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How Long Does Cranberry Sauce Last? [Shelf Life Guide]

Cranberry sauce is a delicious, tangy condiment that can be served with anything from turkey to chicken.

Cranberries are famously known for how tart they are and how well they go with other sweet sauces like cinnamon or apple.

But how long does it last? This article will answer that question and more, including how to store cranberry sauce properly, how to tell if your cranberry sauce has gone bad, and more.

why is cranberry sauce popular

Cranberries are rich in antioxidants phytochemicals like anthocyanins and ellagitannins, which protect against arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and cancer.

They also contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve symptoms of arthritis inflammation, such as joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.

The high vitamin C content found in cranberries helps boost your immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells, which defend the body from acute infection.

Cranberries are also high in fiber and can help promote bowel regularity, reducing constipation symptoms.

With all of these benefits combined, you’ll be sure not only to find yourself coming back year after year but that your friends will ask what that delicious red stuff is on their turkey sandwich every day of November.

Finally, they’re just delicious.

How to Store Cranberry Sauce?

how to store cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce is a delicious Thanksgiving tradition.

However, if you don’t want to run the risk of your cranberry party disappearing before we can enjoy it, here are some tips on how best to store this festive treat.

First, it is essential to find a place that will keep your cranberry sauce chilled and away from any sources of heat or light.

A fridge works best, but in the event you don’t have one available, store it at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Just be sure to cover and seal tightly with plastic wrap to not allow any air into the container (moisture can lead to cranberries turning moldy).

If you’re planning on freezing leftover cranberry sauce, then make sure it’s completely cooled first before placing it into an airtight freezer bag which can last up to several mp.

How Long Does Cranberry Sauce Last? Does Cranberry Sauce Go Bad?

There are many different types of cranberry sauce, but there is no clear answer to how long it will last.

It all depends on the type and quality you buy as well as your handling of it.

Some people think that fresh-made cranberry sauces don’t have a set shelf life because they contain too much sugar for bacteria growth.

Others say that homemade ones can be stored in jars up until Christmas without any problems (while others disagree).

The shelf life of homemade cranberry sauce varies, but a typical recipe lasts two to three weeks in the fridge.

Make sure to put it in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

If you bought cranberry sauce from the store that comes in glass jars or plastic containers, make sure to put them into airtight storage immediately after opening.

They should be eaten within one week once opened.

In general, homemade sauces are best consumed right away because they contain so many preservatives like sugar and fresh ingredients, which do not require refrigeration.

Homemade ones also provide more flavor than those on store shelves.

The best way to make cranberry sauce last for longer is to freeze it.

This will extend its shelf life by up to a year or more.

Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

can you freeze cranberry sauce

The answer is yes.

Cranberry sauce can be frozen, but only if it is made with whole cranberries.

If you’re using a bottled variety of cranberry sauce or jelly, the sugar content will not survive freezing and thawing, so these cannot be safely put in the freezer.

Whole berries are very easy to freeze because they don’t need any prep work beforehand.

Take your desired quantity of fresh cranberries (or whatever fruit), place them on a sheet tray into a single layer, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for two hours until wholly solidified before storing them in an airtight container or baggie–that’s all.

This works well also for those extra apples that may be leftover from the pie-making process.

Once frozen, the sauce can be stored for up to 12 months, but the quality will not remain at its same level.

The sauce may start to appear a little mushy and have more of an icy texture than when it was fresh.

The best way to freeze cranberry sauce is by using a freezer-safe zip-top bag.

Pour the sauce into the zippered opening, squeeze out as much air from inside before sealing tightly, so liquid doesn’t escape during the freezing process (if you’re using this method).

Place in your freezer for two hours where it will keep better longer because there’s less space available on all sides, which causes quicker temperature changes.

When thawing frozen sauces, make sure they’re entirely defrosted before placing them back into the pot to reheat.

How to Tell if Cranberry Sauce is Bad?

how to tell if cranberry sauce is bad

There are many ways to tell if cranberry sauce is bad.

You can use your nose to know if it has gone bad because the smell will be terrible.

If you are not sure of this, open a jar and sniff at the top or bottom for an unpleasant odor.

Another way to tell if there’s something wrong with your cranberry sauce is by examining its texture in comparison to other spices that have been stored properly (in a refrigerator).

Is it thinner? Cloudy? Or even molding inside the container? If so, then throw it away.

This could mean many things, including bacteria growth from improper storage temperature or time left unrefrigerated on shelves before purchase.

If the cranberry sauce becomes brown or dark red, this could signify that it has gone bad, but we recommend you still use your nose to decide.

You can also tell if the sauce is spoiled by just looking at the container’s seal for signs of leakage or corrosion (even in vacuum-sealed jars).

If there are any mold spots on top, then throw away the cranberry sauce because they will spread and contaminate everything inside.

But remember: If you see white fuzz growing around the lid or sides of containers with liquid condiments like ketchup or barbeque sauce, discard these items immediately since bacteria growth may have occurred from improper refrigeration.

does cranberry sauce go bad

How Long Does Cranberry Sauce Last? Does Cranberry Sauce Go Bad?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Cranberry sauce
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).
  • If frozen, thaw in the fridge before use. Always check for signs of spoilage before using.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

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