Simple Refined Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

sugar free cranberry sauce

I always loved cranberry sauce in the fall as a kid! Except I somehow loved the canned gelatinized canned cranberry stuff. It must have been the texture. My palate wasn’t as refined before my teenage years! Also, no judgement if you still like that – I’ve just moved on! Still, I have always loved tart and sweet flavors together and this dish certainly emulates that. Keeping it a touch more tart, but still balanced with natural sweetness, I’ve created this refined sugar free cranberry sauce!

refined sugar free cranberry sauce

Naturally Sweet, Refined Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

You know I’m a proponent of intuitive eating and if there’s any time to enjoy whatever you want, it’s a holiday. Still, my intuition always brings me back to nature’s flavors – which include delicious sweetness! Plus, with Thanksgiving being a family affair, keeping the added sugar down and nutrients up may benefit family members trying to control their blood sugar.

This refined sugar free cranberry sauce is cooked with orange juice and sweetened with pure maple syrup. I also use cinnamon, but you can always add pumpkin pie spice or mulling spices, too.

naturally sweetened cranberry sauce

A Super Simple Thanksgiving Side

Since you barely even have to stir it once the ingredients are in, just set a timer and get some other dishes made in the kitchen at the same time! Below you can see the cranberries and OJ about halfway through the cooking process, right after the berries have burst. It only takes another 10-15 from there at a simmer, until you have a warming delicious sauce to add to all your fall dishes!

Aside from being a classic Thanksgiving side dish that pairs nicely with any fall meal, cranberry sauce goes great on sandwiches or in your morning oatmeal or yogurt bowl. It’s also delicious as a topping for savory appetizers like crostini or baked brie.
homemade cranberry sauce

orange cranberry sauce


naturally sweet cranberry sauce

Refined Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

This refined sugar free cranberry sauce is naturally sweetened with orange juice and maple syrup for a Thanksgiving side that's the perfect balance of sweet and tart!
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American


  • 16 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • Place cranberries and orange juice in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil, covered.
  • Reduce heat to medium for an additional 5 minutes, or until all cranberries burst. You can press them with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula after 5 minutes to speed this process.
  • Add maple syrup, salt, and spices.
  • Stir well before reducing to a simmer and cook an additional 10 minutes with lid tilted.
  • May be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to one week.
Keyword naturally sweetened cranberry sauce, refined sugar free cranberry sauce
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sugar free cranberry sauce

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