Cranberry Pineapple Sauce is a delicious addition to any holiday dinner menu. It goes well with pork, and chicken as well as on toast or with dairy free cream cheese.
Why We Like This Recipe
We love this cranberry pineapple sauce because it isn’t just part of the Turkey trimmings at the holidays. It is a fantastic sauce in its own right that pairs well with chicken, Turkey and pork. It can be used as a glaze for cooking or basting the meat or as a sauce to serve with it after cooking.
This sauce is a favourite as it is delicious on its own smeared on a slice of gluten free toast for breakfast or in a sandwich at lunch. We also serve this cranberry sauce with dairy free cream cheese on gluten free crackers as an appetiser.
- Fresh Cranberries
- Crushed Pineapple
- Orange Juice
- Orange Zest
- Ground Cinnamon
- Granulated Sugar
See recipe card for quantities.
The Ingredient Low Down
We like using fresh cranberries but frozen ones can absolutely be used in this recipe. Dried cranberries cannot be used as they don’t have the flavourful juice needed to make this the best homemade cranberry sauce it can be.
We use a can of good old crushed pineapple. We prefer this over fresh for a couple of reasons. One it is way easier than buying and cutting up a whole pineapple, blending it and draining most of the juice off. It is usually cheaper to buy just one tin than a whole pineapple in Canada. We can’t grow tropical fruit like this here so it can be super expensive at certain times of the year if bought fresh.
Lastly, pineapple has an enzyme that breaks down protein. This protein is why fresh pineapple makes runny jelly and jello. If cooked it modifies the protein and it will set. Canned pineapple has been cooked already in the canning process and it works every time because of this. You could use fresh pineapple just make sure to simmer it for the full time and if it doesn’t set well it wasn’t cooked long enough hot enough.
Orange Juice and Zest
We use a navel orange and zest it first then slice it in half and use a palm held juicer like this one from Walmart. This helps to get the most out of the 1-2 oranges we need for this recipe and reduce the food waste. It is much easier to zest it first then the juice due to the firmness of the orange.
You could use frozen zest, if needed but fresh gives the best flavoured oils for the dish. Juice from concentrate will give a less sweet cranberry sauce.
We prefer using ground cinnamon because it is easy but you can grate a cinnamon stick, if you prefer. When buying spices always check that they are both gluten free and free from your allergens with the manufacturer. Some brands are packaged in plants where allergens are on shared lines.
This is an ingredient that people forget can be non-vegan in some countries. There are countries where the sugar is refined by using bone char in the processing of the sugar. Check that your sugar is free from this processing process if you are buying sugar processed in one of those countries. This does not apply to the EU or UK as they do not use this process anymore and it is becoming more and more rare in North America but does still exist in some areas.
Instructions/ Directions and Tips
1- Put all the ingredients except the sugar in a medium pot with room to bubble up.
2- Bring the pot to a light boil over medium and reduce to a heavy simmer.
3- Let the mix simmer heavily for 15-20 minutes. The cranberries will start to pop and may splatter. The mix will reduce a bit.
4- Add the sugar in the pot and mix well. It will bubble up so make sure you have a lot of room in the pot and are stirring constantly for 1-2 mins.
5- Remove from heat. Let the sauce cool slightly and pour into clean 4 oz canning jars.
Hint: If choosing to can the cranberry pineapple sauce make sure to use sterilised hot jars for filling and follow the home canning directions on the USDA home canning site.
Cranberry sauce needs a ¼ inch headspace with all bubbles removed. The sauce is water bathed for 15 minutes (or longer if at higher altitudes). Before putting on the lids wipe the rims with a clean cloth and vinegar to make sure they are free from debris and leftover sauce drips. Make sure the bands are fingertip tight only when screwing them on. Remove the jars after processing and let cool for 12 -24 hours and check the lids and sealing to ensure they are true seals. The centres of the lids should not be flexible and should be already popped down. The jars should be stored with the bands off.
- Lemon or Lime - Instead of orange you can use lemon or lime juice and lemon or lime zest for a bit of a different taste. The citrus adds a deeper flavour to the cranberry pineapple sauce.
- Peaches, Apples, or Pears - The pineapples can be replaced with other fruit to compliment the cranberry but add to the flavours.
- Sugar Substitute - You can use sugar substitute in place of sugar but reduce the amount used to around ⅓ or less of the amount of sugar called for. Sugar substitutes like monk fruit or Splenda are very sweet and only a little goes a long way.
- Spicy - add ½ of a jalapeno to the mix for a spicy cranberry pineapple sauce.
