Food Quantities

How Many Cans of Cranberry Sauce For a Crowd?

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The holiday season is synonymous with family gatherings and festive dinners, often featuring the beloved cranberry sauce. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, knowing how much cranberry sauce to prepare for your crowd and choosing the right brand can make your celebration even more delightful. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore serving sizes, recommend the best brands, delve into homemade recipes, and even discuss the health benefits of this vibrant sauce.

Serving Sizes:

Cans of Cranberry Sauce and Serving Sizes:

For a hassle-free holiday feast, understanding how much cranberry sauce to serve is essential. Here’s a quick reference guide for different crowd sizes:

  • 5 People:
    • 1/4 cup serving: 1 can
    • 1/2 cup serving: 2 cans
  • 10 People:
    • 1/4 cup serving: 2 cans
    • 1/2 cup serving: 3 cans
  • 15 People:
    • 1/4 cup serving: 3 cans
    • 1/2 cup serving: 5 cans
  • 20 People:
    • 1/4 cup serving: 3 cans
    • 1/2 cup serving: 6 cans
  • 25 People:
    • 1/4 cup serving: 4 cans
    • 1/2 cup serving: 8 cans
  • 50 People:
    • 1/4 cup serving: 8 cans
    • 1/2 cup serving: 12 cans
  • 100 People:
    • 1/4 cup serving: 15 cans
    • 1/2 cup serving: 29 cans
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Note: These numbers are rounded up for ease, and actual usage might vary.

Best Canned Cranberry Sauce Brands:

When it comes to store-bought cranberry sauce, a few brands stand out for their quality and flavor. Here are some top picks:

  1. Ocean Spray:
    • Varieties: Jellied and Whole Berry
    • Availability: Walmart
  2. Stonewall Kitchen:
    • Variety: New England Cranberry Relish
    • Availability:
  3. Market Pantry:
    • Variety: Whole Cranberry Sauce
    • Availability: Target
  4. Woodstock:
    • Variety: Organic Whole Cranberry Sauce
    • Availability: Amazon

Pro Tip: Ocean Spray is renowned for its excellent jellied cranberry sauce.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Basics:

For those who prefer a personal touch, crafting your cranberry sauce is a rewarding endeavor. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Pinch of kosher salt
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  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce to a low boil and cook for 10 minutes until berries burst.
  4. Remove from heat; the sauce will thicken as it cools.

Customize your sauce by adding orange juice, apple juice, cinnamon, or allspice for extra flavor.

Making Bitter Cranberry Sauce Sweet:

If homemade cranberry sauce turns out too bitter, here are ways to sweeten it:

  • Add granulated sugar (reheat to dissolve).
  • Stir in maple syrup and a sweet drink like apple juice.
  • Add small amounts of salt to intensify sweetness.

Explore this source for detailed information on sweetening cranberry sauce: [Link]

Storing and Using Cranberry Sauce:

Ensure your cranberry sauce stays fresh and delicious:

  • Storing:
    • Short-term: Refrigerate in a sealed container.
    • Long-term: Freeze for up to three months.
  • Leftovers:
    • Spread on sandwiches, meat glazes, or toast.
    • Mix with yogurt or add to smoothies.
    • Use as a condiment for pork chops or as a glaze for desserts.
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Experiment and find creative ways to use leftover cranberry sauce.

Health Benefits of Cranberry Sauce:

Cranberry sauce, especially with whole berries, offers numerous health benefits:

  • Fiber:
    • Aids digestion and bowel movement.
  • Vitamin C:
    • Strengthens the immune system.
  • Antioxidants:
    • Protects against toxins, reduces cancer and heart disease risks.
  • Dental Health:
    • Weakens bacteria attachment, prevents gum disease.
  • Urinary Tract Health:
    • Potential prevention of urinary tract infections.
  • Low Calories:
    • Suitable for a balanced diet and blood sugar regulation.

Note: Canned cranberry sauce retains similar health benefits as fresh cranberries.


Mastering cranberry sauce adds a burst of flavor and health benefits to your holiday meals. Whether you opt for canned varieties or enjoy the process of making it from scratch, this guide ensures you’re well-prepared for festive celebrations. So, gather your loved ones, choose the perfect cranberry sauce, and savor the joy of the holiday season!

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