!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 8 servings (about 1 cup)
Calories: 177kcal
Author: Betty Davies

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces dried cranberries (175g)
  • ½ cup cranberry juice (120ml)
  • 1 cup water (240ml)
  • ½ cup white sugar (100g)
  • ½ cup brown sugar (100g)
  • juice of half and orange
  • orange zest to serve

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a small pot and place on a medium high heat.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes til the sauce has thickened and the cranberries have plumped up.
  • Let cool before serving. As it cools, the sauce will thicken further.

Notes

  • The sauce will thicken as it cools thanks to the pectin in the cranberries. To loosen it back up, you can reheat it and add in a little water.
  • I think this has cranberry sauce has the perfect balance of sweetness. Taste it when it’s done and add a little honey, maple syrup or other liquid sweetener if you prefer it sweeter. If you add granulated sugar you can end up with a grainy sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

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