Don’t Get Your Cranberry Sauce Out Of A Can (Homemade Cranberry Sauce Is Way Better!)

Two reasons not to get your cranberry sauce out of a can:

  1. It might contain Bisphenol A (Other wise known as BPA), which is a known carcinogen that has been proven to cause birth defects, cancers, and neurological disorders. This substance isn’t banned in the United States but is in Canada. We must speak up by voting with our dollars. We should only support companies that eliminate BPA from their can production so government supported BIG FOOD companies will realize we won’t stand for this toxic junk! 
  2. It will most definitely contain too much sugar and probably the worst kind of sugar that is man made, genetically modified and toxic to your body. The majority of canned cranberry products contain GMO sugar beets, GMO high fructose corn syrup, GMO corn syrup, etc. Just check out the label for Ocean Spray Jellied or Sauce (it’s the same for both).

Cranberry Sauce

Ok enough said … here’s a recipe for homemade version that can be made in a matter of minutes. Hope you enjoy this flavorful & delicious cranberry sauce, your health will thank you for it!

4.8 from 9 reviews
Food Babe's Cranberry Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 20
  • 21 ounces or 3 cartons of cranberries cleaned and drained
  • 1 and ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 and ½ tsp orange zest
  • 1 and ½ tsp fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup honey or coconut palm sugar
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple diced small
  1. Bring orange juice, orange zest, ginger, and cinnamon to a boil in a large bot
  2. Add cranberries to mixture, reduce heat and cook 10 mins
  3. Add pineapple and honey, mix to combine and remove from heat
  4. Serve immediately or allow to cool before storing for later use
Makes approximately 20 servings – Perfect for Thanksgiving and can be made a week in advance if stored in an airtight container. ***Please buy all organic ingredients if possible***


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So what am I going to put cranberry sauce on this Thanksgiving?  Organic Turkey, of course. More on how to choose the best turkey here.

If you know someone who still buys the can cranberry stuff or supporting Ocean Spray, please share this post with them, I know they will love this recipe.

Food Babe

P.S. This is a great recipe to make in advance, so you are not rushing around on turkey day. 



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56 Responses to “Don’t Get Your Cranberry Sauce Out Of A Can (Homemade Cranberry Sauce Is Way Better!)”

  1. Veena

    The color looks gorgeous! We can’t wait to try!

  2. Mundir

    Looks so darn good. nom nom nom~~you are simply awesome.

  3. Anna

    If you can’t find fresh cranberries can you use frozen?

    • Food Babe (to Anna)

      Of course – just let them thaw out a little bit before cooking them! Good Luck!

  4. Mandev

    My mom sent me to your blog to get this recipe. She said, “Mandev, go to Vani’s blog and print her cranberry sauce recipe” :) We made this for Thanksgiving and it was awesome. She’s making it for our Xmas dinner at Aman’s house.

  5. Sarah

    I have to agree- cranberry sauce is so easy to make from scratch and SO much better than the canned version. I’ll have to try this recipe- it looks yummy!
    (p.s. thanks for pointing me to your blog at the grocery store today!)

  6. Gina

    My boyfriend asked if there was organic canned cranberry sauce. i said no, but food babe must have the recipe. And you do thank you!!!!how about gravy?

    • Jenn (to Gina)

      Gravy is very simple to make from scratch. Use some broth from whatever meat you’re cooking. Add some water and bring to a boil. While that’s coming to a boil, mix some water and flour (along with salt and pepper and whatever other seasonings you’d like) together. The key is to have this mixture smooth, with no lumps of flour. When the broth is boiling, whisk in the flour mixture until it is he consistency you want. That’s it! :)

      • Anne Heath (to Jenn)

        Am reading the recipe and comments as I get ready to make this delicious looking cranberry sauce. In terms of gravy – what else would you suggest other than flour – as in “I’m not eating grains of any kind” – so it would have to be tapioca or potato, etc. Thanks and have a wonderful celebration.

    • Mary (to Gina)

      Whole Foods has organic cranberry sauce.

  7. Stacey

    My daughter, Addie, sent me to your website. I’m glad she did-you have very delicious and passionate recipes. I’m wondering if the cranberry sauce will stay preserved for longer than a week? We would like to keep the sauce for Christmas as well, since both children and friends will be with us in Oregon. I would also like your thoughts on the traditional gravy recipe from the drippings of our organic turkey!

    • Food Babe (to Stacey)

      I used mine for about 2 weeks when kept in the fridge – it will probably last longer honestly though. The sugar and citrus preserve it pretty well – make 2 jars – one unopened until xmas and you should be fine. Also – try out Alton Brown’s recipe for gravy dripping recipe… delicious!

  8. Jill

    I just made this…it is delicious! It will be a test of my willpower to not nibble away at it before I host Thanksgiving. Thank you for helping us eat right and provide wholesome, delicious food for our loved ones.

