How to Preserve Cranberries

Cranberries are only in season for a couple of months around the winter holidays, but there's no reason not to enjoy them year-round. In addition to cranberry sauces and relishes, they are terrific in muffins, pancakes, dried for a snack, or pureed in salad dressings. Here are my favorite ways to preserve cranberries.

  • 01 of 06

    Spiced Whole Cranberry Sauce with Apple and Orange

    A bowl of cranberries

    The Spruce / Leda Meredith

    This is my favorite cranberry sauce, the one we've served at holiday dinners for decades. It has less sugar than most cranberry sauce recipes, so the natural tartness of the cranberries comes through. A light touch of apple, orange, and spices add depth to the flavor. Don't wait until you're serving turkey to dig into this festive sauce—it's also good with pork or simple roasted root vegetables.

  • 02 of 06

    Quick Raw Cranberry Freezer Relish

    Roasted chicken, cranberry and orange relish baguette sandwich with garnish

    sonjayounger / Getty Images

    This colorful, tangy relish is fantastic alongside holiday side dishes and a refreshing change from the usual cooked cranberry sauce. The orange is a classic flavor pairing with cranberry, and the apple adds a nice crunchy texture contrast.

  • 03 of 06

    How to Dry Cranberries in a Dehydrator

    Dried Cranberries

    Lew Robertson / Getty Images

    Dried cranberries, also called "craisins," are great on their own, or on salads, with granola or yogurt, or included in muffins and other baked goods. They are easy to make at home, but there are a couple of steps you have to take before you dry them.

  • 04 of 06

    How to Dry Cranberries - Oven Method

    Two bowls of dried and fresh cranberries close-up

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Cranberries are easiest to make in a dehydrator, but can also be successfully dried in your oven. Enjoy these as a snack, in sweet baked goods, or scattered on top of salads.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    The Best Way to Freeze Cranberries


    Kelly Cline / Getty Images

    Frozen cranberries work just as well as fresh in cranberry sauces and relish. And if you freeze them using the method I'm about to share, they will remain loose in their freezer bag or container rather than clumping together. That's important because it means you can take out exactly the amount of cranberries you need for a recipe.

  • 06 of 06

    Easy Whole Cranberry Sauce Recipe

    cranberry sauce

     Leah Maroney

    This delicious whole cranberry sauce takes just a few minutes to make. It uses twelve ounces of cranberries, which is the amount found in most commercially sold bags of cranberries. The result is colorful and delicious, and you taste more of the fruit's natural flavor.