Zesty Cranberry Steak Sauce Recipe |Canning Cranberries

Zesty Cranberry Steak Sauce Recipe |Canning Cranberries

Interested in a different cranberry taste sensation? Thought so. Zesty Cranberry Steak Sauce recipe is a recipe you’ll really love! Puckering-sweet cranberries provide tart contrast to the Worcestershire, onion and garlic reduction (along with some amazing seasonings and fruits). The result?

Out of this world flavor.

Get ready to make the perfect savory sauce that’ll be a breakfast, lunch and dinner favorite!


Cranberries are often described as the red gems of fall and the holiday season. But who says they can’t be enjoyed all year, despite their short seasonal debut? Cranberry season (October -December) is the perfect time to stock up and preserve them for year-round use. 

Sure-there are classic cranberry recipes like spicy jalapeño cranberry sauce and traditional cranberry sauce. But let’s go beyond tradition and chase after taste! Cranberries can also be used to make an assortment of dips, flavorful spreads, salsas and as a condiment, you didn’t even know you were missing on sandwiches and meats glazes!

This zesty cranberry steak sauce is flexible enough to act as the base or the finishing touch on almost anything.  (That’s not an understatement. Jump to “Favorite Uses for this Recipe” OR watch my video showing you the many ways I get tons of uses from this sauce in my own kitchen!) 

Fresh (or frozen) cranberries provide tart contrast to the Worcestershire and sauteed onions in this zesty steak sauce recipe. 

You’ll Love this Recipe because…

  1. Worcestershire lends a rich tangy, sweet and salty flavor to the bland but tart taste of cranberries. The addition of rice vinegar rounds things out and is also the preserving agent that inhibits spoiling if you choose to preserve batches of this sauce to enjoy months after you make it. 
  2. Speaking of preserving, this recipe requires no special canning equipment to turn into a shelf stable condiment. You’ll just need a tall stock pot, canning jars, lids and rings. Keep scrolling for those directions.    
  3. This is a one pot recipe! Just chop up your veggies, dump in a dutch oven and add your seasonings. Your clean kitchen will barely take a hit!  
  4. Almost anyone enjoys a great steak sauce, especially with ingredient combinations not commonly found in the grocery store. Zesty Cranberry Steak Sauce is the perfect holiday or hostess gift that’ll likely become a recipe you’ll be known for! 

Ways to Use Zesty Cranberry Steak Sauce!

You won’t find a shortage of ways to use this sauce. Nope–your problem will be just the opposite. I’ve written some ideas below, but take a look at the first several minutes of my video where I share ways you’ll level up meals you’re probably already making by adding zesty cranberry steak sauce!


Bacon, Egg and Cheese Cranberry Steak Sauce Sandwich: Bring cranberry steak sauce to breakfast and slather the combination of sweet and tart taste on top of a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. It’s a savory sandwich surprise you don’t even see coming but you’ll gladly wake up to any morning.  (Cleary this sandwich shows my rebellious streak because I whole-heartedly disagree that cranberry sauce is just a Thanksgiving or Christmas spread to be exclusively enjoyed at dinner or in lunch leftovers). Please join my revolt and liberate the cranberry! 


Cranberry Turkey (or Beef) Burgers: Add more moisture, flavor, and nutrition to your burger prep by dolloping your patty with this cranberry sauce. Paired with melted brie cheese, good gracious this burger is addictive! 

Slow Cooker Cranberry Meatballs and Lil’ Smokies: I often take slow cooker cranberry meatballs and lil’ smokies to church potlucks—kids and adults love it!  It’s also excellent as a heftier snack when I leave the house for the hubby. That sweet cranberry glaze was made for meatballs and smoked sausage! 


Cranberry Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas: I get this one might make you a bit skeptical, but darlin’, it works! Taco Tuesdays are a permanent menu item in our home, and this recipe combines sweet, smoky, and spicy all in one. Here’s the original recipe inspiration from Taste of Home magazine.

Dump-and-Bake Cranberry Chicken: You’ll just need 5 minutes (not bragging but I only need 3) to pull this sweet and savory baked chicken recipe together. Simply pour a jar of your zesty steak sauce over fresh leg quarters and bake until done.  Dinner recipes don’t get any simpler than this. 

Acorn Squash with Cranberry Stuffing: This is one of my family’s fall-favorite go-to meals. It’s an excellent side dish for your holiday table or as the main course on a busy weeknight. After baking your squash until tender, fill the center with your sauce and garnish with chopped celery. Your taste buds won’t be disappointed. 


YES! That’s because I only share tested home canning recipes inspired by reputable sources. This recipe is adapted from Blue Ribbon Canning: Award Winning Recipes by Linda J. Amendt. I take safe canning practices very seriously, so this (and any) recipe that appears on my blog or YouTube channel will:

  1. Use only recipe methods that follow safe and science-based guidelines published by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Center for Home Food Preservation, and Jarden companies like Ball and Bernardin
  2. Source all information so that you can follow it back to the canning authorities where the recipe originated. I know this makes nearly every other word in my blog post look like a lit-up Christmas tree, but I want you to be a confident, informed canner too, so I’m very transparent about any modifications I include.