  9. Rachel

    just had to comment, I just made this recipe tonight (one less thing to do on thursday) and I only did a 1/3 of it – since there are only two of us this year- and it is Amazing!! neither my boyfriend or I really like cranberry sauce, but it felt like a sin not to make it… I was so glad when I found this recipe without refined sugar and now I think I actually like cranberry sauce!!
    I would recommend this recipe to anyone & everyone, it is delicious!!

  10. Lisa

    I made this for Thanksgiving – it is amazing! I will never buy in a can again – & w/ cranberries on sale right now, it’s cheaper than from a can too! I made it one day ahead. I will caution, though, it seemed to get a tad more tart in the fridge (as in, today it was more tart than at T-giving). Thanks much for the awesome recipe.

  11. Alexis

    Do you think this would be a considered a cannable recipe? We are having Thanksgiving 16hrs from home and leaving the Sunday before so I was hoping to make the week before hand and can it. Any thoughts?

  12. Sue C

    Do you eat this hot or cold? If either, which way do you think it tastes best? Thank you

  13. Valarie

    I have made homemade cranberry sauce for years, varying the recipe to include citrus, nuts, etc. My CSA came with cranberries this week and I made my simplest sauce ever with just the cranberries, coconut sugar, and lemon peel (and a grind of pepper). Served warm with pulled pork and roasted root veggies (yams, sweet potatoes, fennel and onions tossed with olive oil and sprinkled with sage, salt and pepper). There were NO leftovers. Homemade is too quick and easy to eat the stuff out of the can.

  14. Diana R

    I emailed Ocean Spray when I found that their cranberry sauce had high fructose corn syrup in it and asked why they didn’t make any options without it. They actually responded and told me enough people complained that it was in their juice so they took it out but not enough people asked them to take it out of their cranberry sauce. People need to believe that they do have power in their word and should contact these companies and stop buying products that contain ingredients you don’t want to consume!! Sales dropping puts pressure on companies to change. It’s sad that all the major food stores don’t sell cranberry sauce without high fructose corn syrup.

  15. Serina

    Looks Delish! I bet your house smells yummy too!

  16. Robert Adams

    Looks perfect. You have a typo in your Ocean Spray graphic though. And don’t forget the canned stuff is in contact with BPA in the can lining.

  17. walkermama

    When you make the aromatics for Alton Brown’s turkey, do you use the candied ginger or just some real ginger? If real, how much? thanks!

  18. Kim

    Can I freeze one jar to save till Christmas?
    (Can’t wait to make this!!!)

  19. Jess

    I have been making Altons turkey for several years. So good! I make Emerils Cranberry sauce. It has lots of ginger which my family loves. And Grand Marnier, which my Dad loves. ;)

  20. Lauren Schiller

    Thanks so much for the cranberry recipe! I never thought about pineapple for sweetening them! I sometimes use organic maple syrup to sweeten instead of honey. You can also put a sprig of rosemary to give it a savory vibe with the sweeter orange citrus element. It makes the house smell amazing too!!!

  21. Julie

    Couple of points:

    1. Where would you find non-gmo organic cranberries?
    2. Why do you use palm sugars with what is going on with killing rainforests to plant these?
    3. Why would you eat an organic turkey? Why haven’t you gone vegan yet? Animal products are cancer causing and bad for your body. Please see the movie Forks Over Knives if you need proof.

    I keep waiting for you to go vegan. You are ALMOST doing it right.

    • John (to Julie)

      Why does she have to go Vegan? Does everyone have to go Vegan in order to be “healthy”? What works for one, doesn’t always work for everyone. Julie, why can’t she have an organic turkey if she desires to do so? No ALMOST about it…she doesn’t ALMOST get it right……she gets it RIGHT a hundred percent of the time. Julie, you benefit from her research? Then, give Foodbabe the respect and honor she deserves for doing this for us. Peace out.

      • Julie (to John)

        First, we are talking about food, not nuclear proliferations, so perhaps you can tone it down a tad. Second, I didn’t ask you, I asked her. And dittos for the other reply. Stop being zombies folks. Blindly following someone without using your own brain isn’t cute.

    • Anna (to Julie)

      Like John said, her diet is right ALL the time. A little of the right, healthy, kind of meat is good for you!

    • Nancy (to Julie)

      Julie, your comment ‘Blindly following someone without using your own brain isn’t cute’ was cute. You think because someone isn’t vegan, that they don’t use their brain? Maybe you should take your own advice…and use your brain when making food choices ;)

      • Julie (to Nancy)

        And just who am I following blindly? I do not know of a single person pushing my diet. I am driving my own train, thanks zombie.

  22. Jennifer

    So excited to try this! Thank you so much for all your great recipes! I absolutely love everything I’ve made from your site. Love you Food Babe!

  23. Aarin Farrell

    Making this today, except we don’t have organic cranberries in my little town, and the biggest town is 150 miles away. So ocean spray cranberries… But IT WILL NOT BE FROM A CAN. Thank you for all your great information. We are trying to eat clean in a little town.

