Recipe: Healthy Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

Dips + Sauces Recipes

healthy cranberry sacue,low sugar cranberry sauce,thanksgiving recipe,

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Cranberry sauce is an absolute classic on a Thanksgiving (and often Christmas) table. And we’re going to be pretty honest here: we are very much team homemade versus team canned. And to take it even one step further, we’re team low-sugar cranberry sauce, which is why our healthy version is naturally sweetened with real maple syrup.

This healthy cranberry sauce also features a delicious subtle orange flavor. Orange and cranberry just go together which is why you’ll find both freshly squeezed orange juice and orange zest in this recipe. It gives it such a delicious flavor that just screams holidays!

My oldest son is obsessed with cranberry sauce.  He has been since he was a little boy! Because it’s his favorite, I always make a delicious homemade sauce for him each Thanksgiving. This recipe is particularly delicious. The cinnamon and nutmeg truly make it.  

Plus, did we mention this recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free to accommodate all of your guests?! I will definitely be making multiple batches of this stuff this year!


Enter your email & get this article sent to your inbox.

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    How To Make Cranberry Sauce Low Sugar

    This healthy cranberry sauce is lower in sugar than your average cranberry sauce.  Most homemade cranberry sauce recipes are loaded with sugar since cranberries are pretty tart (but also have so many health benefits). We’re giving this recipe a healthier spin using real maple syrup instead of cane sugar, plus we like a bit of tartness in our cranberry sauce – that’s how it’s meant to be!

    Make Ahead Instructions

    This healthy cranberry sauce is incredibly easy to make and can be made ahead of time, which is crucial if you’re preparing many or all elements of your Thanksgiving feast.

    Check this one off your list early – it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for 10-14 days! See freezer instructions below.

    Cranberry Sauce FAQs

    Can you freeze homemade cranberry sauce?

    Yes! Cranberry sauce freezes quite well. Simply allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container in the freezer. Use within a couple months and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator when ready to use.

    How much cranberry sauce to make per person for Thanksgiving?

    Some people love cranberry sauce, others have no trouble skipping it. We recommend about 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup per person. It never hurts to have some leftovers!

    Pot of low sugar cranberry sauce  with wooden spoon and greenery

    More Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes:

    White bowl of healthy cranberry sauce  with gold spoon and large white bowl of fresh cranberries in background along with holiday decor of pine needles, pinecones and ornaments

    Yield: 6 serving(s)


    • 1 bag of cranberries (12 ounces)
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or water)
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • Zest of an orange


    1. Rinse your cranberries and discard any squishy or bruised ones.
    2. Add cranberries, maple syrup and orange juice to a pot (it's a good idea to zest your orange ahead of time in a small dish before you squeeze the juice).
    3. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or so until the cranberries have popped and sauce begins to thicken.
    4. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg and top with orange zest.
    5. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Store in the refrigerator 10-14 days.

    Nutrition Information Per Serving

    Serving Size: 1/3 cup

    Calories: 105

    Carbohydrates: 27 gram(s)

    Fiber: 3 gram(s)

    Sugar: 18 gram(s)

    Sodium: 3 milligram(s)

    From the kitchen of:

    Rate this Recipe

    1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)


    on Reply

    I’m not a fan of Splenda. Perhaps stevia? But similar to one I make, w/coconut sugar, I don’t measure, tho. I squeeze fresh orange juice into it instead of water - try it! Also a tsp of vanilla & tiny pinch of salt. 😍

    on Reply

    Has anyone added mandarin oranges to this ??

    on Reply

    i would like to make this but I don't use spends. Has anyone used stevia in this receipe instead of Splenda?

    Printed from

    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
    Skip to content