Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?
If you find yourself with leftover cranberry sauce, don't fret! Whether it's homemade or from a can, cranberry sauce can easily be stored in the refrigerator and used as a spread on turkey sandwiches, stirred into yogurt and more. While refrigeration is a suitable method, leftover cranberry sauce will only last for a few weeks this way. So if you want to keep cranberry sauce longer than that, turn to the freezer to extend the life of your cranberry sauce.
Can You Freeze Homemade Cranberry Sauce?
Yes, when stored properly, you can freeze leftover homemade cranberry sauce. Before freezing, keep three important principles in mind: cool it, wrap it and label it (the same rules apply when freezing homemade meals). First, it's important that any cooked food has cooled down before it goes in the freezer. Warm food can produce excess moisture, which then freezes and turns into ice. Warm or hot food can also raise the temperature of your freezer, affecting other foods around it. Luckily, cranberry sauce is often best served after it has cooled (cooling the sauce also allows it to thicken), but if you find yourself with hot cranberry sauce, the best way to cool it is by letting it come down to room temperature on the counter before freezing.
Next, you'll need to package your cranberry sauce for the freezer. You can pour the cranberry sauce into a freezer-friendly bag like these quart-size Ziploc bags (buy it: Target, $5) or use a vacuum sealer to create an airtight bag (check out our guide for the best vacuum sealers). Both bag options are great because they'll prevent ice crystals or unwanted odors from ruining your cranberry sauce. Another option is to use Souper Cubes (buy it: Williams Sonoma, $20 for ½-cup tray), which will allow you to preportion the sauce so you only defrost what you need when the time comes (our Test Kitchen manager loves Souper Cubes so much, she gives them as gifts!).
Finally, you'll need to label the container or bag. With handy labels like these ones from Juvale (buy it: Target, $14), you can note the original date of the cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Can You Freeze Canned Cranberry Sauce?
Similar to homemade cranberry sauce, you can also freeze canned cranberry sauce. The rules of cool it, wrap it and label it also apply to store-bought sauce. Rather than storing your canned cranberry sauce in its original packaging, though, be sure to transfer it to an airtight, freezer-friendly container. Anything stored in the freezer needs a tight seal to prevent freezer burn and unwanted odors.
With these simple steps, you can freeze cranberry sauce. So grab a can of your favorite sauce or make recipes like Red Wine Cranberry Sauce (pictured above) and Cranberry Sauce with Star Anise for a bright, tart sauce that will complement any meal.