My goal with publicly sharing canning recipes is to inspire you to create your own healthier, better-tasting, and usually cheaper convenience foods. And, to show how canning food in the modern world still makes sense! Above all, I want you to be both safe and successful in your canning efforts. For this reason, I’ll always link to the approved NCHFP canning recipes and encourage you to make a small investment in purchasing the most updated preservation books and equipment I use in my own kitchen.

Recipe Tips and Notes:

  • Don’t skip the sugar: Cranberries are extremely high in acidity–only lemons and limes have more acid, which is why adding at least some sugar (to get that mouth-water combo of tang and sweet) is recommended. 
  • No Pectin? No Problem: Cranberries naturally contain a high level of pectin, which is the chemical that causes things to jell and used when making jellies and jams.  Just by combining fresh cranberries with water or orange juice, sugar, and heating it until the berries pop, will automatically yield that classic sauce texture. 
  • When zesting the orange, go slow and be certain you’re only collecting the outer peel.  The rind where all of the essential oils and flavors are found. You do not want to scrape off the white pith, since it will only give you a bitter taste.
  • While this recipe uses fresh cranberries, you can totally substitute frozen, dried, or your own home canned cranberries. 
  • To reduce foaming, cook berries until soft and then add ½ teaspoon of butter before berries are sieved or crushed and sugar is added.
  • Admittedly, my obvious bias for food preservation is canning, but if you enjoy cooking with cranberries all year old, they freeze absolutely beautifully. So, just stock up when they’re in season and toss the bags right in the freezer. When you’re ready to use them, just empty the frozen bag of berries into a colander and shift through to remove any stems or shriveled berries. 
  • Play with the texture: Sometimes I like this super smooth, a bit chunky, half and half, it’s whatever tickles your fancy. Keep an immersion blender nearby so you can get your sauce juuuuust right.

Zesty Cranberry Steak Sauce | Canning Recipe

This recipe makes about six 8-ounce jars


4 cups of fresh cranberries

1 1/2 cups of finely chopped red sweet onion

2 cups of diced or crushed fresh pineapple

1/2 cup minced garlic

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

Zest from 1 medium orange

1/4 cup orange OR pineapple juice

1  1/2 cup sweet rice wine vinegar

2 cups cup brown sugar

1  1/2 cup golden raisins

1  cup water

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons garlic powder


  1. In a large stainless steel stockpot, add the cranberries, onions, pineapple, garlic, ginger, orange zests, organic (or pineapple) juice, worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Allow ingredients to reach a full boil over medium-high heat for several minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Next, add the sugar, golden raisins, mustard, cinnamon, and remaining spices and seasonings. Bring ingredients to a gentle boil, stirring frequently for about 15 minutes. The mixture may be on the thinner side but will thicken up upon cooling.
  3. Remove the pot from the stove and ladle the sauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.


Keep scrolling to see how easy it is to water bath can this recipe without using any special canning equipment (and in just 10 minutes).

  1. Sanitize your jars and place them on a dishtowel. 
  2. Grab your funnel and ladle  that cranberry goodness into the jars, leaving a ¼ inch of headspace. 
  3. Remove any air bubbles by running a long plastic or wooden skewer between the jar and the sauce. 
  4. Wipe the rims of the jars with vinegar to remove any spillage (which can prevent your jars from creating a seal). 
  5. Secure the rings to the top of your jar until they are “fingertip tight” but still allows enough air to pass through. 


  1. Using a jar rack or plate, lower the jars into the boiling water of your water bath canner. 
  2. Pour in more water to ensure that the water covers at least an inch above your jars.
  3. Place the lid on your pot. 
  4. Bring water to a full  boil  for 10 minutes, then use a jar lifting to remove the jars out of the water and let them cool on a towel undisturbed for a minimum of 8 hours. (note: do not tighten the caps or you’ll risk breaking the seal). 


As your jars cool, you’ll hear the jars making clicking pops.  Leave the jars undisturbed on a towel for a minimum of 12-24 hours.

After that, you can confirm the jars have sealed by removing the rings. A sealed jar lid will remain secured to the jar without the rim and be slightly indented in the center. Use your index finger to moderately tap on the jar in a few places, it should not pop back when pressed.

The majority of your jars will seal within a few hours of cooling down. If you have any jars that didn’t seal properly, just store them in the fridge and use them within the month. 


  1. This delicious zesty cranberry steak sauce recipe will be shelf stable and keep (unopened) for up to one year. 
  2. If you’re not going to can your steak sauce, you can store it in the fridge for use within the month! 
  3. Buutt…if you’re not canning this, freeze for up to 3 months.

Craving more quick minute water bath recipes? Don’t miss out on my Sweet  & Spicy Onion Jam, which will surely become another one of your weekday favorites! 

Keep Becoming a Farm Girl, Cassandra 🙂

Zesty Cranberry Steak Sauce

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