Here's Alex Guarnaschelli's Top Tip For Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and there's a seemingly endless list of dishes to make and share with loved ones. Roast turkey is the main priority for most home cooks, as well as tasty stuffing that's usually made with seasoned bread cubes, herbs, and onions. As for Thanksgiving sides, the most popular dish is (no surprise) mashed potatoes, followed by mac and cheese and green bean casserole, according to an analysis by Zippia.

But who could choose only one Thanksgiving side dish? For a truly great feast, the more dishes, the merrier. On that note, let's not forget about yet another Thanksgiving staple: beloved cranberry sauce. The Washington Post reports that Native Americans regularly ate cranberries, and by the 18th century, cranberry sauce made with sugar was a classic accompaniment to turkey. Interestingly enough, the first recipe for sweet and tart cranberry sauce dates back to Amelia Simmons' 1796 cookbook "American Cookery." 

This Thanksgiving, we could all use some extra hacks, and luckily, Food Network star Alex Guarnaschelli is here to help. Guarnaschelli has been known to give out Thanksgiving advice every year, such as her top tip on buying the right size turkey, and now, she's here to save your cranberry sauce.

For the best cranberry sauce, reduce the juice separately, and then mix it with the cranberries

Did you know that homemade cranberry sauce is nutritious? Livestrong reveals that the dish is full of antioxidants, as well as compounds that can have a positive impact on heart health. Of course, one factor that impacts the body's reaction to cranberry sauce is the sugar content, which can be low or high depending on your recipe.

Alex Guarnaschelli's cranberry sauce uses 1 ½ cups of sugar per bag of cranberries, plus flavorings like cinnamon and orange. Her main tip for this Thanksgiving staple, though, is less about ingredients and more about technique. On TikTok, the ICAG recommended first cooking the cranberries with water and the other ingredients, then straining out all the juice and heating it in a separate pan to reduce. Once thickened, the liquid is mixed with the cranberries once again for a richer consistency. 

Guarnaschelli's fans were quick to comment on the interesting method, and more than one fan wanted to know the reason for reducing the cranberry juices separately. The chef explained that her technique ensures the "cranberries aren't completely overcooked," plus "the sauce reduces better without all the water from the cranberries in the mix." If you've struggled with mushy, runny cranberry sauce in the past, this trick from the "Alex vs. America" star should help.