This is the best sugar free cranberry sauce recipe! It's so easy to make and this healthy cranberry sauce uses orange juice, vanilla extract and grated apple instead of sugar. With hints of cinnamon and vanilla it's perfect for the holidays and is safe for those with diabetes and on a vegan, low carb, paleo or Whole30 diet.
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Why you will love this recipe:
- It's so easy to make and doesn't require any sugar!
- It has such an amazing flavour and is so much better than the canned stuff. If you are a cranberry sauce fan you are going to love this version.
- This healthy cranberry sauce can be made with fresh or frozen cranberries and is made with simple ingredients that you can easily find in any grocery store.
- Instead of sugar substitutes like monk fruit, stevia, Splenda or Truvia, which many sugar free cranberry sauce recipes use, this one relies on the natural sugars from fruits instead. It's the best no sweetener cranberry sauce.
- It has the perfect amount of sweetness from the orange juice, vanilla extract and shredded apple, which combines beautifully with the tart cranberries.
- It is a great diabetic cranberry sauce and it's great if you are counting carbs or looking for a low carb cranberry sauce.
- This is a healthy cranberry sauce that is also gluten free, dairy free and safe for paleo, vegan, SCD, GAPS, keto and Whole30 diets and is entirely plant based.
- It is the perfect side dish that looks beautiful on any holiday table. It's great to serve with turkey dinner, and all your favourite Christmas and Thanksgiving recipes like pecan pie, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and stuffing.
- This is a healthy version of traditional cranberry sauce recipes, store-bought cranberry sauce or the canned versions that can be high in high fructose corn syrup and other refined sweeteners.
You can use this cranberry sauce to make cranberry turkey meatballs.
Taste and texture:
This homemade cranberry sauce is slightly sweet but still a little tart. It has the most amazing flavour with a hint of orange, vanilla, apple and cinnamon. The sweetness of the fresh fruits contrasts perfectly with the tartness of the cranberries to give this fruit sauce the best flavour. Depending on your preference you can make this a smooth cranberry sauce or a chunky cranberry sauce.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
For the exact measurements for these ingredients refer to the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Fresh or frozen cranberries - the star of this recipe! You can use either fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries for this recipe. If you use frozen cranberries just note that it will take a little longer to cook.
- Apples - fresh apples are used to make the grated apple which helps gives this cranberry sauce its natural sweetness, without adding any sugar. You can use any type of sweet red apple that you prefer. I like to use either pink lady, gala or honey crisp apples.
- Oranges - for making the fresh orange juice that is used to help naturally sweeten this cranberry sauce.
- Vanilla extract - a little bit of vanilla extract is added to help enhance the flavours and give this cranberry sauce a hint of vanilla flavour.
How to make this recipe:
First you will need to grate your apple and measure it.
Then place all of the ingredients into a medium sized pot or medium saucepan and place it on the stove. Turn the burner onto medium heat and allow the ingredients to come to a boil.
Next, reduce the heat and let the sauce low simmer for 10-15 minutes, until it reaches the consistency you prefer.
Now serve and enjoy!
Tips and variations:
- You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries to make this cranberry sauce - if you use frozen cranberries you will need to add a few minutes of cooking time.
- To make this recipe a little sweeter feel free to add a little honey or maple syrup (just note that it would no longer be sugar free if you do this).
- If you would like a stronger orange flavour add 1-2 tablespoons of orange zest or a little orange extract.
- To break up the cranberries even faster you can use a potato masher to mash the cranberries when they are cooking.
- If you prefer to have a super smooth cranberry sauce, blend it in your high speed blender or food processor.
- If you are serving a crowd feel free to double or triple this recipe.
How to serve:
This fresh cranberry sauce is delicious served as a side with cooked turkey at any holiday meal including Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner. It can also be used as a sauce for other meats such as ham, duck, beef or chicken. You can also serve it with sweet potato casserole or turnip and apple casserole.
You could also use this sugar-free cranberry sauce recipe to spread on crackers or to use for sandwiches. It can also be used for other recipes that call for cranberry sauce such as cranberry turkey meatballs.
How to store:
Store any leftover cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. This cranberry sauce also freezes really well in a freezer-safe container.
You can also gift this homemade sugar-free cranberry sauce. To do so you can put it in a mason jar with a handwritten label.
Frequently asked questions:
This sugar free cranberry sauce is perfect for diabetics because it doesn't use any sugar. Many traditional cranberry sauce recipes do use a lot of sugar so diabetics would have to be careful when consuming them and watch their sugars closely.
Instead of sugar this cranberry sauce is sweetened with fresh orange juice and grated apple to make it less sweet.
Absolutely. You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries to make this recipe.
You can thicken cranberry sauce without sugar by adding other ingredients such as shredded apple which will help it thicken as the sauce simmers. The longer you boil the cranberries, the thicker the sauce will get.
Despite not having any added sugar this is not a low carb or keto cranberry sauce recipe. Between both the cranberries and apples this sauce contains approximately 9 carbs or 7 net carbs per serving, making it too high in carbohydrates for the keto diet.
Other recipes you will love:
- Christmas Chicken
- Glazed Carrots and Parsnips
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Maple Beef Roast
- Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Drizzle
- Dairy Free Brownies with Caramel
- Carrot Cake Donuts
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Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce
- Add all the ingredients to a medium pot and place it on the stove.
- Turn on the heat to medium and bring the ingredients to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the cranberries are the texture you desire.
- Remove from the heat and serve and enjoy!
- This cranberry sauce makes great leftovers and can be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days.
- If you want to make it a little sweeter feel free to add a little honey or maple syrup.
- If you would like a stronger orange flavour add a bit of orange zest.