How To Fix Cranberry Sauce That's Too Thick

There are plenty of elements involved in the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. If even just one side dish doesn't come together the way you thought it would, it can make the whole meal feel off. Thankfully, there are plenty of quick problem solvers that can get a dish back on track — it just depends on what's wrong with it.

Cranberry sauce is a side dish staple that was popularized in the early 1900s, per Insider. Today, people seem to have mixed feelings about it. Its jelly-like texture paired with its bittersweet flavor have made the dish a little controversial, with some people loving and some people hating it. Reddit users even defended it, with one person saying, "It's one of the only acidic foods in the entire Thanksgiving spread. Because everything is so rich and fatty, you can pair cranberry sauce with anything." However, someone else negatively compared it to pineapple on pizza.

Texture can make a difference in whether or not people like the sauce, which is why you don't want your cranberry sauce to be so thick that it's hard to eat. But, how do you remedy it when the sauce doesn't come out quite right?

How to thin out cranberry sauce

Depending on what you're looking for with your cranberry sauce recipe, it might not matter if it's a little thick. Still, if you're looking to treat it as more of a sauce, then a jelly-like side dish isn't going to work. According to EatingWell, there is a quick fix for too-thick sauce: Just add water. Thinning the sauce out with a bit of water will ensure that it doesn't thicken up too much as it cools. For a bit more zest, you can thin it out with orange juice, too.

So, why does the sauce become too thick in the first place? EatingWell says it's a result of too many berries bursting; watch the sauce, and remove it from the stove before all of the cranberries burst.

Williams-Sonoma says that sugar also helps sauce thicken, so if you make it too sweet, it could thicken more than you'd hoped. Keep in mind how much sugar you're adding to the recipe; you can also add it in increments to make sure the sauce doesn't form that jelly-like texture.