The Easiest Healthy Cranberry Sauce

Looking for a simple and yet somewhat healthy Cranberry Sauce that you can make this holiday season? This is the recipe that we have been enjoying for several years. It’s overly-processed sugar-free and only needs 3 simple ingredients to make one delicious sauce.

Healthy Cranberry Sauce Recipe

The Easiest Healthy Cranberry Sauce

I can hardly believe that it’s been a year and a half since I stopped eating any processed sugars besides maple syrup and honey (and even those in moderation). I went from being quite sugar obsessed to thinking that even a handful of dates is much too sweet. It’s also opened my eyes to so many new tastes and flavors that I may not have enjoyed before. In other words, it’s been a good thing!

When it came to holiday dishes and treats, I wondered how this no-sugar thing was going to work but it turns out that it’s really not as difficult as I made it out to be. Like with this healthy Cranberry Sauce….only 3 ingredients? So easy! Even if you don’t need to be sugar-free or aren’t even really looking for a healthy Cranberry Sauce, you should make this one because it’s just so easy to make!

How Much Cranberry Sauce to Make Per Person?

Normally about 1/4 – 1/2 cup cranberry sauce is consumed per person at a meal. This recipe will make enough to serve about 8-10 people. You will want to double it if you planning on serving more.

How Long Does Cranberry Sauce Last?

Fresh cranberry sauce can last for up to 2 weeks if stored in the fridge in an airtight container. You can also freeze cranberry sauce if you don’t think you can use it all before it will go bad.

How to Can Cranberry Sauce?

If you want to make cranberry sauce to enjoy later, you can preserve it by canning it. Just bring your cranberry sauce to boil after the cranberries finish popping. Pour the hot sauce into pint jars, place the lids and rims on and hot water bath in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Why is Cranberry Sauce Good for you?

Cranberries are a wonderfully healthy little berry! They can help to prevent UTIs, improve your digestion because they contain a good amount of fiber, they help reduce the number of bacteria that can stick in your mouth which can help prevent gum disease, and they can help boost your immune system because they contain a great amount of vitamin C.

Can I Use Cranberry Sauce in Muffins?

Yes! If you have my book, Little House Living: The Make Your Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life, you can replace half of the milk in one muffin recipe with 1/2 cup of the cranberry sauce for some yummy Cranberry Muffins.

Alternative Sweetener Options for Healthy Cranberry Sauce

If you don’t have or don’t want to use maple syrup in this recipe you could also substitute honey or coconut sugar. You might even be able to use applesauce although I’m not quite sure how much you would need to add so that would be up to your taste buds.

–Love anything cranberry? Here’s a yummy treat recipe for Cranberry Pecan Pinwheel Cookies.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

How to Serve Healthy Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce is typically served as part of a holiday meal such as Thanksgiving or Christmas (in the United States) but there are several dishes that pair nicely with healthy Cranberry Sauce such as:

Typically anything that wouldn’t be overpowering may taste good served with or alongside Cranberry Sauce. It’s also good when mixed into homemade baked goods like the Cranberry Muffins that I mentioned above.

How to Use Cranberry Sauce Leftovers

If you don’t want to can it or freeze it as I mentioned above, there are some other ways that you can use up your Cranberry Sauce leftovers if it doesn’t all get eaten during the meal:

  • Use it in a grilled sandwich with some mozzarella cheese and leftover turkey.
  • Add it into a Muffin Mix.
  • Use it in place of the jam layer in Oatmeal Bars. (Recipe for these in my Frugal Gluten Free Ebook.)
  • Use it like jam on toast.
  • Dip Homemade Crackers into it.
  • As mentioned above, add it into oatmeal or yogurt.

—Another delicious recipe to make with cranberries is Cranberry Orange Quick Bread.

Easy Cranberry Sauce

Healthy Cranberry Sauce Recipe

What You Need:

  • 1 12 ounce bag of Fresh Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 3/4 cup Maple Syrup

Fresh Cranberries

How to Make Healthy Cranberry Sauce

Begin by rinsing off your fresh cranberries. While I was making this recipe to take pictures, I made a double batch (I was serving 16 people) so these pictures will show more than what a single batch will make. When choosing fresh cranberries to buy, make sure to pick berries that are firm. The soft or mushy berries have already started to go bad and will not taste good in your cranberry sauce.

Orange Juice with Cranberries

Place the cranberries in a medium-sized saucepan and turn on a low heat. Add in the orange juice. If you don’t have any from the store, you can always use freshly squeezed oranges. As an added bonus, their juice shouldn’t be quite as tart so you may be able to add less maple syrup.

Maple Syrup with Cranberries

Add in the maple syrup. Stir everything together and let it continue to sit on your stovetop at a low heat while the cranberries begin popping.

I will admit this that is my favorite part to cooking cranberries. The little popping noises that they make while they are heating up!

