Here's How Long Canned Cranberry Sauce Lasts in the Fridge—In the (Unlikely) Event That There Are Leftovers
As if we needed another reason to love canned cranberry sauce, we just found out it has a considerable shelf-life when properly stored in refrigerator after opening. If you would have asked me, I would have given it a good five days—a few days longer than most of the other prepared Thanksgiving foods—but two weeks? Now that sounds too good to be true, although it's highly unlikely to make it that far. Am I right?
According to Ocean Spray, the brand behind one of the most popular canned cranberry sauces, both their Jellied and Whole Berry varieties are fine to store in either the pantry or fridge (if you prefer to serve chilled) prior to opening. Once open, it can be stored in a container with a tightly fitting lid for up to two weeks. Just make sure to remove it from the can before storing and don't freeze it as it could become watery upon thawing.
Canned cranberry sauce that hasn't been opened can keep for a substantial amount of time in the pantry, so if you fear a cranberry shortage you have our full permission to go ahead and stock up. Most varieties should last a full year if the can remains dent-free, but keep an eye on that "Best Before" date to be safe. If you open the can and the berries appear discolored, smell or taste off, go ahead and toss it.
Now, if you've been treating your cranberry sauce like jelly, keeping it in your fridge for months after opening, then I guess this information won't be met with quite the same enthusiasm. But if you, like me, tend to toss any remaining Thanksgiving leftovers (cranberry sauce included) after just a couple days or so, then feel free to stock up this year because you and your beloved cranberry sauce will be in it for the long-haul.
Fresh cranberry sauce has quite a similar refrigerator shelf-life as the canned variety, topping out at two weeks, the primary difference being that it's not like you can store a can of the stuff in the pantry for a full year ahead of time. For that reason, canned has fresh beat on convenience alone—but it's best not to bring up that fact around the Thanksgiving table. Like football rivalries and the proper way to pronounce praline there are some things that are better left unsaid when gathered around the dinner table.