  24. Stephanie

    Hi! I was wondering if there is a good healthy gravy recipe for Thanksgiving?! I’m cooking for everyone and trying to prepare everything from scratch and organic as much as possible. I’m heading to the grocery store and I’m not sure what to buy for a gravy. Thanks!!!

    • Bobbi (to Stephanie)

      Gravy is easy (and cheaper and yummier) to make from scratch. What I do is just pour some of the turkey drippings into a skillet and heat it up on med-high heat. I fill a mug with cold water and add some corn starch (around 3 Tbsp) and stir it up. Then I slowly add the corn starch mixture to the skillet, stirring constantly. Add a bit and stir, add a bit more, stir. Keep going until the gravy is the right consistency. You could probably do a google search and find a more exact recipe. I just kind of wing it. Hope that helps!

  25. Angela

    You had me until the word zest. It actually makes us all ill when we smell or ingest zest. I am wondering if it is not added if the taste will be just as great?

  26. Debbie

    Vani, I’m diabetic and would like to know more about the raw honey & coconut palm sugar. Will these raise blood sugar levels? I worry with the OJ & sugar. Has anyone tried it with stevia?

  27. Dianne

    Could someone please tell me how many cups of cranberries this recipe would take?

  28. John W

    Your cranberry recipe looks good. Already made a cranberry chutney this year with apples, shallots, apple cider vinegar, cranberries, and some brown sugar(of course organic ingredients). Will make yours for Christmas dinner this year.
    Many thanks for all of the work that you are doing.

  29. singinsirengirl

    Food Babe!! I love you!!
    I have used Alton Brown’s recipe for about thirteen years now. HE ROCKS!!
    I recently went vegan, about eleven months ago, and this year I will be having a variety of veggies and my husband and son will be eating their turkey meal from Whole Foods. It is just the three of us this year as my parents passed away and won’t be with us.
    We plan on making memories instead of spending time in the kitchen as it is just us. Thank you for your work and know that you are making a difference!

  30. Carey Huyser

    YUM! I love the idea of using cinnamon and ginger in the sauce….how innovative! Can’t wait to try!

  31. Shari

    That’s similar to the recipe for cranberry sauce my mom used to make. It’s really good. Back when she started making it friends didn’t know you could MAKE cranberry sauce! Oh have times changed!

  32. linette

    What I LOVE about you is that you tell us what not to eat and why, then you put a GOOD HEALTHY way to make the dish after!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!

  33. Natalie

    Oh man! This recipe is Ah-mazing! Super easy to make too. I am not a huge cranberry sauce person but will be now. Tastes so great warm so might heat it up on Thanksgiving. I only had Ocean Spray cranberries as a fresh cranberry option so although I wasn’t happy supporting them having just read your info on GMO’s and Ocean Spray, I am glad to be able to use them in this healthier recipe. I bought 2 bags (24 oz) and used them all. Thanks Food Babe!

  34. hopelabels

    Looks yummy! If using the coconut palm sugar instead of honey (my 10mo old can’t have honey yet) when is the best time to add so that it will dissolve?

    Thank you .

  35. Stephanie

    Hi! I just made this for Thanksgiving! Getting food prepared ahead of time! It is good but I added honey and now it tastes way too much like honey. SO I should have added a little at a time. I barely taste the cranberries. I am going to buy more cranberries and cook some more with a little more fresh squeezed orange and see if I add that if it takes away the potency of honey taste.

  36. Holly Householder

    Just made this! Delicious. Can’t wait for friends and family to try on Thanksgiving day!!

  37. Daniela

    Ahhhhh…just made it today. Absolutely delicious! I am sharing your recipe with my sis. Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving everyone :-)

  38. Barbara Higgins

    Sounds delicious. I made mine very similar this year. I didn’t use ginger or pineapple, but everything else was the same. I used coconut palm sugar and some Himalayan pink salt and plenty of white pepper in mine. It tastes so fresh and not too sweet. I think I would like it with horseradish in it also.

  39. Shelley

    I have been making this very recipe for the past two years. I absolutely love it!

  40. Janna

    This is very similar to the cranberry sauce I have been making for years (no pineapple) :-). I like mine pretty tart and use less honey. One correction to your introduction, though. BPA is only banned in Canada from infant bottles and sippy cups. Health Canada states that it is not based on any scientific data that BPA is bad for anybody, including infants; it was mainly done under pressure from the public. I believe that following Canada’s lead FDA took the same measures, banning it from infant bottles. It’s in our hands to support the companies that keep it out of the containers they are using.

  41. Carabella

    Any suggestions for what to do with cranberry juice please?

  42. Katie

    How long is it good for in that jar?

  43. Tom

    For the recipe, am I bringing the 1 1/2 cups of orange juice to boil with the other ingredients? It seems like a small amount to boil.

  44. Tonya

    Would like to make it smooth and jellied. My daughter and i like the texture. Any ideas on how you might go about making smooth cranberry sauce with this recipe?


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