How to Preserve Cranberries

Cranberry Recipes

Cranberries are only in season for a couple of months around the winter holidays, but there's no reason not to enjoy them year-round. In addition to cranberry sauces and relishes, they are terrific in muffins, pancakes, dried for a snack, or pureed in salad dressings. Here are my favorite ways to preserve cranberries.

  • 01 of 07
    This recipe uses whole cranberries for a classic holiday sauce. Leda Meredith

    This is my favorite cranberry sauce, the one I've served at holiday dinners for decades. It has less sugar than most cranberry sauce recipes, so the natural tartness of the cranberries comes through. A light touch of apple, orange, and spices adds depth to the flavor. Don't wait until you're serving turkey to dig into this festive sauce - it's also good with pork or simple roasted root vegetables.

  • 02 of 07
    Roasted chicken, cranberry and orange relish baguette sandwich with garnish
    sonjayounger / Getty Images

    This colorful, tangy relish is fantastic alongside holiday side dishes and a refreshing change from the usual cooked cranberry sauce. The orange is a classic flavor pairing with cranberry, and the apple adds a nice crunchy texture contrast.

  • 03 of 07
    Dried Cranberries
    Lew Robertson / Getty Images

    Dried cranberries, also called "craisins," are great on their own, or on salads, with granola or yogurt, or included in muffins and other baked goods. They are easy to make at home, but there are a couple of steps you have to take before you dry them.

  • 04 of 07
    Two bowls of dried and fresh cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon), close-up
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Cranberries are easiest to make in a dehydrator, but can also be successfully dried in your oven. Enjoy these as a snack, in sweet baked goods, or scattered on top of salads.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Kelly Cline / Getty Images

    Frozen cranberries work just as well as fresh in cranberry sauces and relishes. And if you freeze them using the method I'm about to share, they will remain loose in their freezer bag or container rather than clumping together. That's important because it means you can take out exactly the amount of cranberries you need for a recipe.

  • 06 of 07
    Cranberry sauce cooking for Christmas or Thanksgiving
    Liza McCorkle / Getty Images

    This delicious whole cranberry sauce takes just a few minutes to make. It uses twelve ounces of cranberries, which is the amount found in most commercially sold bags of cranberries. But this recipe uses 25% less sugar than that called for in most of the packaging recipes. The result is just as colorful but healthier and you taste more of the fruit's natural flavor. 

  • 07 of 07
    Jellied cranberry sauce with spicebush and orange. Leda Meredith

    Built-in beautiful presentation - this sauce slides out of the jar ready to be sliced. The tartness of the cranberries is nicely balanced by the spices and orange.