Cooking Cranberry Sauce

Continue to cook your cranberry sauce, stirring on occasion until all of the cranberries have finished popping and the sauce begins to thicken. Cook it until you have the consistency you are looking for. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes total.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Remove the healthy Cranberry Sauce from the heat and pour into a heat safe bowl. Be sure and taste it. If it’s too tart for your family, add a bit more maple syrup. The bowls I use are part of the limited edition Amish Vintage Charm Pyrex Bowls. They are so cute and they have lids so they are perfect for serving and for storage! This healthy Cranberry Sauce is best when served at room temperature but store it in the fridge when your family isn’t enjoying it.

Healthy Cranberry Sauce

Yummy! With just 3 simple ingredients you can make a delicious sauce to grace your table during the holiday season or any time of year! Be sure and stock up on fresh cranberries while they are on sale, wash, and freeze them to use to make sauces and other tasty foods any time of year.

Need the printable version of this healthy Cranberry Sauce? Get it below!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
5 from 6 votes
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The Easiest Healthy Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 12 ounce bag of Fresh Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 3/4 cup Maple Syrup

Instructions

  1. Begin by rinsing off your fresh cranberries. While I was making this recipe to take pictures, I made a double batch (I was serving 16 people) so these pictures will show more than what a single batch will make.
  2. Place the cranberries in a medium-sized saucepan and turn on a low heat. Add in the orange juice. If you don’t have any from the store, you can always use freshly squeezed oranges. As an added bonus, their juice shouldn’t be quite as tart so you may be able to add less maple syrup.
  3. Add in the maple syrup. Stir everything together and let it continue to sit on your stovetop at a low heat while the cranberries begin popping.
  4. Continue to cook your cranberry sauce, stirring on occasion until all of the cranberries have finished popping and the sauce begins to thicken. Cook it until you have the consistency you are looking for. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes total.
  5. Remove the healthy Cranberry Sauce from the heat and pour into a heat safe bowl.

Recipe Notes

Be sure and taste it. If it’s too tart for your family, add a bit more maple syrup. This healthy Cranberry Sauce is best when served at room temperature but store it in the fridge when your family isn’t enjoying it.

Looking for more traditional holiday recipes to make along with your healthy Cranberry Sauce?

Cranberry sauce is so quick and simple to make. I hope that you and your family will enjoy this recipe for many years to come.

Do you make cranberry sauce for the holidays? Would you try this health Cranberry Sauce?

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19 Comments

  1. Love home-made cranberry sauce and just had it at my mother in law’s Thanksgiving meal. Thanks for sharing yours, Merissa!

    1. 5 stars
      I love cranberry sauce.. I decided to make your with no sugar; just using maple syrup.. It will be our favorite from now on! The maple syrup gives the cranberry’s just enough sweetness!
      Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    Just made homemade cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. Bought more and want to make the above recipe with the addition of orange zest from one organic orange.

  3. I love cranberry sauce, and now I’m looking forward to trying this! Thanks for the easy and yummy-looking recipe. Wishing you and your family a joyful Christmas season!

  4. 5 stars
    instead of juice I add and an entire chopped navel orange (i removing any seeds and tough white stem end) and a little less of the syrup (but we are diabetic so our taste buds are already adjusted to requiring less to make something sweet to our tastes)

    I always make a double batch just to use it later in muffins

  5. I grew up eating the cranberry sauce in the can (and my mom still wont’ have it any other way LOL) but I have been making homemade cranberry sauce (recipe on the bag) for several years. I love it and will also give your recipe a try!

    Wanted to share that last year, I had a little bit of cranberry sauce leftover. Some of it, I made “surprise” muffins with , using a recipe for plain muffins (with little scoops of cranberry sauce in the middle of each muffin’s two layers of muffin batter). The last bit of cranberry sauce that I had left in my fridge, I mixed with homemade whipped cream. It was a fantastic combo and I felt like was a great substitution for all of those jello salads that get served over the holidays. I didn’t mix mine with crushed pineapple or nuts, but I do think you could tweak it out with chopped nuts, chopped apple or pineapple and have a delicious and healthier fluff type fruit salad.

    Happy Holidays, everyone!

  6. So about how much does this (single batch) recipe make? I’d like to do a cost comparison (homemade vs “healthy” canned ). 😏😁

  7. I make my Grandma’s recipe for cranberry sauce. I make my fresh cranberry sauce and let it cool. I then add a peeled and chopped apple, orange segments, and I add a little crushed pineapple and some chopped pecans. Oh my goodness. My whole family loves it. It is so good. And maybe it is because we all remember my Grandma making it and how good it was with her dressing. Mmmm. Bring on some Thanksgiving!

  8. Hi Merissa,
    I’ve been making this cranberry sauce for several years now , minus the orange juice. I cook the cranberries then add the maple syrup. I like my sauce on the tart side so as not to interfere with other flavours in my meal, mainly, red wine. 🙂
    Also, I use organic, dried cranberries in my buckwheat oatmeal. I soak them in boiling water to help rinse off the added oil and sugar. These usually are still sweet enough that I don’t need any added sugar in the oatmeal. When I do, I like maple syrup in my oatmeal too.
    Thanks Merissa for all the wonderful recipws that you share.

    Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving, Sandy