Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

Few things beat a leftover turkey and homemade cranberry sauce sandwich in the days after Thanksgiving or Christmas.

If you made a big batch of sauce for the holidays and found you have lots leftover, you might be wondering what to do with it? Well, can you freeze cranberry sauce?

The Quick Answer

You can freeze cranberry sauce for around 3 months.  The biggest threat to the quality of your cranberry sauce is freezer burn. So, when you’re wrapping it and preparing it for the freezer, make sure it’s well protected and fully covered.

How to Freeze Cranberry Sauce

You’ll be pleased to hear that there isn’t anything remotely complicated about freezing cranberry sauce. Whether your sauce is homemade or shop-bought, you can freeze it in precisely the same way. Here are the steps you need to follow to preserve your cranberry sauce in the freezer. 

  1. Separate Sauce Into Portions
    The best way to make your cranberry sauce last for a more extended period of time is to separate it into individual portions or serving sizes before you freeze it. This way, you only have to take out the amount of sauce you need at any given time, saving on wastage. 
  2. Place in a Freezer-Safe Bag
    When you’re happy with your portion sizes, go ahead and place your cranberry sauce in individual freezer-safe bags. If you prefer, you can use containers, but if you’re splitting your sauce into portions, you might be tight for space in the freezer. 
  3. Label and Freeze
    Note down the date that you prepared the sauce, as well as the recommended use-by date on the front of the bags before you freeze them. Remember, you can freeze cranberry sauce for around three months. 

3 Tips for Freezing Cranberry Sauce

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing cranberry sauce to have the best results:

  • Remove Air – When adding your cranberry sauce to the freezer-safe bags, make sure you press out as much air as possible before placing them in the freezer. This will protect your sauce from freezer burn. You can also add the bags to a Tupperware box and freeze them together if you wish. 
  • Keep it in the Fridge – If you think you might use your cranberry sauce within two weeks, you don’t actually need to freeze it. Providing it’s well covered, it will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks without spoiling. If you’ve made your cranberry sauce from scratch, keep a couple of empty jam jars spare and use them to store it.
  • Expect Textural Changes – Some canned cranberry sauces that are shop-bought don’t freeze overly well. This is because the jellied texture changes and becomes watery. While it won’t do you any harm, you might not enjoy the taste and texture of shop-bought cranberry sauce once it has been defrosted.

How Long Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

You can freeze cranberry sauce for around three months. 

 As has been mentioned, you can also keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks after you’ve prepared it. This makes it ideal and easily accessible for those delicious leftover turkey sandwiches we mentioned in the introduction!

You Can Freeze Cranberry Sauce for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Cranberry Sauce?

To defrost cranberry sauce, you will need to remove it from the freezer the night before you plan to use it. Simply transfer it to the fridge, and it will have thawed overnight. If you split the cranberry sauce into small portions before freezing it, it shouldn’t take very long to thaw. 

However, if you’re in a hurry to thaw your cranberry sauce, you can always use some room-temperature water to speed things up. Add some water to a bowl and float the bag of sauce in the water. This should help it thaw much more quickly than leaving it in the fridge overnight. 

Can You Refreeze Cranberry Sauce?

Providing you have defrosted your cranberry sauce in the fridge, it’s perfectly safe to refreeze it if you have leftovers after using it for a second time.

Generally speaking, the more you freeze and refreeze an item, the more likely it is that its texture will deteriorate. This is why we encourage you to freeze it in smaller portion sizes, so you don’t take out more sauce than you need at any one time.

Does Cranberry Sauce Freeze Well?

Homemade cranberry sauce freezes exceptionally well, and you probably won’t notice the difference between freshly prepared sauce and the sauce you’ve just defrosted.

While you should follow the same process for freezing shop-bought cranberry sauce, due to the texture of the jelly, it doesn’t freeze as well as its homemade counterpart. Therefore, if you’ve got some shop-bought cranberry sauce that’s about to go out of date, it’s better to find a way to use it up rather than freezing it. 

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing cranberry sauce or cranberries in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Cranberries?

Cranberries, like most round fruit, can be frozen. The technique for freezing most fruit is the same. Line a tray with greaseproof paper, spread the cranberries out on the tray, freeze then, once solid, tip into a freezer bag. 

How to Freeze Cranberries

Can You Freeze Canned Cranberry Sauce?

Although it is fine to freeze canned cranberry sauce, you should do so out of the can. You should also expect some textural changes when you freeze canned cranberry sauce. 

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