Get tips for prepping cranberry sauce from a can and a few simple ideas for doctoring it up this Thanksgiving.
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Canned cranberry sauce is tradition at many Thanksgivings, and for good reason. There's really no reason to make homemade if your family has been enjoying the slices of store-bought canned cranberry sauce for years. But what is cranberry sauce in a can?

Canned cranberry sauce is made with fresh cranberries that are cooked in water, sweetened, cooked again until the berries have broken down, and poured into cans. The ingredients in canned cranberry sauce typically include cranberries, corn syrup, water, and citric acid (a preservative). Interestingly, canned cranberry sauce contains no gelatin or pectin, because cranberries themselves have a high pectin content.

Read on for tips on prepping canned cranberry sauce and how to impress guests when you serve it alongside your Thanksgiving dinner.

How to Prepare Canned Cranberry Sauce

First things first—open the can with a can opener. This may sound obvious, but most (if not all) canned cranberry sauces are actually meant to be opened from the bottom of the can. After opening, run a knife around the jellied sauce to help loosen it from the can. Gently slide the jelly onto a platter.

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How to Serve Canned Cranberry Sauce

The most traditional way of serving canned cranberry sauce is sliced into rounds. Begin by slicing the canned cranberry sauce into ¼-inch thick rounds. Another option is to use cookie cutters to cut out cute fall shapes, such as leaves. Arrange your slices on a serving platter, then, try one of these suggestions for doctoring it up.

3 Simple Canned Cranberry Sauce Recipes

Canned Cranberry Sauce Sugared Rosemary

Sugared Rosemary

Dip rosemary sprigs in water, then sprinkle with sugar. Let dry on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange on top of sliced cranberry sauce.

Canned Cranberry Sauce Ginger

Candied Ginger

Arrange strips of candied ginger on top of sliced cranberry sauce.

Canned Cranberry Orange and Thyme

Orange and Thyme

Combine orange zest and thyme leaves on a cutting board and coarsely chop. Use the mixture as a garnish for the sliced cranberry sauce.