The best homemade cranberry sauce recipe to compliment any holiday meal! Make it fresh, or can it for a quick side dish any time!
You can make this cranberry sauce to eat fresh or follow the canning directions to have home canned cranberry sauce without dirtying a single dish.
Learn how to make homemade cranberry sauce this holiday season and wow everyone at the table! This cranberry sauce recipe can be made as a single batch for just one meal, or make it in bulk for canned cranberry sauce!
For me, one of the biggest joys of any season is canning with my mom.
From the time that I was 15 my mom and I have always canned together. It's always such an enjoyable experience that I look forward to as each crop comes into the height of its season. Potatoes, apples, green beans, peaches, strawberries...
Recently she joined me for a full day of canning cranberries.
We canned 22 pints over the course of about 5 hours (though there were many breaks in there to rest our backs and enjoy a glass of tea) and now we are all set for holiday meals.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe with Port Wine and Cinnamon Sticks
This cranberry sauce recipe features port wine and whole cinnamon sticks in every jar. It's very fast to make, and the canning is quick as well!
It's been a staple at every holiday meal for the last 6-7 years. One taste and you will be absolutely hooked!
First, make sure you have everything. Even with 7 years of making this recipe under our belts, we still forgot that we needed red wine vinegar. (You really do need it as it makes the PH level of this recipe appropriate for canning).
Next, combine the sugar, water, and red wine vinegar in a large pot. Make sure the pot is large enough that when the sauce boils and doubles in size (briefly) it won't overflow.
Set the pot to high heat, stirring the sugar to avoid burning while it dissolves.
Once the sugar is at a rolling boil, add the cranberries.
Turn the heat to medium and set a timer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Note: The berries pop as the cook and you may get splattered a bit. Splatter is hot. So, you may not want to let the kids help with this step.
If the timer goes off and your sauce doesn't look like the next picture, wait until it does!
It should have this nice thick pink foam bubbling up all around the berries. If you skip this important step, your sauce will not set up! Ask me how I know ;-)
Step Four: If you ARE Making Canned Cranberry Sauce
If you've made a large batch of cranberry sauce for canning, you'll prepare the jars as outlined in my Water Bath Canning Guide.
Once those are ready, ladle the sauce into the clean jars and process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes.
Remove from pot and place on a folded towel on the counter. Allow to cool fully before moving.
Once they are done processing, step back and enjoy your hard work! I tried to get a picture of all 22, but nothing seemed to look as nice I wanted! So, here is just a taste...
Step Four: If you're NOT Canning the Cranberry Sauce
Your cranberry sauce is now ready to chill and serve.
If you are not canning your cranberry sauce, allow the sauce to cool a bit so it doesn't break the container you are using, then pour it into the dish you wish to serve in.
Chill for at least 4 hours, overnight is better. Serve and enjoy!!
Cranberry Sauce with Port Wine and Cinnamon Sticks
Fresh Batch (2 cups):
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 2.5 Cups Cranberries washed and sorted
- 1/2 Cup Port Wine
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
Canning Batch (4-6 pints, 8-12 Cups):
- 4 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Water
- 4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 10 Cups Cranberries washed and sorted
- 2 Cups Port Wine
- 8 Cinnamon Sticks
- 4-6 Pint Canning Jars
- 4-6 Lid and Ring Sets
- Combine water, sugar, and vinegar in large pot.
- Heat on high, stirring the whole time.
- Once sugar is at a rolling boil, add cranberries.
- Reduce heat to medium, return to boil, boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add port. Stir well.
- Add two cinnamon sticks to the bottom of each jar.
- Follow water bath canning instructions to prepare jars and process sauce for 15 minutes in a water bath canner. Leave 1/2 inch headspace.
If You're NOT Canning:
- Allow the sauce to cool a bit so it doesn’t break the container you are using, then pour it into the dish you wish to serve in.Chill for at least 4 hours, overnight is better. Serve and enjoy!!
This is one of my favorite ways to save time on big holiday days, what's yours? Tell me all about it!
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Kari H. says
Another question… can this recipe be doubled when canning? You replied to a comment on your strawberry jam recipe that jams and jellies should only be made in single batches, does that apply to sauces also?
Thank you :)
Rebecca Jones says
Hi I’ve just made this and canned several jars. How long does it last when canned? Thanks
Hi Rebecca! It will last for 5-10 years when stored in a cool, dry place. We had a jar of this recipe that I canned in 2015 just this week. Delicious!
Actually, cranberries have a ph of 2.5. Anything with a ph of 4.2 or under is safe to water bath can, without adding vinegar
My daughter says this is not sweet enough for her I like it more on The tartan but I’ve got company coming for this Christmas day and how do I get sugar to dissolve and be thick enough to add to the already made up and nice consistency cranberry sauce?
I.e., I skimped somewhat on the sugar and it’s tart so how can I sweeten it up properly?
Hi SanDee! I would reheat a small part of it (depending on how much you made) in a sauce pan and add sugar after it melts. So maybe a cup, add sugar to taste, and then pour into the container for serving. That way your daughter has some sweeter, but you don’t risk the whole batch.
I hope that helps!