Cranberry sauce is a sweet and tart sauce or relish made from cranberries, commonly served as a condiment or a side dish with Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner. This recipe for cranberry sauce using dried cranberries is a delicious and easy-to-make alternative to making it with fresh cranberries.
This dried cranberry sauce recipe is perfect for busy holiday cooks, as it is quick and easy to make. It is the perfect accompaniment to tandoori turkey and an Indian-inspired Thanksgiving meal.
Why you will love this recipe?
- This homemade cranberry sauce recipe is simple and easy to make. You don't need fresh cranberries, making it super convenient.
- No one will know you used dried cranberries instead of fresh ones. It brings out the same flavors and textures you expect in regular cranberry sauce.
- Don't wait for the cranberry to be in season - this delicious homemade cranberry sauce can be enjoyed whenever you like. It's perfect for any time of year, bringing a touch of festive flavor whenever you want.
Cranberries: I have used sweetened dried cranberries (craisins) in this recipe.
Juice: I am using cranberry juice and orange juice in this recipe. I am also using the zest of the orange. You can replace cranberry juice with apple juice.
Spices: I am using ground cinnamon and ground cloves.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Citrus: Enhance the citrusy notes by using different citrus fruits. Substitute orange juice with grapefruit, lemon, or lime juice for a tangy and refreshing taste.
Herbs: Infuse the sauce with a hint of herbs like rosemary or thyme. The earthy undertones will add a layer of complexity to the sweetness.
Spicy: For a bit of kick, add a touch of red pepper flakes or hot sauce. The subtle heat will delightfully balance the sweetness.
Sweetener: Use maple syrup, brown sugar, or other sweeteners instead of the white sugar of your choice to make the sauce.
Step 1: Place cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, cranberry juice, sugar, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves in a medium saucepan. Combine well and place it on medium heat.
Step 2: Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 7-8 minutes or until the cranberries plump up.
Step 3: In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Slowly add the slurry to the cranberry mixture, stirring continuously.
Step 4: Mix for one minute, then turn off the heat.
Do not overcook the sauce. Dried cranberries will plump up and soften as they cook, so it is important not to overcook the sauce. If you overcook the sauce, it will lose its tart flavor.
If you want a sweeter sauce, add more sugar. Adjust the amount of sugar to balance the tartness of the cranberries. Dried cranberries are tart but also have sugar content in them, so taste and adjust as you go.
Instead of using ground spices, you can use whole spices. Use 1-2 small cinnamon sticks and 2-3 cloves for this recipe.
If you prefer a smooth sauce, you can use an immersion blender or hand blender to achieve the desired texture. For a chunkier sauce, simply use a spoon to gently crush some of the cranberries.
Holiday table: The classic pairing - serve cranberry sauce with roasted meats like turkey, chicken, or pork. It is perfect for an Indian-inspired Thanksgiving menu and pairs with dishes like tandoori turkey, curried green bean casserole, masala mashed potatoes, and Indian-style stuffing.
Sandwiches: Spread this cranberry relish on sandwiches, especially those with leftover holiday meats like leftover turkey sandwiches.
Toast and breakfast: Spread this sauce on toast or bagels, adding a fruity touch to your morning routine. You can also swirl it into yogurt or oatmeal for a breakfast treat. I like to serve them with this pumpkin zucchini bread for a perfect Fall breakfast.
Desserts: Use this cranberry relish as a topping for desserts like cheesecakes or ice cream. Its tartness can balance the sweetness of the desserts.
Yes, you can use fresh cranberries if you prefer. Just keep in mind that the sweetness of the sauce may vary slightly, so you may need to adjust the sugar accordingly.
Properly stored in an airtight container, this cranberry sauce can last in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Yes, you can freeze cranberry sauce. Transfer it to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag, and it should be good for up to 2-3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.
Yes, this cranberry sauce recipe is gluten-free. However, always check the labels of your ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free if you have dietary restrictions.
Absolutely! In fact, making it a day or two in advance can allow the flavors to meld together. Store it in the refrigerator and reheat gently when ready to serve.
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Cranberry Sauce using Dried Cranberries
- Place cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, cranberry juice, sugar, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves in a medium saucepan.
- Combine well and place it on medium heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 7-8 minutes, or until the cranberries plump up.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.
- Slowly add the slurry to the cranberry mixture stirring continuously. Keep mixing for one minute, then turn off the heat.
- The sauce will further thicken as it cools down.