- Jelly Instead of Sauce - for a really smooth but firm sauce you can blend the cooked fruit with an immersion blender then pass the mix through a fine mesh sieve lined with a cheesecloth. Let it drip all the liquid out, do not squeeze the cloths or push the liquid through the sieve for a clear jelly. Pushing it or squeezing it will make a cloudy jelly. Make sure to increase the amount of sugar used as that is what will help the jelly set. When it has dripped through the sieve, chill the liquid until firm. If it does not set, reboil and add a bit more sugar. If the liquid coats a chilled plate when dripped on it and sets it is ready to remove from the heat. Put it in a jar and put it in the fridge to set.
Jars for storing
Depending on how you will be storing the sauce different jars or containers can be used. We don’t use canning jars in the freezer. Not all are freezer safe, especially if the canning jars have shoulders. They may break when the sauce freezes and expands. In the freezer use containers that are made to be frozen.
If storing the sauce in the fridge most jars will suffice. If canning the sauce you need to use USDA approved canning jars and lids. They will have to withstand the water bathing or pressure canning (if that is your chosen method) to be able to be shelf stable and glass jars not made for canning can break or pose a health risk for not properly sealing.
Pot and a stirring utensil
A heavy bottomed pot large enough for all the ingredients and to contain the bubbling when the sugar is added is needed. We use a silicone slotted spatula to stir our sauce as it is able to lift all the sauce off the bottom of the pot so it doesn’t burn.
Measuring cups and spoons
We use US measuring cups and spoons for this recipe as well as all of our recipes. One cup is roughly 236.6 mL (a pint) but can also be listed as 240 mL, a table spoon is 15 mL, and a teaspoon is 5 mL.
Orange zester and juicer
We use a manual small juicer like this one from Walmart. We are only getting the juice out of 1-2 oranges so there is no point in using a huge expensive juicer that takes up a ton of storage space.
The zester is one where we splurged and got a microplane zester grater. We use it all the time so we could justify it. We hand wash it right away to keep any zest from drying on the rasp. You can use a really fine grater.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
In the fridge the cranberry sauce will keep for up to 7 days in a proper container that had a well fitting lid.
The festive cranberry sauce will keep in a sealed freezer safe container for up to 6 months. Do not use the canning jars in the freezer. The ones with shoulders are not meant to be frozen. We prefer not to freeze glass canning jars for safety and to protect against breakage.
If you choose to can thhis vegan cranberry sauce make sure to use a hot pack method where the sauce and jars are hot. Follow proper canning guidelines for water bathing cranberry sauce. This includes times and headspace. The properly sealed jars will keep for up to one year.
We recommend canned pineapple over fresh as it has already been heated to break down the proteolytic enzymes. They normally break down protein enzymes but when the pineapple is heated they are destroyed. Simmering it for 15 minutes should allow the jelly to set with fresh pineapple so it can be used in this recipe. Just make sure to simmer for the full time.
What To Serve With
This tropical cranberry sauce is of course perfect with turkey and roast chicken. It also is a fabulous side when serving ham. We also use the cranberry sauce when cooking chicken and ham as a glaze on the meat while it is cooking. It adds a ton of flavour and sweetness to a simple chicken breast or pork chop.
One of our favourite ways to eat this holiday inspired sauce is to use it in a turkey leftover sandwich. Smear it on one or both pieces of bread and layer on turkey slices, stuffing, lettuce and a bit of gravy and it makes a decadent leftover meal. The sauce can also be used on scones and toast as a jam.
We also serve our turkey meatballs with this cranberry pineapple sauce for extra flavour. It can be served on the side or even mixed in with the turkey meatball mix when making the meatballs.
This sauce is also a great companion to chicken wings or chicken fingers. It is a nice sweet sauce that can replace sweet and sour sauces.
We often use this vegan cranberry sauce on crispy bagel bites on top of dairy free cream cheese. This makes a fantastic super easy and fast appetiser.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- Jars for storing
- Stirring Utensil
- Measuring Cups
- measuring spoons
- Orange zester
- 4 C Cranberries fresh
- 2 C Water
- 1 C Crushed Pineapple canned
- ½ C Orange Juice freshly squeezed
- 1.5 Tbsps Orange Zest
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon ground
- 2 C Granulated Sugar
- 1- Put all the ingredients except the sugar in a medium pot with room to bubble up.
- 2- Bring the pot to a light boil over medium and reduce to a heavy simmer.
- 3- Let the mix simmer heavily for 15-20 minutes. The cranberries will start to pop and may splatter. The mix will reduce a bit.
- 4- Add the sugar in the pot and mix well. It will bubble up so make sure you have a lot of room in the pot and are stirring constantly for 1-2 mins.
- 5- Remove from heat. Let the sauce cool slightly and pour into clean 4 oz canning jars.
- If canning this sauce make sure to follow the canning guidelines found at The USDA Home Canning Site
- Contact the manufacturer of products, regarding cross contact and ingredients, to ensure they are safe for you
- Always check ingredients for allergens
- Do not use the same utensils on allergen free food, that previously touched allergens
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove