A Question of Cranberry Sauce

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see ourย disclosure policy.

There seems to be an age-old Thanksgiving debate that has spanned history as well as a continent. It knows no bounds as regards age or occupation. It’s not about what the pilgrims really ate for the First Thanksgiving.

No, we’re more concerned with which tastes better: homemade cranberry sauce as pictured above?

Or jellied cranberry sauce from a can, complete with little lines as picture here.

You already know how the FishFam feels about this. Even when their Massachusetts-born grandmother makes cranberry sauce from scratch, the FishKids choose the canned variety.

Proof positive from last year:

Which cranberry sauce gets YOUR vote?

Feel free to link to YOUR cranberry sauce recipe if you’d like. And may the best sauce win.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Our family does the cool canned kind…I ate this kind growing up with my Italian grandma. Actually she served both canned kinds, the jelled & the other whole berry kind but as a kid and now, I go jelled, we all seem to like that one. I like the way it slices…Neat. ; )

  2. Last year, the first year I did Thanksgiving dinner myself, I decided to challenge myself to make some from scratch. While my husband loves anything cranberry, I’m not a big fan, so I’ve never really used them in anything and was a little intimidated. However, when I found some bagged berries in the store, it had a simple recipe on the back (boil some water with sugar, throw in the berries and simmer until they pop), and I was amazed at how easy they were. It was a big hit, and I’m planning on making some again this year, as well as trying to can some to store for later ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I have to go with homemade! I love it! One of these days I am going to try the recipe for cranberry-orange chuteny.

  4. We were spoiled because my dad makes an awesome cranberry sauce, and I have never liked the canned “gel” stuff. *shudder* Just hearing it schloop out of the can is gross! My husband loves it, though, so I buy a can for him. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Sorry if this shows up twice, I thought I hit the submit button but not quite sure since the dogs jumped up on my lap at the same time!

    Just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog, it seems like this cranberry thing is quite popular.

    I personally don’t like cranberry relish at all. Growing up my husband preferred the canned kind but has since developed the taste for his grandma’s recipe. This is the basic recipe but I typically change it adding or subtracting some of the ingredients as I want to

    1 bag of cranberries
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 apples, peeled & quartered
    1 can crushed pineapple with juice
    1 orange

    In the food processor I crush the cranberries, apples and orange to the consistency I desire. I then mix everything in a bowl and let sit for a full day before we eat. I typically make several batches of this and throw it in the freezer since the husband and kids like it so much. In the refrigerator it will last for a week or two.

    I’m Christmas baking this week so I’ll be sharing family recipes throughout the week.


  6. For years I ate canned cranberry sauce. One year I ate Thanksgiving at a friend’s house and had the homemade, I have never looked back. I have a can in the pantry right now from a friend’s recent move and I will put that out for our rather large gathering. That insures that I have homemade leftovers!

  7. Neither here…I make my grandmother’s cranberry relish. Finely chop cranberries, mix with chopped nuts, apples, crushed pineapple, celery, and jello to give it the liquid. Yum!!!!

    1. @Megan, yep, ours is like yours too Megan, never could stand the canned, and my in-laws have only ever had that, so I ALWAYS make my own so I know I will be able to have some!

  8. I’ll eat the canned stuff, but homemade tastes so much better to me. Fresh and bursting with flavor.

  9. Canned wins our vote. I’ve had the cranberry relish stuff and it’s a texture thing for me…I just can’t do it.

  10. Homemade if it’s my mom’s. And with NO pieces of skin! But if it’s not hers, I prefer canned. Complete with the lines so you know where to cut! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. The first Thanksgiving that I spent with my future husband’s family I was asked to bring the cransberry sauce. I picked up a can of no-name stuff and brought it along … wrong! I was soundly instructed that not only MUST cranberry sauce be the canned jelly type – there is a specific brand!! Ah, 20 years later that is still what we eat on Thanksgiving – although, not me. I don’t like cranberry sauce – of any sort : )

  12. I think it would be cool to make a homemade cranberry jello. That way, it’s still gelatinous but has a much better flavor than the store bought stuff. Not to mention you’d be able to control ingredients!

    Now you’ve got my gears spinning. Must figure out (then post, of course) a recipe!

  13. I’m not a fan of cranberry sauce…either home made or canned, but for my family and my in-laws, it must be the jellied, canned version.

  14. Homemade! My favorite recipe is a bag of cranberries, a whole orange (peel included) and a little sugar combined in a food processor. Delicious!

  15. I’m not a huge cranberry sauce fan, but I do like the cranberry orange relish stuff! Yum!

  16. This was my great-grandmother’s recipe. It’s unlike any other cranberry salad that I’ve ever seen or tasted, and it definitely beats canned sauce any day!

    Raw Cranberry Salad

    1 lb fresh cranberries, rinsed
    2 oranges, peeled and sliced
    1 lg box of Jello (cherry or strawberry flavorโ€”we like strawberry)
    2 C hot (nearly boiling) water
    2 C sugar
    chopped nuts (of choice, but pecans work best) to taste

    Puree in blender the cranberries and the orange slices. Dissolve jello completely in hot water, then allow to sit for 1 minute. Mix together all ingredients, pour into 13×9 pan, and chill overnight. Should be firmโ€”but my great-grandmother had a trick to making it sit up every time that I have not discovered yet (she left out her secret ingredients/tricks in all her recipes). The recipe sits up well for me about ยพ of the time. Enjoy!

  17. This is a source of mild contention in our home. My hubby grew up and still prefers, along with his entire family, the canned “junk”. I grew up on my Nana’s cranberry salad (what others here are calling relish) and LOVE it. It’s the Thanksgiving dish I prepare every year for my extended family to ensure it makes it to the table. I could sit with that and my momma’s sweet potato casserole and be a happy camper!

  18. I had grown up with canned and thought it was fine, but now a family friend makes her own and shares with us, and it has a nutty cream cheese layer. Yum!!!!

  19. Everyone goes for the canned kind in my household. I don’t think that I ever made homemade kind before.

  20. Homemade here. I usually only make it at thanksgiving and christmas and it definitely isn’t frugal but my family does love the made by us stuff.

    We use the pioneer woman recipe at pioneer woman cooks.

  21. I love cranberries just about any way you serve them but for Thanksgiving my vote is for canned. It is about tradition for me. I remember my great-grandmother slicing canned cranberry sauce into the same little green dish every year. She passed away when I was 10 but memories of her are precious so the canned stuff is a must at our house.

  22. Canned wins here! However, since we have diabetes and pre-diabetes in our family, this year we’ll be trying out a recipe with Splenda for those who can’t eat the canned stuff.

    Growing up, I didn’t know there was such a thing as “whole cranberry sauce,” I thought the only kind was the one sliced in neat little circles. Of course I also was shocked to learn that sweet potatoes were actually a hard, dry potato-like root, not a roundish shiny blob in sticky syrup. And I still don’t believe in pumpkin pie made from real, carvable pumpkins. But that’s my own issue. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This year I’ll try pumpkin from a can and make pumpkin pie “from scratch.” Baby steps.

  23. homemade. my family makes cranberry relish (its not cooked, process whole berries in the food processor with sugar and citrus rind, refrigerate & serve. easy!). my husband’s family isn’t into cranberry sauce at all but some of them did like my relish so i’m bringing it again this year ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. We have like 3 different cranberry things at dinner. Two kinds of cranberry relish and canned cranberry sauce…..I like a cranberry relish where you grind an apple, an orange and bag of cranberries and add honey to taste. It is good for bladder health too.