by Olena

Healthy Cranberry Sauce

by Olena

5 from 1 reviews

Healthy Cranberry Sauce with 3 simple ingredients and refined sugar is not one of them.

Perfect addition to your Thanksgiving turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes. Here is how to make easy and super tasty cranberry sauce from scratch.

Healthy Cranberry Sauce

Homemade vs. Canned Cranberry Sauce

There is no more easy Thanksgiving dish to make than a healthy cranberry sauce. You will be wondering why you haven’t until now. Because I did. I avoided canned stuff and didn’t make my own for years.

Canned cranberry sauce ingredients are: cranberries, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and water. Not 1 corn syrup but 2. Just in case you missed it. 🙂

Plus I am not a fan of jello. So, sliced sauce does not appeal to me. I would like to slather it on my turkey and then in leftover sandwiches. You can incorporate sauce leftovers in so many ways. On that below.

fresh cranberries in a colander, orange juice and maple syrup

Ingredients You Will Need

Turkey and cranberries are a match made in heaven. Just like chicken and lemon. This homemade low sugar sauce is basically jam.

All you need is cranberries, maple syrup or honey and orange juice. That’s it! And make it in 10 minutes.

Tip: Buy and freeze bags of fresh cranberries when in season. Then cook sauce with frozen berries any time of the year. No thawing.

How to Make Cranberry Sauce

fresh cranberries in a pot with yellow spoon

Add 12 oz bag of rinsed and drained fresh or previously frozen cranberries, maple syrup or honey and orange juice to a small pot. Throw away any squishy ones.

Bring to a boil covered and cook on low-medium heat for 6 minutes.

Remove the lid, stir and cook for 3 more minutes or until cranberry sauce has thickened. No need to add cornstarch or gelatin as cranberries and honey will thicken on their own.

How easy was that?!

Tips and Variations

  • Add cinnamon and vanilla – I added 1/8 tsp each because my gut told me to. You don’t have to or add more. So good!
  • Add more sweetener – Cranberries are very tart, almost no matter how much sugar you add. Increase maple syrup or honey to 1/2 cup. I am happy with 1/3 cup.
  • I did not mash the sauce. You can mash it with a potato masher if you like it chunky, or blend with an immersion blender if you like yours more smooth.
  • Use zest and juice of large orange instead of orange juice.
  • Serve hot or cold – Simmer in a pot to warm up made ahead sauce or serve right away.

cooked cranberries in a pot with yellow spatula on a towel

How to Make Ahead, Store and Freeze

You could definitely make cranberry sauce ahead.

Cook, let cool and transfer to glass mason jar with a lid. Then refrigerate for up to 14 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Make sure you leave room for sauce to expand if freezing.

When ready to serve, I would bring sauce to room temperature on a counter. If frozen, you are looking at a day or overnight. If you like sauce warm, simmer in a small pot on low heat.

Healthy Cranberry Sauce in a white bowl with blue rim

Uses for Leftover Cranberry Sauce

This cranberry sauce is healthy alternative to a jam. I sure did stash some in my fridge for breakfast. 🙂

Here is what else you can do with leftovers:

  • Make turkey sandwiches – add pesto too!
  • Mix with plain yogurt and granola
  • Bake muffins
  • Spread like a jam on toast
  • Add to oatmeal

More Healthy Recipes with Cranberries

Print

Healthy Cranberry Sauce

5 from 1 reviews

Healthy Cranberry Sauce with 3 simple ingredients and refined sugar is not one of them. Perfect addition to your Thanksgiving turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups (8 servings) 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: North American
Scale

Ingredients

  • 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Go through cranberries and discard any squishy ones.
  2. Add cranberries, maple syrup and orange juice to a small pot.
  3. Bring to a boil covered, reduce heat to medium and cook for 6 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, add cinnamon and vanilla if you wish, stir and cook for 3 more minutes or until cranberry sauce has thickened. No need to add cornstarch or gelatin as cranberries and honey will thicken on their own.
  5. Serve hot or cold with turkey and mashed potatoes.

Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 weeks. Add to oatmeal, yogurt and granola, or make turkey sandwiches.

Make Ahead: Cook, let cool and transfer to glass mason jars with a lid. Then refrigerate for up to 14 days

Freeze: Make sure you leave room for sauce to expand and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, I would bring sauce to room temperature on a counter. If frozen, you are looking at a day or overnight. If you like sauce warm, simmer in a small pot on low heat.

Notes

Variations

  • Add cinnamon and vanilla – I added 1/8 tsp each because my gut told me to. You don’t have to or add more. So good!
  • Add more sweetener – Cranberries are very tart, almost no matter how much sugar you add. Increase maple syrup or honey to 1/2 cup.
  • I did not mash the sauce. You can mash it with a potato masher if you like it chunky, or blend with an immersion blender if you like yours more smooth.
  • Use zest and juice of large orange instead of orange juice.
  • Serve hot or cold – Simmer in a pot to warm up made ahead sauce or serve right away.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

3 comments on “Healthy Cranberry Sauce

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  1. I did a recipe similar to this but added a packet of geletan to make it more like the jellied cans without the junk! I didn’t add the OJ and I like that idea!

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