Has your Thanksgiving cranberry sauce gone bad? Learn how to tell—and find out how long homemade or canned cranberry sauce lasts.
Perhaps you made your cranberry sauce awhile back, and now you’re curious how long cranberry sauce stays in the fridge. Or maybe you spotted a can of cranberry sauce in the back of your pantry, and you’re wondering how to tell if that cranberry sauce has gone bad. Either way, here is everything you need to know about the storage and care of cranberry sauce.
How Long Does Homemade Cranberry Sauce Last?
How long does homemade cranberry sauce last in the fridge? Start by storing it in a covered glass or plastic container. Properly stored, homemade cranberry sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 10 to 14 days. If you’d like to keep it for longer than that, pour the sauce into covered airtight containers or freezer-safe bags and freeze.
How long will homemade cranberry sauce last in the freezer? It will stay fresh-tasting for about two months. It remains safe beyond that, up to a year at least. Additionally, fresh whole cranberries can be frozen in their original bag for a year.
How can you tell if homemade cranberry sauce is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the homemade cranberry sauce: If it has an off smell, flavor, or appearance, or if mold appears, toss it.
How Long Does Canned Cranberry Sauce Last?
First of all, store canned cranberry sauce in the pantry, where the temperature is consistently cool. In general, canned cranberry sauce will keep (and taste good) for at least a year beyond the date stamped on the can. (The date is the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the cranberry sauce will remain at peak quality; it’s not a safety-related deadline.) After a few years, if the can is undented, the cranberry sauce’s texture, color, or flavor may change, but it likely won’t be dangerous. Again, use your senses to test whether the cranberry sauce is still good. Signs of spoilage include cans that are leaking, rusting, bulging, or severely dented. If the top of the can is rounded instead of flat, the cranberry sauce has most likely gone bad. If you open the can and anything is brown or black, throw the cranberry sauce away without a second thought.
Once opened, remove cranberry sauce from the can and place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay good there for about a week. Frozen canned cranberry sauce isn’t the best idea, as it will turn watery. But it will stay good for a couple of months.
What to Do if You Left Out Cranberry Sauce Overnight
We hear you: After a full day cooking and hosting and (hopefully) enjoying Thanksgiving, some things are bound to fall by the wayside. But if you leave cranberry sauce out over night, whether it is homemade or store-bought, please throw it away.