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Cranberry Sauce Recipe with No Added Sugar

Cranberry sauce gives every Thanksgiving spread a touch of color and flavor. The problem is, cranberries are inherently quite acidic, and the sweetness you taste in most recipes usually comes from more sugar than a can of soda.

If you want to indulge in sweets, save them for dessert. This recipe with cranberry sauce is sweetened with applesauce. You can also use maple syrup, honey, or your favorite natural sweetener if you want to tone down the tartness.

It’s easy to make and probably the fastest recipe you can make for your entire Thanksgiving celebration. Find out how to do it.

Cranberry sauce recipe with no added sugar

Time in the kitchen: 15 minutes

Servings: 8-10


  • 18 oz. fresh cranberries (we love honest cranberries)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 TBSP. fresh pressed orange juice
  • 2 TBSP. honey
  • Peel of ½ orange
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground carnations
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger


Put the cranberries and the water in a saucepan and heat over medium heat.

Mix in the applesauce, orange juice, honey and orange peel.

Cranberry sauce ingredients in a saucepan

When the saucepan comes to a boil, simmer and stir in the ground cloves, ginger and cinnamon.

Cranberries simmering for cranberry sauceLet the sauce simmer for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has the desired consistency. Try the sauce occasionally and adjust the sweetener to taste.

ready-made cranberry sauce recipe in a saucepan

Serve this cranberry sauce with your favorite meat or holiday meal. It’s also delicious as a sugary option when paired with some coconut cream, dark chocolate, or fresh whipped cream.

Bowl of cranberry sauce according to a recipe without sugar

– If, as written, the cranberry sauce is too hot for you, feel free to add additional honey. You can also use maple syrup.
– Depending on the power of your stove burner and the size of your cranberries, you may need a little more or less time for the sauce to finish cooking.

Bowl of cranberry sauce according to a recipe without sugar

Nutritional information (1/8 of the recipe):

  • Calories: 60
  • fat: 0g
  • Total carbohydrates: 13g
  • Net carbohydrates: 10 g
  • protein: 0g

About the author

Priscilla Chamessian

Priscilla is a food blogger, recipe developer, and personal chef based out of Missouri. He specializes in low-carb, paleo-free, gluten-free, keto, vegetarian, and low-FODMAP cuisine. See what she’s cooking on Priscilla Cooks and follow her food adventures on Instagram and Pinterest.

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