Healthy Cranberry Sauce

healthy cranberry sauce in white bowl with spoon on wood cutting board and marble background

5 from 9 reviews

This healthy cranberry sauce is naturally sweetened and made with only 4 ingredients! It’s perfectly sweet and tangy – great as a Thanksgiving side or holiday jam.


  • 12 ounces (340 g) fresh or frozen cranberries*
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh-squeezed orange juice* (about 1 large orange)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) grade A maple syrup 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional add-ins: ½ teaspoon orange zest, cinnamon stick, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, chopped pecans, blueberries, etc.


  1. Add all ingredients to a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 6-8 minutes. Stir the mixture frequently to ensure nothing burns or sticks to the pan. The filling is “done” once it has thickened and most of the cranberries have popped. 
  2. Use a fork or potato masher to pop the remainder of the cranberries, if desired. Let cool completely before serving as desired; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to one week.


  • Cranberries: frozen cranberries work well here, but you will need to simmer them for an additional 1 to 2 minutes as they release more liquid in cooking
  • Orange Juice: There isn’t a huge final difference in flavor if you use fresh or pasteurized OJ, since the mixture is being cooked. Use whatever is easier for you!
  • Sweetener: maple syrup can be replaced with equal parts date syrup, vegan honey, coconut sugar, or brown sugar

Keywords: healthy cranberry sauce, cranberry orange sauce, easy cranberry sauce, homemade cranberry sauce, cranberry sauce sugar free