by Olena

Healthy Cranberry Sauce

Olena Osipov
4.7 from 3 votes

Healthy Cranberry Sauce with 3 simple ingredients and refined sugar is not one of them. Easy and tasty cranberry sauce from scratch.

Perfect addition to your Thanksgiving turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes.

Healthy Cranberry Sauce

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. Store bought cranberry sauce ingredients are cranberries, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and water. Plus I am not a fan of jello.

This homemade cranberry sauce is delicious, sweet and made only with 3 ingredients.fresh cranberries in a colander, orange juice and maple syrup

Ingredients for Healthy Cranberry Sauce

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

  • Cranberries: 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries. Buy and freeze cranberries when in season. Then cook sauce with frozen berries any time of the year. No thawing.
  • Sweetener: Maple syrup, honey, agave or even erythritol for low carb version will work.
  • Orange juice: From a carton or freshly squeezed, orange juice adds nice flavor to tart cranberries, always.

How to Make Cranberry Sauce

fresh cranberries in a pot with yellow spoon

  • Prep: Rinse, drain and discard any squishy berries. Add them to a small pot along with maple syrup and orange juice.
  • Cook: 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.
  • Stir: No need to blend as when you stor, cranberries will fall apart. If you like very smooth sauce, mash with a masher or blend with a blender.

cooked cranberries in a pot with yellow spatula on a towel

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.

Healthy Cranberry Sauce in a white bowl with blue rim

How to Store, Freeze and Use Leftovers

Storing: 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.

Reheating: 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.

Leftovers:

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

More Recipes with Cranberries

healthy cranberry sauce

Healthy Cranberry Sauce

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.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 66kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

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

  • Go through cranberries and discard any squishy ones.
  • Add cranberries, maple syrup and orange juice to a small pot.
  • Bring to a boil covered, reduce heat to medium and cook for 6 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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.

        Nutrition

        Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg
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        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.

        9 comments on “Healthy Cranberry Sauce

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        1. 4 stars
          I love your version of this,I usually do mine who Brown sugar,& Orange juice,I am waiting patiently to try your version with the maple syrup sounds devine??

        2. 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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