DIY Canned Cranberry Sauce

Because you don’t need high fructose corn syrup to make a quintessential Thanksgiving statement!


Last week I was checking out at Paper Source when an adorable Thanksgiving card caught my eye. It had a water color of canned cranberry sauce, plated wholly with its glorious ridges.

I don’t know about you, but canned cranberry sauce sends a pulse of nostalgia through my veins. I actually like the fact that it’s shaped like a tin can. A bowl of goo just doesn’t honor my childhood memories the same way. But how do you feed the sentiment without feeding yourself high fructose corn syrup?

Don’t worry, I got you! And I promise it’s almost as easy as popping open a can of Ocean Spray. (Who, by the way, is gliding by on their first-ever parade float as I write this during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade!)

Fun fact: Did you know Americans consume roughly 800 million pounds of cranberries per year? Holy moly! Not sure how many pounds get squeezed down into a 32 oz jar of juice, but here you go:

DIY Canned Paleo Cranberry Sauce


  • (1) 32-oz jar 100% cranberry juice blend, such as Lakewood Organic brand
  • 8 T. unflavored beef gelatin, such as Great Lakes brand
  • Empty BPA-free cans – (2) 15-oz or (5) 5-oz
  1. Heat juice in saucepan on medium-high heat and whisk in gelatin. Bring to a low boil to fully dissolve the gelatin.
  2. Turn off heat and allow gelatin to cool for roughly 5 minutes. This will add a little shine to your cranberry sauce.
  3. Use a mesh colander as needed to filter out any gelatin clumps as you pour the hot juice mixture into your empty cans.
  4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
  5. Run hot water over the outside of the can to loosen the gelatin onto a plate or cutting board.
  6. Slice cranberry sauce and serve.

Now, I have to admit, much like the Grandfather in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation who points out, “The little lights are not twinkling,” my cranberry sauce has no ridges. That was a surprise at 8pm last night when I was unloading my little 5 oz cans (which happened to be from coconut cream). But I assure you that you can use large ridged cans to make this quintessential dish – paleo style!

Gratitude and blessings to all of you this holiday season!

xo Rachel