This recipe makes a delicious and easy Cranberry Sauce from Dried Cranberries when you are craving cranberry sauce but can’t find fresh cranberries anywhere. Made in just 30 minutes, it’s the perfect accompaniment to turkey dinner or cast iron pan-roasted chicken breasts.
Read on to learn all about cranberries and the key recipe tips and tricks. Or grab a small pot, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make a cranberry sauce with dried cranberries!
This orange cranberry sauce has only four ingredients: dried cranberries, mandarin oranges or standard oranges, sugar, and a touch of cinnamon. Plus water, if you count that.
About dried cranberries
Cranberries are true berries that grown primarily in North America and Chile and used by indigenous peoples for centuries as food and dyes. Dried cranberries or “craisins” are dehydrated like raisins. For craisins, sugar is often added because cranberries are not naturally sweet. Try to buy unsweetened or lower-sugar craisins, if you can, to control the amount of sugar in your cranberry sauce.
Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
Variations and substitutions
- Play around with other spices and add a smidge of allspice, cloves, ginger, or nutmeg.
- Don’t have mandarin oranges? Sub in a quarter cup of orange juice.
- Use lemon or lime instead of orange zest and orange juice.
- Make an apple cranberry sauce with dried cranberries and apples.
- Go spicy with a jalapeno cranberry sauce.
Recipe tips and tricks
This recipe for making cranberry sauce with dried cranberries is essentially the same way I make cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries.
Step 1: Reconstitute your craisins. This is how you can make cranberry sauce from dried cranberries without cranberry juice.
You can reconstitute dried cranberries either by soaking your cranberries in boiling water for 20 minutes, or microwave them. To microwave, put the cranberries in a microwave-safe dish, cover them with water, microwave on high for a minute, then let them soak for five minutes.
Check out those cranberry seeds. The very first time I made this recipe, I didn’t remove those seeds. The texture of my cranberry sauce was unpleasantly gritty.
Step 2: Skim off and discard as many of the cranberry seeds as you can without driving yourself crazy, keeping as much of the soaking liquid as possible. If your craisins don’t have seeds, consider yourself lucky!
Step 3: Add your reconstituted dried cranberries, soaking liquid, sugar, orange zest and juice, and cinnamon to a small pot and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Heat for about 10 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and is a syrupy consistency. Remove the pan from the heat.
You can stop here or puree the sauce using a food processor or blender. Cool to room temperature or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
How to serve this craisin cranberry sauce
Your cranberry sauce with dried cranberries is, of course, the perfect accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner with roast turkey, stuffing, mashed purple sweet potatoes, cavatappi mac and cheese, and maple balsamic Brussels sprouts. But here are a few other ideas:
A cranberry sauce using craisins will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. Or freeze it in an air-tight container for even longer storage.
Sure you can make dried cranberries if you want to control the sugar, but since fresh berries freeze well, and dried cranberries are generally less expensive, I’ve never done it.
Laughs, yes. You’ll have to puree it really well until it’s perfectly smooth. You’ll need a safe edge can opener like this Oxo Smooth Edge, which removes the top of the can without sharp edges. Remove the cranberry sauce from the heat and let it cool in the can.
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.
Cranberry Sauce from Dried Cranberries
- 1 small pot
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- zest and juice of 1 medium orange or 2 small oranges
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Put the dried cranberries in a Pyrex measuring cup and pour in boiling water to cover. Let sit for 20 minutes, then scoop out any seeds that have risen to the surface, keeping as much of the liquid as possible.1 cup dried cranberries
- Add the cranberries and their soaking liquid, sugar, orange zest and juice, and cinnamon to a small pot over low heat and cook until the liquid has thickened.¼ cup granulated sugar, zest and juice of 1 medium orange or 2 small oranges, 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Remove the cranberry sauce from the heat, and, if desired, puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.
- Pour into a small bowl and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to serve.
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